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Meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security between the Troika of the European Union and Ukraine* - Conclusions

The Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of Ukraine and the EU Troika met for the sixth time in Kyiv on 28 and 29 May 2008 to discuss ways for further strengthening Ukraine-EU cooperation in the field of Justice, Freedom and Security.

Recalling that cooperation between Ukraine and the EU is at an advanced stage and well-established, both Parties expressed their strong commitment to continue to strengthen the Ukraine-EU partnership in the field of Justice, Freedom and Security, a partnership which is based on shared values such as democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

Since the last meeting in June 2007, significant progress has been made in Ukraine-EU cooperation. The approval of the revised Ukraine-EU Action Plan on Freedom, Security and Justice, accompanied by the Scoreboard, has provided the framework for intensifying JLS cooperation between the EU and Ukraine. Both Parties also welcomed the entry into force of the Ukraine-EC visa facilitation and readmission agreements. These agreements promote people-to-people contacts and assist the Parties in combating illegal migration.  Both sides underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of both the visa facilitation and readmission agreements. The Ukrainian side referred to the preamble of the visa facilitation agreement, which inter alia provides for the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine as a long term perspective and expressed its interest to start discussions on that issue in order to prepare a respective road map. The EU side took note of the Ukraine's message and undertook to convey it to the EU Member States.

Ukraine informed the EU side on the progress made in the establishment of custody centres for irregular migrants and the refurbishment of temporary accommodation centres for asylum seekers. The EU side welcomed the much-needed progress in this area; however, at the same time, the EU stressed the need for further improvements in compliance with human rights standards, including acceptable living conditions, as well as for the provision of legal, medical and psychological aid. The EU expressed its readiness to further assist Ukraine in the setting up of adequate procedures and facilities within the financial limits determined by the assistance programmes. The EU urged Ukraine to allocate sufficient state funds to the proper running and maintenance of the centres. In this context, the EU encouraged Ukraine to create a civilian central authority as a State Migration Service with responsibility for dealing with all migration and asylum issues.

The parties stressed their firm rejection and condemnation of any manifestation of racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism as flagrant violations of fundamental rights. They reaffirmed their commitment to fight against such phenomena with all means at their disposal, including through improvements of the relevant legislative framework and the identification of proper preventive measures. Ukraine provided an update on actions taken in this area, including the establishment of a Task Force for the development of a National Action Plan to combat xenophobia and intolerance and of a special Public Council in the Ministry of the Interior, as well as efforts to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of such acts.

Along with this, the EU Troika noted the need to take further measures to combat corruption and to reform the judicial system. In particular, it was stressed that a process of extensive constitutional reforms is urgently required in order to develop a balanced and operational system of public administration that provides clear checks and balances between the state power authorities.

The Parties discussed priorities for future common work in line with the revised Ukraine-EU Action Plan on Freedom, Security and Justice, and stressed that it would be important for the Parties to:

  • Ensure full implementation by the Parties of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements;
  • Proceed with the implementation of the working  arrangement and continue the operational cooperation between FRONTEX and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine;
  • Encourage the conclusion of local border traffic agreements between Ukraine and neighbouring EU Member States while ensuring that these agreements are fully compliant with EC law;
  • Cooperate in setting up adequate procedures and facilities for irregular migrants and asylum seekers;
  • Continue efforts to fight racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism in all their forms, including by fostering a climate of respect towards persons belonging to minorities and ensuring the thorough investigation of all racist incidents and the prosecution of ¬their perpetrators;
  • Reinforce cooperation in the sphere of combating organized crime;
  • Ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings;
  • Follow up on further cooperation in combating drugs trafficking and developing a balanced national drugs strategy that covers the reduction of supply of and demand for drugs, taking into account the discussions to be held during the forthcoming Ukraine-EU Troika meeting on drugs;
  • Enhance bilateral and international cooperation in the sphere of combating money laundering and terrorism financing;
  • Ensure the implementation of the relevant international standards in the sphere of combating money laundering and terrorism financing, particularly FATF standards;
  • Continue the dialogue on fighting terrorism;
  • Enact further necessary legislative and administrative measures in order to ensure an effective anti-corruption policy in accordance with the UN Convention against Corruption and the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention against Corruption and its Additional Protocol;
  • Ensure the adoption by Ukraine of personal data protection legislation in accordance with European and international standards, and establish the administrative capacity necessary for its implementation;
  • Conclude a strategic cooperation agreement between Ukraine and Europol;
  • Continue negotiations between Ukraine and Eurojust on a cooperation agreement; and
  • Explore different possibilities of further development of Ukraine-EU cooperation in civil matters, inter alia by enhancing it in the framework of the Hague Conference and considering the possibility of a bilateral agreement.

In order to achieve these objectives, both Parties inter alia pledged to use the financial instruments available, including intensified use of TAIEX events and TWINNING arrangements, in line with overall assistance priorities.

The Parties looked forward to the next meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security between Ukraine and the Troika of the European Union, which will take stock of developments and update priorities for cooperation.


* The official text of the Conclusions of the Meeting on Justice, Freedom and Security between the Troika of the European Union and Ukraine is written in English.


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Date: 29.05.2008