Press release 27.1.2005

MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HENRIK LAX:

THE COMMISSION IS SENDING UKRAINE WRONG SIGNALS - UKRAINE SHOULD BE GIVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF EU-MEMBERSHIP

The evident will shown by the Ukrainians to join the European Union should get an equally strong answer, claims Henrik Lax (sfp) in Helsinki. As Europeans we ought to do our utmost to reunite the divided Europe. This task has not yet been completed. The border region between Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary is still divided by arbitrary borders and an EU-membership would once and for all bring the region together, states Lax.

The Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko was about to visited the European parliament on Thursday, but had to postpone the visit until February. The Commission has expressed its hesitation towards Ukraine.

The Commission is acting in a contradictory way by saying yes to Turkey but no to Ukraine. Evidently, the incorporation of the Ukraine into the community structures can only be done gradually but the final goal should be clear. At the same time it is obvious that the EU has to carry out institutional reforms in order to handle further enlargements which could include a Ukrainian membership. New rules for the regional policy as well as mechanisms guaranteeing national minorities representation in a future parliament are necessary, says Henrik Lax.