The European Union wishes to underline the high importance it attaches to electoral reform in Ukraine

"As we enter the final phase of our Association Agreement negotiations, the European Union wishes to underline the high importance it attaches to electoral reform in Ukraine. Any new election law in Ukraine should be based on a solid consultation process, including experts, civil society and opposition, to ensure that it stands the test of time.

I recall that a process to elaborate an electoral code has been actively undertaken already in the Ukrainian Parliament, with EU support, and following recommendations by OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE-ODIHR). The overall assessment of this draft Election Code by the Venice Commission was in general very positive - the benefits of this valuable work should not be lost.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, in her speech to the European Parliament yesterday evening clearly stressed the EU's concern at plans to revert to "earlier electoral systems against international advice" expressed, among others, by the OSCE-ODIHR and the Venice Commission.

At the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw later this week, EU leaders will be underlining once again the very high expectations, which the EU has for Ukraine in the context of a new contractual relationship based on political association. With this in mind, we will be asking Ukraine to abide by the pledges it has made to follow OSCE-ODIHR recommendations in electoral matters, and in particular to await the final Joint Opinion of the Venice Commission and ODIHR to be presented in October before finalizing any draft law and submitting it to the Parliament."



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