13:51 28 Nov 2023

European Parliament office to open in Kyiv to support Ukraine's European integration

Photo: Reuters

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, confirmed the opening of the European Parliament office in Kyiv during a visit by the Chair of the Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, to Brussels. 

Radio Svoboda reported on Tuesday that the Conference of Presidents held a meeting with the Ukrainian speaker, Ruslan Stefanchuk.

"Ukraine is making impressive efforts (for reforms). And today, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament confirmed that Ukraine has shown a solid foundation to start accession negotiations," said the head of the European Parliament.

Metsola announced that the decision to support negotiations with Ukraine was made by the "Conference of Presidents," a body that unites the leadership of the European Parliament and all political groups.

"We have signed an updated memorandum of parliamentary support for democracy between our two parliaments. This is also a practical way in which we, as the European Parliament, can assist Ukraine in joining the EU. This partnership will be strengthened by our decision to open a permanent representation of the European Parliament in Kyiv," said Metsola.

Ruslan Stefanchuk added that thanks to the memorandum, the Verkhovna Rada will increasingly meet EU standards in its functionality.

"The main thing we fixed today is that we are moving toward a common denominator. We integrate with each other in terms of functionality, institutionalism, and shared values. I believe this is a very important decision," said Stefanchuk.

Regarding Ukraine's fulfillment of requirements to start EU membership negotiations, Stefanchuk noted that the Verkhovna Rada adopted, in the first reading, two laws mentioned in the assessment by the European Commission in early November.

"By the time the Ukrainian parliament adopts these necessary laws in the second reading and in full, I very much hope that Ukraine will leave no room for doubt that we meet the Copenhagen criteria and deserve to start negotiations for full membership," Stefanchuk said.

In turn, leaders of political groups mentioned that they see Ukraine's future EU accession as a "geostrategic investment in a united and strong Europe."

"Ukraine is and will remain a priority for the European Parliament. Ukraine can count on continuous efforts and our readiness to support the legitimate ambitions and aspirations of the Ukrainian people. Political group leaders plan to strengthen cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada in 2024, including through committee meetings and introductory visits," they emphasized.

On November 21, it became known that the European Parliament agreed to open an office in Kyiv at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Such an office is expected to facilitate relations with the Ukrainian parliament, including communication with "relevant committees of the European Parliament and streamlining administrative work."

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, actively supports Ukraine, including in the issue of European integration.

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