EU-Ukraine visa-free dialogue - Moving forward or treading water? – Roundtable

7 December 2011

The European Policy Centre, in cooperation with the Civic Initiative “Europe without Barriers” and the International Foundation “European Development”, held a lively roundtable debate. Panelists included: Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director of the Institute of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation & Expert of the Civic Initiative “Europe without Barriers”, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the EU, Alexandra Stiglmayer, Senior Analyst from the European Stability Initiative, Paweł Robert Kowal, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee in the European Parliament.

The speakers gave particular insights into progress made by the government of Ukraine towards the implementation of an Action Plan for Visa Liberalisation. The speakers indicated concrete results in a number of areas of the first phase of the Action Plan’s implementation. Particularly, significant progress was reached in providing new legislative framework for migration policy, protection of asylum seekers, countering human-trafficking, anti-corruption and measure data protection policy. While some other policy areas, such as documents security and anti-discrimination are under ongoing law-drafting process. However, effective and sustainable implementation of the adopted legislation, which is the issue of the second phase of the Action Plan, remains a major challenge for Ukrainian government. At the same time, the speakers pointed out that the entire Action Plan’s implementation is producing key reforms in a number of different areas and mobilising the government as well as civil society in Ukraine.