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The EU-Ukraine Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation: an assessment of Ukraine's readiness. OSW Commentary No. 45, 2011-01-17

Jaroszewicz, Marta (2011) The EU-Ukraine Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation: an assessment of Ukraine's readiness. OSW Commentary No. 45, 2011-01-17. [Policy Paper]

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    The Action Plan on visas adopted during the recent EU-Ukraine summit is a success for Ukraine. It is the first time that Kyiv has succeeded in obtaining a definition of the conditions and criteria whose fulfilment will enable Ukraine to apply for the lifting of EU visas for its citizens. Ukraine's strong point has been its political will; the lifting of this visa regime has been a priority for all Ukrainian governments since 2005. Since Viktor Yanukovych became president, Ukraine has adopted or prepared key legal acts that brought it nearer to European standards in the area of border and migration management. One of Kyiv's strengths is also its relatively well reformed and efficiently managed border service. Moreover, illegal transit migration via Ukraine is decreasing, and fewer Ukrainians are trying to enter or stay in the EU illegally. Also, Kyiv has efficiently implemented the EU-Ukraine readmission agreement. The hardest task for Ukraine will be to meet the EU’s expectations concerning values, the condition of Ukrainian democracy, and the rule of law. Corruption remains the main barrier to Ukraine's development and modernisation; the courts are weak and the judicial system inefficient. The main undertaking of the new migration service that is being formed at the moment will be to create a civil system of registration, monitoring and regulating the stays of foreign nationals. This may prove difficult, as the supervisory authority (the Ministry of the Interior) remains an unreformed, police-type bureaucratic institution. Ukraine is lagging behind countries such as Russia, Belarus and Moldova when it comes to the introduction of biometric documents. Another problem is the lack of an electronic information system on foreign nationals, visas and border crossings which would be accessible to all the relevant services and institutions. For these reasons, the complete abolition of visas seems to be a longterm perspective, especially considering that many EU countries, which themselves are faced with the problem of migrants’ integration, are rather sceptical about the further liberalisation of movement of people with their eastern neighbours. In the immediate future, if Ukraine meets some of the requirements set by the EU, it will be able to seek the extension of the visa facilitations that have been in operation since 2008.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > free movement/border control
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2014 14:42
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:42

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