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9 June 1998 Luxembourg, UE-UA 1054/98 (Presse 196)
For immediate release
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FIRST MEETING OF THE COOPERATION COUNCIL BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND UKRAINE
(Luxembourg, 9 June 1998)
The Cooperation Council between the European Union and Ukraine hold its first meeting on Tuesday 9 June 1998. The meeting was chaired by Mr Robin COOK, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom and President-in-Office of the Council of the European Union. The Ukrainian Delegation was headed by Mr Valery PUSTOVOITENKO, Prime Minister. The European Commission was represented by Mr Hans VAN DEN BROEK, Member.
The first meeting of the Cooperation Council represents a crucial juncture in the relations between the European Union and Ukraine, taking place shortly after the entry into force of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) on 1 March 1998. The PCA opens up new possibilities for cooperation in various areas and creates an appropriate institutional framework. The Cooperation Council will play a central role in realizing the full potential of the PCA.
The Parties took stock of the development of their relations to date. They reiterated their determination to further develop existing political, economic, social, financial, and cultural ties. Furthermore, they stressed the importance they attach to the democratic and market economy values and to the pursuit of the reform process In Ukraine. They underlined that the gradual integration of Ukraine into the World Economy was a common goal. The Parties insisted that the PCA would lead to greater coherence between the various aspects of the relations between the EU and Ukraine, and that it should be used to increase public awareness of their importance and potential. Such a comprehensive approach would also facilitate finding balanced solutions to outslanding problems. The Ukrainian side stressed the necessity to consider the conclusion of an European agreement as a long term objective of EU-Ukraine cooperation. The EU stressed that immediate attention should be given to the full implementation of the PCA.
With regard to the Chernobyl question, it was stressed that the full implementation by both sides of the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding was of central importance. The importance of the reform of the energy sector in Ukraine was also stressed. The EU side recalled the necessity to shut down the Chernoby nuclear power plant by the year 2000 and the Ukrainian side reminded the need to complete the nuclear plant units Rovno 4 and Khmetnitsky 2. The Parties welcomed the recent adoption by the EU Council of a legislation enabling the Community to contribute up to 100 MECU to the EBRD Shelter Fund. They underlined that the TACIS programme had made an important contribution to the safety of nuclear power plants in Ukraine and that it would continue to do so in the future.
Ministers over dinner had a useful exchange of views on foreign policy issues of mutual interest. They reconfirmed their common interests in advancing the prosperity and security of the European continent, promoting regional stability, maintaining strict controls on exports of defense equipment and of equipment that might help the development of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the means for delivering them, and in furthering nuclear non-proliferation. Concerning justice and home affairs, the Cooperation Council welcomed the commitment of the Parties to develop forms of cooperation to tackle the growing problems posed by organized crime, drugs, corruption, and illegal immigration.
In the course of its proceedings, the Cooperation Council adopted the following documents:
Rules of procedure, which establishes the institutional foundations for the future work of the Cooperation Council and of the Cooperation Committee; Joint Work Programme for 1998 (see Annex below).
JOINT PCA WORK PROGRAMME FOR 1998/99
The PCA contains commitments in a wide range of areas to develop co-operation in particular fields. Work on many of these areas has already started or is about to begin. These efforts need to be co-ordinated. Without prejudice to the obligations under the PCA, the Cooperation Council has therefore identified the following priority areas:
- Establishment of subcommittees and working groups
- FTA rendezvous clause (Art.4)
- Approximation of legislation (Art. 51), Competition (Art. 49), law enforcement
- Intellectual Property (Art. 50)
- Co-operation between EC and Ukrainian industry (Art. 53) and foreign direct investment (Art.54)
- Science and Technology (Art. 58)
- Environment (Art. 63)
- Nuclear Safety (Art. 62) and Energy
- Cross border co-operation
- Training (Art. 59)
- Public procurement (art. 55)
- Co-operation in the field of standards and conformity assessment (art, 56)
- Co-operation in the field of financial services (art. 67)
- Pight against organized crime (art, 68)
- Customs co-operation (art. 76)
- Barriers and obstacles to trade
The Cooperation Council entrusts the Cooperation Committee with the practical implementationof this programme and will review the progress achieved at its next meeting.UE-UA 1054/98 (Presse 196)