Politicians and experts: Days of Europe in the parliament to become regular thematic European weeks


Kyiv, May 17, 2016. Verkhovna Rada will vote for another set of European integration laws on May 19. This includes law on the market of energy industry and utilities, environmental impact, protection for foreign nationals and debt restructuring for individuals. These are the key laws to be adopted by Verkhovna Rada for execution of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. “Such approach will support engaging all the stakeholders, including the civil society, into reforms implementation and execution of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This complex approach to European integration at the country level shall require totally new cooperation between branches of power as well as with the civic society,” said Mariya Ionova, Deputy Head for Verkhovna Rada Committee on European Integration at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. She believes that holding such a day in the parliament, considering the experience of having held a day of visa-free regime, will support consistency in the legislation adaptation process, resulting in necessary changes inside the country. Ionova emphasized on the necessity of having pro-European legislation in the parliament on weekly basis.

The biggest emphasis must be laid upon two spheres – power and environmental, said Jan Tombinski, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “The law on energy regulator is vitally important to build normal market of these services. It is essential this law should be passed without changes, as approved by the committees and experts.[…] The energy industry is the most important to reduce the possibility to build monopoly using political decisions,” he said. Tombinski also reminded that the law is one of the conditions of European partners providing financial aid to Ukraine. Moreover, it will help attract investors.

“The Day of visa-free regime in Verkhovna Rada took place under huge deadline pressure. I want this Day of Europe in the parliament to take place under huge pressure of personal responsibility of every member of the parliament,” emphasized Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice-Prime-Minister on Eurointegration and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine. She expressed confidence that the parliament would pass the draft laws defined by the relevant committee as compliant with the EU legislation on Thursday, which will give the green light for their implementation. Klympush-Tsintsadze said that the draft law  “On environmental impact assessment” was probably the first draft law covering ecologic commitments of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. “It should be out of the question for the country that has just commemorated the victims of Chornobyl and knows what the impacts of this catastrophe were,” emphasized Tombinski.

According to Liubov Akulenko, coordinator of “Sylnishi Razom” informational campaign, there is a priority list of draft laws to be voted on Thursday. It includes sectoral laws as such and a reserve list. This list was composed to increase chances of passing the law, for euro integration draft laws are always complicated and difficult to approve. “This is a problem. Help will be needed to eliminate this reserve list. We need to actively put law into the parliamentary agenda to have more than one day [for euro integration laws],” said Akulenko.

Thematic European weeks should be held in the parliament every month, believes Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, advocacy expert for Reanimation Package of Reforms. “We need the days for healthcare standards and we still have unfulfilled directives regarding tobacco turnover restrictions. We need to talk about the day of energy industry. At present we are referring to the regulator only, but we still have got problems in the gas market, energy market and so on,” explained Yurchyshyn.