The essence of the project is to advocate the introduction of a visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU under the new security conditions in the region. The aim of the advocacy is to strengthen political support coming from the relevant EU institutions, which decide on introducing visa-free regime for Ukraine.
An advocacy visit of experts to Brussels was prepared and carried out by the team of Europe Without Barriers with support of Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels and Secretary of Eastern Partnership (Brussels) (from November 29th to December 4th).
During the presentation in the European Parliament, entitled “Is EU ready to support visa liberalization for Ukraine” the following was discussed:
- “Migration and security map of Ukraine”, which includes analysis of recent changes in migration in Ukraine, caused by the Crimean annexation and developments in the East of Ukraine, as well as by Revolution of Dignity; arguments to debunk main concerns and fears of the EU on the potential influx of refugees from Ukraine were presented
- Ukraine’s progress in implementing technical criteria for the second part of the Action Plan on visa liberalization [Link]and the political component of the visa dialogue between Ukraine and the EU, including reforms in anti-corruption sector, discrimination, organized crime and ensuring adequate social conditions for the internally displaced persons.
- Perception by the key stakeholders in EU of the visa abolition perspectives for Ukraine in the context of the war in the East of Ukraine; discussion of the main arguments in support for visa-free travel for Ukrainians as well as the arguments that constrain individual member states from making a positive decision on the issue.
The event was attended by the experts of EWB, international experts on migration, European Parliament MP’s, representatives of Ukrainian Mission to the EU, as well as representatives of relevant departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, who are responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Action Plan on visa liberalization.
The key messages were presented to foreign journalists by the EWB experts at a “Visa liberalization for Ukraine – who is for and who is against?” press briefing on December 1st in Brussels:
- Ukraine is a stable country that controls migration flows.
- Action Plan on visa liberalization was the most effective leverage to pressure Ukrainian authorities to implement internal reforms of the country, therefore it is important to sustain the pace of reforms launched with visa liberalization.
- Visa liberalization provides stability and security, especially for the countries bordering Ukraine, as most of the criteria of the Action Plan are aimed at modernizing the areas of public administration (border management, public safety and security, cooperation of law enforcement agencies) that affect the effectiveness of countering new security threats of the country.
In addition a series of closed consultations and meetings were held with representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament.
With support of: IRF, European program