In 2017 Ukraine received a visa-free regime with the countries of the European Union, and it was a truly fantastic event of a national scale. And it’s not just about the convenience of travel. What’s important is that the EU has given Ukraine a clear signal that it considers us as a full-fledged partner with whom it is possible and necessary to do business.
The ability to refuse the occupier’s resources
Shortly before the start of the war, Ukraine received an energy visa-free program by synchronizing its systems with the ENTSO-E energy grid of continental Europe. In other words, Ukraine has become part of the energy system of the entire continent.
Improvement of logistics and business assistance
At the end of June Ukraine became even closer to Europe – it received the so-called “transport visa-free”. It was a celebration for our road hauliers, who, thanks to this agreement, have their EU entry permits revoked. Negotiations in this regard went on for a year, and, I do not exclude, also accelerated after the Russian invasion.
Less bureaucracy, more opportunities
From the 1st of October, the “customs” visa-free system became operational – the provisions of the Convention on the common transit procedure (NCTS) and on the simplification of formalities in the trade of goods entered into force. For Ukrainian business this means that the possibility of the international movement of goods with 35 other participating countries under one transit document has opened up.
Ukrainian quality will be confirmed in Europe
The next step that will bring Ukraine closer to Europe is to obtain a so-called “industrial” visa-free regime. Currently, negotiations are in the final stage regarding the conclusion of the ACAA agreement – that is, the recognition of the equivalence of the technical regulation system and the assessment of conformity with the European one. This may happen in 2023 and will allow Ukrainian industrialists to obtain the necessary certificates in Ukraine instead of applying to an official representative – a resident of the European Union, who has the right to receive such a document.
Digital integration with the EU
Digital visa-free travel is another project that the Ukrainian authorities are actively working on. If it is implemented, Ukraine will receive up to 3.5 billion dollars in goods.
A single mobile space
And, finally, another area in which we are integrating into Europe is joining the EU roaming zone. Back in April mobile operators from the EU countries and Ukraine signed a joint statement, which testifies to their intention to cooperate in order to ensure affordable or even free roaming between the European Union and Ukraine. Thanks to this decision, Ukrainians residing in the EU countries will be able to use mobile communication services and not overpay for calls to relatives and friends in Ukraine. The same applies to Ukrainians who will call relatives in European countries.
What seemed impossible just a few years ago is now becoming a reality, and much faster than it could have been imagined. All these steps are aimed at one thing – a full-fledged accession of Ukraine to the European Union, which, I am convinced, it deserves.