The EFTA Parliamentary Committee held a videoconference meeting with Taras Kachka, the Vice Minister of Economy of Ukraine, to discuss the prospects of modernising the EFTA–Ukraine Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in 2012 and the ambition to strengthen the long-term resilience of the Ukraine economy in war times.
The EFTA delegation was led by Trine Lise Sundnes (the Norwegian Parliament). Against the backdrop of the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine and the country’s European integration process, she stressed, in her address to the Vice Minister, “Both Ukraine and EFTA countries are closely intertwined with the Single Market. We believe this should be reflected further in our bilateral relations that rely on a free trade agreement that entered into force 10 years ago.”
Referring to the vital need for maintaining economic activity Taras Kachka said “It is important for us to have a greater integration into the European system. This is why we are pursuing the idea of reviewing and updating the free trade agreement with EFTA which is one of the key and important topics for this year.”
The meeting came in the run-up to the 2023 EFTA Ministerial meeting that will take place on 27 June in Liechtenstein. The EFTA Parliamentarians wanted to gather from the Ukrainian representatives first-hand information on the views and expectations regarding economic support from EFTA countries, with a view to having an informed discussion with the Ministers of the EFTA Council.
The EFTA Parliamentary Committee is a forum for parliamentarians from the four Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The role of the Committee is to advise EFTA countries on all issues relevant to EFTA such as its relations with trade partners outside the European Union, and the relations of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway with the EU through the extension of the EU Internal Market to these three countries via the EEA Agreement.
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