April 20-21, Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, visited Kyiv. He met with President Poroshenko and newly-appointed Prime Minister Groysman. The commissioner stressed the importance of Ukrainian government institutions undertaking coordinated efforts to meet the reforms necessary for the establishment of a visa-free regime with the EU. Hahn expressed his hope for a quick decision on the part of the European Parliament and EU Council to change the relevant EU legislation to enable Ukrainians visit the EU without visas.
At a press conference on April 21, Hahn welcomed the new Ukrainian government. “It is important that it accomplish as much as possible during its first 100 days,” the commissioner said. “It is very important to continue the efforts on reforms. It is crucial that the government demonstrate some forward movement after some weeks or even months of stagnation, and show its willingness and readiness to work for results.”
The commissioner also underlined the need for progress in removing sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade. This specifically concerns products of animal origin. Johannes Hahn said that the government should ensure a good business climate and take real steps to combat corruption, one of the main obstacles to foreign business in Ukraine. These are all prerequisites for the successful implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
The commissioner also raised another critical issue: “During their first 100 days, the government and parliament should appoint a new reform-oriented attorney general, and the president should support this candidature. The citizens should receive clear signals of commitment to reforms, and the attorney general should have legal education,” said Hahn.