Respect for Council of Europe commitments is an ‘essential stage’ on Ukraine’s path to European integration
Strasbourg, 27.03.2013 – “I welcome the clear willingness expressed by Ukraine’s highest authorities to scrupulously respect their obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe, as well as the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights,” said Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), speaking today in Kyiv.
Following a meeting with President Yanukovich during an official visit to the country, Jean-Claude Mignon said that respect for these commitments would be an essential stage on Ukraine’s path to European integration. In particular, he invited the authorities to pursue reform without hesitation or delay, ensuring that constitutional reform was among the main priorities.
Other priorities should be revising the laws critical for the smooth functioning of justice, in particular the law on the Office of the prosecutor and the laws on the judicial system and the status of judges, as well as reform of the police and improvements foreseen to electoral legislation. The President encouraged Ukraine to intensify its co-operation with Council of Europe bodies in carrying out these reforms, especially with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission).
Jean-Claude Mignon indicated that the monitoring co-rapporteurs for Ukraine were due to make a fresh visit to the country in mid-April to continue their assessment of the follow-up given by the Ukrainian authorities to the Assembly’s Resolution 1862 (2012).
Concerning imprisoned former government members, the President called on the authorities to swiftly find a solution, in line with Council of Europe principles, to the problems arising from the selective application of justice – primarily, the emblematic cases of Mrs Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko – and to reform the legal system to avoid any repeat of these problems. He also recalled that Ukraine had committed itself to respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on this question.
Earlier in the day, Jean-Claude Mignon also met Eugenia Tymoshenko, the daughter of the former Prime Minister, and Irina Lutsenko, the wife of the former Interior Minister, as well as their lawyers.
In the framework of Ukraine’s current chairmanship of the OSCE, Jean-Claude Mignon also discussed the prospects for solving Europe’s “frozen conflicts”, in particular the one in Transnistria. “I warmly welcome the support that I have received for promoting parliamentary diplomacy, and specifically for my initiative of a dialogue between representatives of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the Transnistrian Supreme Soviet, and for organising in Ukraine a first meeting as part of this initiative.”
Tomorrow, on the last day of his visit, the President will meet Ukraine's Justice Minister.