European integration of Ukraine In the sphere of foreign policy, Ukraine has chosen strategic course towards European integration, which remains unchanged and the absolute priority of both domestic and foreign policy of Ukraine. The idea of European integration unites the Ukrainian society. A key politicians and the majority of our country support this policy. European perspective has a specific pragmatic dimension for our country. Modernization processes in Ukraine are closely related to EU integration course of the country. Ukraine performs many commitments in accordance with the provisions of the Association Agreement that actually meet the obligations of the candidate countries for EU membership and require significant financing of the relevant transformations. By Ambassador of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Shkurov
The main priority of Ukraineâ€™s Foreign policy T
herefore, in our relations with the EU we are working on the completion of the following processes: the Association Agreement, Ukraine-EU Free Trade Zone, and Action Plan for a visa free regime for short trips of citizens of Ukraine to the EU. We stand for granting Ukraine a clear membership perspective and its consolidation in the future Association Agreement. In our opinion, this corresponds with the importance of Ukraineâ€™s accession to the EU for the EU itself, which will make both Ukraine and Europe more stable and will give them new opportunities for development. Ukraine has every reason to believe in it, especially taking into consideration the positive economic trends: for the period January-October 2011 the increase of GDP was equal 5,5%, although we expect that by the end of 2011 it will grow up to 6%; the unemployment rate decreased for 1/4 during 9 months of 2011 which is equivalent to 1,5% of the working age population of the country. The Association Agreement and a deep and comprehensive free trade area, as part of this Agreement will be an important step in the rapprochement with Ukraine as a country that shares common values and a European identity. Ukrainian leadership looks forward to finalizing negotiations on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by the end of 2011. The Association Agreement between EU and Ukraine should determine the future of our country and whole continent for at least next 10 years. We believe this agreement will serve as a base for our eventual membership in the EU, which will enable Ukraine to complete its transformation to a fully democratic, market-oriented, stable state.
November - December 2011 issue of European Business Review (EBR) magazine