The European parliament election observation mission to Ukraine takes place from 24 to 27 October 2014 and is composed of 15 MEPs. At the constitutive meeting which took place on 9 October, I had the honour of being elected as chair of this delegation.
The parliament delegation will be integrated in an international election observation mission (IEOM) jointly led by the long-term expert mission of the organisation for security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the office for democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR). Also taking part in the mission are the parliamentary assemblies of: the OSCE, the Council of Europe and Nato. Parliament’s delegation will closely cooperate with the EU delegation in Kyiv in order to ensure a European presence during such an important time for Ukraine.
On the eve of the election, the delegation will meet with all the relevant representatives from Ukrainian authorities, political parties, and the central election commission. MEPs will also meet with actors from civil society and NGOs, as will ambassadors from EU member states and the international community. On the day of the vote, the delegation will be deployed throughout the country in order to observe the electoral process. Depending on how the situation progresses on the ground, there are plans for MEPs to observe elections in Kyiv, Cherkasy, Odessa, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.
"Parliament’s election observation delegation, together with other international partners, has an important role in ensuring that the elections are conducted in a transparent and legitimate manner, and in accordance with the recognised international standards"
Throughout the mission, I will regularly meet with the leaders of the other institutions taking part, in order to exchange views on the electoral process and reach a common assessment. The preliminary statement will be delivered at a joint press conference by the IEOM scheduled for the afternoon of 27 October, in Kyiv.
I believe that these upcoming parliamentary elections are important for the consolidation of democracy in Ukraine, especially considering the extremely challenging circumstances under which they are being held in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Parliament’s election observation delegation, together with other international partners, has an important role in ensuring that the elections are conducted in a transparent and legitimate manner, and in accordance with the recognised international standards.
Europe’s policy, to which parliament is fully committed, is mainly aimed at finding peace and reaching a political solution to the crisis. This must be done while fully respecting the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including the illegally annexed Crimea by Russia. In this regard, it is paramount for all the commitments enshrined in the Minsk protocol of 5 September and the memorandum of 19 September to become a reality, including the withdrawal of all illegal foreign militarised formations, military equipment, militants and mercenaries. In this context, I believe it is important for the EU to be a part of the wider efforts of the international community, targeted towards de-escalating the situation, respecting the ceasefire and enabling the restoration of Ukrainian authority within its internationally recognised borders.
In my capacity as chair of the delegation to the EU-Ukraine parliamentary cooperation committee, I want to stress that the delegation for Ukraine is the first bilateral delegation of the eighth legislature of the parliament which was constituted at the beginning of September. We held our first working session on 8 October to discuss key political, security, economic and social issues as well as reforms in Ukraine. MEPs are determined to send a strong political message to Ukraine in order to signal our interest, solidarity and support.
After the elections, we look forward to a new political era for the country. Parliament stands ready to discuss comprehensive EU-Ukraine relations within the framework of the future parliamentary association committee, and to foster a European perspective on Ukraine.