Thursday, October 14, 2010


S&D leader Martin Schulz and the president of the Party of Regions of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, agreed today in Brussels to further continue and intensify the contact between the main Progressive Group in the European Parliament and this Ukrainian party.

The two officials had a formal meeting and signed the Memorandum between the S&D Group and the Party of the Regions of Ukraine.

The document is meant to intensify the contacts between the two organisations with a view to supporting the Party of the Region's ambition to strengthen the Ukraine's EU-integration process.

Said Martin Schulz, signing the memorandum:

"The document signed today represents the opening of our cooperation for the coming two years and will contribute to better mutual understanding in bringing Ukraine nearer to the EU, and the EU nearer to Ukraine. For S&D it is an important moment.

"In a spirit of one important point for us, as Socialists in Europe, we need Ukraine as a strategic partner of the EU. I think Ukraine, and I am grateful that prime-minister Azarov shares my view, also needs the EU. We discussed very intensively before we signed the agreement that we will cooperate on the basis of all European values: democracy, openness and freedom; and in the light of this mutual understanding, I'm looking forward with a lot of hope for our cooperation."

As a follow up to the singing of the memorandum, the debate "The future of EU-Ukraine relations" concluded that European perspectives are important for the country.

Said Adrian Severin, S&D vice-president, responsible for the Group's foreign affairs issues, who chaired the debates:

"Unity is extremely important when we speak about Ukraine. The guiding principle should be therefore to achieve the cohesion of the country, in economic, social and political terms.

"We hope and wish to have in Ukraine a 'pro-Ukrainian leadership', which strives for democracy and cohesion in Ukraine.

"This represents, at the same time, a pro-European approach of Ukraine, consistent with the aim of political association, economic integration and institutional convergence with the European Union, before sharing with the latter the institutions.

"The presence of the prime-minister Mycola Azarov is a message of the vision of Ukraine on its own European future".

Click on to see a video of the signing the memorandum by Martin Schulz and Mykola Azarov and an interview with Adrian Severin on the conclusions of the round-table "The future of EU-Ukraine relations"

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