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

Resolution submitted by: JEF Political Commission 3 – External Affairs and Global Governance

Adopted by the Federal Committee, Turku, October 21st, 2018

The transformation process in Ukraine, starting with the 2014 Euromaidan revolution, demands a common response by all EU Member States and its citizens. 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. Recalling the ongoing war in the Donbass region of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis having led to 1.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 1.1 million Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries and the emigration of 400,000 Ukrainians to Poland;
  2. Recalls that the signed EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, together with the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, offers a mutual chance 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;
  3. Condemning the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the annexation of Crimea and the breach of international law by the Russian Federation;
  4. Deeply disturbed by the already 9,098 people killed and 20,732 wounded during the fighting in the Donbass region, as well as the risks facing the more than 3 million reported to be living in the conflict zone;
  5. Denouncing that the Tatar minority in Russian-annexed Crimea faces systematic repression, marginalisation, and discrimination by Russian authorities, through the outlawing of the Meji representing the Crimean Tatar minority;
  6. Acknowledging that, according to the OSCE, fighting in Eastern Ukraine is still ongoing and the Minsk II agreement is not yet implemented;
  7. Regretting that most peace-building efforts have been pursued by individual Member States, particularly France and Germany in the so-called Normandy format, and with EU institutions remaining largely uninvolved;
  8. Respecting the demands expressed by the Euromaidan and Ukrainian civil society for a European future for Ukraine;
  9. Encouraged by the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the entering into force of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement on 1 January 2016;
  10. Welcoming the ongoing reform process of Ukraine on all levels of Ukrainian society, e.g. by military reform, judicial reform and equality for LGBT people;
  11. Recognising the steps that have already been made, such as the police reform and the attempts to combat corruption;
  12. Denouncing that the Russian Federation has not yet met conditions demanded by the Minsk agreement, namely a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, a withdrawal of Russian troops, and an effective supervision by OSCE;
  13. Deeply concerned by the slowed down pace of Ukrainian reform efforts, mainly because of vested interests and corruption on all levels of society;
  14. Appreciating the Ukrainian transformation process, despite its hurdles, as a good example of the attractiveness of the EU model for Eastern Partnership countries;
  15. Noting with concern that anti-European groups are claiming that EU-Ukraine relations and their development should be hampered, whether to appease the Russians or under the argument that Ukraine is not “European” enough;

JEF Europe therefore,

  • Demands from the conflicting parties that the Minsk II agreement be fully implemented as a roadmap for de-escalation, including the ceasefire which is continuously violated, 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 territory held by the so-called DPR of Donetsk and Luhansk, restoration of Ukrainian control of its state border which is currently denied by Russia;
  • Demands the continuation of EU sanctions and individual sanctions against the Russian Federation, individuals and firms complicit with actions in Crimea or the Donbass region so long as the Minsk II Agreement is not fully implemented by the Russian Federation;
  • Calls upon the European Union to create conditions for enabling dialogue among the conflicting parties and their civil societies;
  • 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 support in education and training through exchange and twinning programmes to make specifically young Ukrainians agents for change;
  • Calls on the EU to grant a clear European perspective for Ukraine and clarify the requirements for an accession to the EU;
  • Requests that the European Union Advisory Mission to Ukraine is substantially scaled up to support Pro-reform forces and capacity building;
  • Calls on the EU to strengthen Humanitarian Aid to Eastern Ukraine, IDPs and Ukrainian refugees in surrounding states;
  • Calls on the EU and its Member States to increase support for civil society in Ukraine by empowering the Ukrainian Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership and to take into account preferences expressed by civil society organisations of the Eastern Partnership on the evaluation and monitoring of Association Agreements;
  • 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;
  • Considers the ratification of the Association Agreement as an important step to help the Ukrainians in the development of democracy and the rule of law, and for the modernisation of the economy and of the entire society, in order to contribute to the stability and prosperity of the EU’s Eastern border;
  • Commits itself to responding to the call of the Ukrainian people and working towards a European future for Ukraine in close cooperation with Ukrainian civil society and pro-European movements, particularly the youth.

— Download the resolution —