Benefits of EU association and trade agreements come through reforms

S&Ds call for substantive outcome from the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, Knut Fleckenstein, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, Association Agreements/DCFTAs, Victor Boştinaru,

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution recommending that the reforms related to the association agreements (AA) and deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTA) with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are continued and enhanced.

All three countries signed association agreements and deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with the EU in 2014. While awaiting ratification by the 28 EU member states , they have already been provisionally applied since autumn 2014. Provisional application of the DCFTA with Ukraine started on 1 January 2016.

Knut Fleckenstein MEP, a member of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee and S&D vice-president for foreign affairs, said:

"Through these association agreements the EU offers its eastern neighbours comprehensive political co-operation and economic integration without EU membership.

"The EU's eastern neighbours need to implement far-reaching reforms in the economic and trade sector as well as in legal approximation in order to benefit fully from this offer of co-operation. The more reforms take place, the more benefits will be generated by the association agreements and the deep and comprehensive free trade agreements. This means that these agreements constitute an ambitious programme for modernisation, which is why the EU also offers financial and technical support to help implement them."

In its resolution, the European Parliament underlines that political stability und concrete reform programmes are necessary if Georgia, Moldova und Ukraine want to benefit fully from their association agreements.

Knut Fleckenstein continued:

"The work was not finished with the signing of the agreements. We expect our partners to implement the reforms in a determined way. The European Commission, for its part, must monitor the implementation and adapt its financial and technical assistance accordingly. Concerning Ukraine, we also expect all sides involved in the conflict to fulfil all commitments which are part of the Minsk agreements. This also means that the Ukrainian parliament should adopt the constitutional reform."