For a common European response to the crisis and transformation process in Ukraine

Submitted by Political Commission 3: External Affairs & Global Governance
Adopted by the Federal Committee in Turku on 21 October 2018. Re-adopted and amended by the online Federal Committee on 26 June 2021

The conflict and democratic transformation process in Ukraine, starting with the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, requires a stronger and common response by the EU. JEF Europe demands active involvement and assistance by the EU and its Member States to support Ukraine in its striving for a European future.

JEF Europe,

  1. Deeply disturbed by the ongoing war in Ukraine’s Donbass region that already led to more than 10,000 people killed, more than 23,000 wounded and a humanitarian crisis with 1.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 1.1 million Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries, the emigration of 400,000 Ukrainians to Poland, and more than 3 million people living in a conflict zone*;
  2. Strongly condemning the illegal violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the illegal annexation of Crimea and the breach of international law by the Russian Federation;
  3. Denouncing that the Tatar minority in Russian-annexed Crimea faces systematic repression, marginalisation, and discrimination by Russian authorities, through the outlawing of the Mejlis representing the Crimean Tatar minority;
  4. Regretting that most peace-building efforts have been pursued by some individual Member States, particularly France and Germany in the so-called Normandy format, and with EU institutions remaining largely uninvolved;
  5. Denouncing that the Russian Federation has not yet met conditions demanded by the Minsk II agreement, namely a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, a withdrawal of Russian troops, and an effective supervision by the OSCE;
  6. Respecting the demands expressed by the Euromaidan and Ukrainian civil society for a European future for Ukraine;
  7. Recognising the ongoing reform process of Ukraine on all levels of Ukrainian society, e.g. by military reform, judicial reform, police reform, combat against corruption, and equality for LGBTQI+ people;
  8. Appreciating the Ukrainian transformation process, despite its hurdles, as a good example of the attractiveness of the EU model for Eastern Partnership countries;
  9. Deeply concerned however, by the fragility of Ukrainian reform efforts, mainly because of vested interests and deep-rooted corruption throughout the country;
  10. Recognising the mutual chance offered by the signed EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, together with the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, to boost pan-European trade comparable to the accession of central European and Baltic States economies in 2004, binds the EU and Ukrainian societies together more strongly and encourages free movement of people;
  11. Noting with concern the disinformation campaigns conducted by Russian actors impeding the spread of reliable information;
  12. Noting with concern that anti-European groups are fuelling Euroscepticism within the Ukrainian population;

JEF Europe therefore,

  1. Demands from the conflicting parties that the Minsk II agreement be fully implemented as a roadmap for de-escalation, including the ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, permanent monitoring by the OSCE of contact lines, the all-for-all exchange of prisoners, access for humanitarian aid organisations to the conflict territory, and restoration of Ukrainian control of its state border;
  2. Demands the continuation of EU sanctions and individual sanctions against the Russian Federation, individuals and firms complicit with actions in Crimea or Donbass region so long as the Minsk II Agreement is not fully implemented by the Russian Federation;
  3. Calls upon the European Union to step up its conflict resolution effort by putting a military peacekeeping mission in place as mandated by Article 43 Treaty of the European Union, building the capacity of the Ukrainian army to restore border integrity, and supporting dialogue between conflict parties;
  4. Requests that the civilian European Union Advisory Mission to Ukraine is substantially scaled up to support pro-reform forces and capacity building;
  5. Calls on the EU to further explore possibilities of integrating Ukraine in EU programmes and frameworks, as is currently done with regard to the Erasmus+ programme, and to offer further support in education and training through exchange and twinning programmes to make specifically young Ukrainians agents for change;
  6. Supports the strive for EU candidacy status by Ukraine and calls on the EU to grant a clear European perspective for Ukraine and clarify the requirements for an accession to the EU;
  7. Calls on the EU to strengthen Humanitarian Assistance to Eastern Ukraine, IDPs and Ukrainian refugees in surrounding states;
  8. Calls on the EU and its Member States to increase support for civil society in Ukraine, for instance by empowering the Ukrainian Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, and to take into account civil society recommendations regarding the evaluation and monitoring of the Association Agreement;
  9. Calls on the European Union to work intensively with Ukrainian institutions and civil society to enhance media literacy, fight disinformation, and support press freedom;
  10. Firmly supports the demand of the Ukrainian people for the separation of powers, an independent civil society, rule of law, and an economy that serves the wider population;
  11. Commits itself to working towards a European future for Ukraine in close cooperation with Ukrainian civil society and pro-European movements, particularly youth.

*UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights & UNHCR Ukraine