EU Parliamentarians criticize Dutch Premier for demands on EU-Ukraine association agreement
During this week's summit, EU heads of states and governments will discuss the future relations with Ukraine. Prior to the summit Dutch Premier Rutte has put forward demands to set clear limits for future cooperation. The Members of the European Parliament Petras Auštrevičius, ALDE group, Michał Boni, EPP group, Ana Maria Gomes, S&D group , Rebecca Harms, Greens/EFA group and Charles Tannock, ECR group comment:
"The proposals made by the Dutch Premier Rutte in the forefront of this week's council are highly problematic. It would be a grave mistake to signal once again to the Ukrainian people that the EU wants to keep them at distance. During the Euromaidan thousands of people have fought for their country's European future. Since then the Ukrainian government has proven its ambition to be a reliable partner for the EU. The European Union should now live up to its responsibility towards the country. Instead of expressing mistrust and resentment, we should underline our willingness to work with the Ukrainians for democracy, stability and the rule of law. The demands now put forward by Premier Rutte sends a signal of disengagement instead of closer cooperation. The proposed procedure of adopting a legally binding declaration will undermine the EU's treaties and overall relations with Ukraine. This risks to frustrate especially civil society groups pushing for democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine and could strengthen the influence of the Russian Kremlin. Instead of putting new hurdles in the way, the EU should foster its engagement with Ukraine and should explain clearly to the European citizens why this is in the European Union's very own interest. We strongly believe that any potential political and legal solution should by no means contain any additional restrictions for cooperation with European Ukraine".