Senior officials’ report on EU-Ukraine visa dialogue to the EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika
SENIOR OFFICIALS’ REPORT
on EU-Ukraine visa dialogue
to the EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika
in view of the EU-Ukraine Summit on 4 December 2009
At the September 2008 Paris EU-Ukraine Summit, the leaders "…decided to launch a visa dialogue, developing the relevant conditions, with the long‑term perspective of establishing a visa free regime between the EU and Ukraine". The EU-Ukraine visa dialogue to develop the relevant conditions for visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens to EU as a long term perspective was launched accordingly on 29 October 2008.
After a first round of meetings covering blocks 1 (“Document security, including biometrics”), 2 (“Illegal migration, including readmission”), 3 ("Public order and security") and 4 (External Relations), the Senior Officials met on 19 May 2009 and identified the adoption and implementation of legislation in the following areas as a priority: document security, including biometrics; border management; migration management; asylum; data protection; judicial cooperation in criminal matters; fight against organised crime and anti-money laundering; fight against corruption; fight against trafficking in human beings; fight against drugs; cooperation between law enforcement authorities; protection of human rights; combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination; challenges in obtaining residence registration. Moreover, the full and correct implementation of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements, as well as the revised EU-Ukraine JLS Action Plan, remains of paramount importance for the dialogue.
The EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika of 3 June 2009 agreed to continue work at an operational level through on-site visits by experts conducting a detailed analysis and evaluation. This would lead to a clear assessment of the situation in each Block, "allowing for recommendations to be made, in view of setting up the methodology for developing the relevant conditions for establishing visa free travel for Ukrainian citizens to the EU".
On 19 November 2009 the Senior Officials met to analyse the results of the work done since June 2009 and noted the following:
1. On site visits by experts from Member States took place in October and November 2009 covering the areas of document security, including biometrics (27-28 October 2009), illegal immigration, including readmission (12-13 October 2009), public order and security (19-20 October 2009) and external relations (11 November 2009).
2. These visits produced a detailed analysis and evaluation, allowing for a clear assessment of the situation in each Block.
3. Work on all four Blocks of issues should now be continued in a structured visa dialogue containing sequenced priorities of action and recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities. These recommendations should describe specific reforms and measures to be undertaken by Ukraine in order to make progress in the relevant areas identified in the Senior Officials' May report.
4. In parallel to the visa dialogue, regular contacts on the joint readmission and visa facilitation committees have demonstrated that the two agreements are overall being implemented satisfactorily and the Senior Officials underlined the importance of continuing constructive cooperation in the effective implementation of these two agreements and look forward to constructive discussions on the possible updating of the visa facilitation agreement.
The Senior Officials will present their next report to the EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika in 2010.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr J.-L. De Brouwer
Acting Deputy Director General
Directorate General on Justice,
Freedom and Security