On 28 July, the European Commission presented the Council with proposed decisions (Brussels, 28.7.2010, COM(2010)407 final, 2010/0218 (NLE)) regarding the signature, temporary application and conclusion of a protocol to the partnership agreement between the EU and Ukraine concerning Kiev's participation in the programmes of the Union.
The protocol contains a framework agreement on the general principles for Ukraine's participation in the programmes of the Union. It consists of type clauses designed to be applied to all of the partner countries of the European neighbourhood policy with which these protocols need to be concluded. The negotiated text also provides for the parties temporarily to apply the provisions of this protocol from the date of its signature. The framework agreement provides for Ukraine to be authorised to take part in all of the current and future programmes of the EU which are open to its participation and to contribute financially to the general budget of the EU corresponding to the specific programmes it is taking part in. The representatives of Ukraine will be entitled to participate, as observers and for all points which concern Ukraine, in the management committees responsible for monitoring the programmes to which the country makes a financial contribution.
The plans and initiatives put forward by the representatives of Ukraine will, “as far as possible”, be subject to the same conditions, rules and procedures as those applied to the Member States for the programmes. The specific terms and conditions applicable to Ukraine's involvement in each programme, particularly the financial contribution to be paid and the reporting and assessment procedures, will be determined as part of the agreement between the Commission, acting on behalf of the Union, and the Ukrainian competent authorities (protocol agreement).
If Ukraine requests external assistance from the Union to take part in a given programme of the Union, the conditions attached to Ukraine's use of the external assistance of the Union will be decided upon within a funding convention. In line with the financial regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, each protocol agreement will stipulate that controls, financial audits or other checks, including administrative investigations, will be carried out by or on the authority of the European Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office and the Court of Auditors.
The text of the Commission's proposal on the conclusion of the protocol to the partnership agreement can be viewed at: http://www.ipex.eu/ipex/webdav/site/myjahiasite/groups/CentralSupport/public/2010/COM_2010_0407/COM_COM(2010)0407_EN.doc
Source: Olena Koval, National Information Center for Ukraine-EU S&T cooperation, National Contact Point of Ukraine