Agency for Modernization of Ukraine Founded in Vienna

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Representatives of France, Germany and the UK have endorsed the proposal jointly moved forward by the Federation of Employers of Ukraine and trade unions of Ukraine to set up the Agency for the Modernization of Ukraine. In 200 days, the Agency will present a clear and comprehensive Ukraine modernization action plan.

As a result of the Ukraine Tomorrow forum held in Vienna, the declaration speaking about the Agency foundation was signed by Mr. Reiner Lindner, Head of the German-Ukrainian Parliamentary Group; Mr. Karl-Georg Wellmann, a Bundestag Member; Mr. Bernard-Henry Lévy, French public activist, writer and philosopher; and Lord Risby, British MP. The modernization plan will be being drafted by eight renown European politicians and business people leading various facets of Ukraine's Euro-integration including health care, finance and taxation, economy, trade, constitutional and legal reform, anti-corruption and law enforcement.

The Forum's final declaration states that "the Program will include key provisions of critical significance for Ukraine's future: the constitutional, legal and state institutions reform, integration with the European Union, combatting corruption, financial sector and state government systems improvement, economy, trade and health care modernization. As reforms start to be implemented, the Ukrainian Restoration Fund will be set up to uphold the sustainable development of the economy and infrastructure." The Agency was established following 9 months of the FEU's cooperation with Europe's leading experts and business people. Last year, Vienna hosted two roundtables identifying major hurdles for instilling sustainable peace in Ukraine and for resuming its economic advancement. The declaration of the Ukraine Tomorrow forum highlights the role of preceding Vienna-based roundtables sponsored by the Federation of Employers of Ukraine: "Numerous proposals from the previous roundtables focused on the constitutional reform, decentralization, economic policy and foreign trade with the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union were eventually reflected in the Minsk negotiations. The Ukrainian civil society widely welcomed the Vienna process.

The FEU and trade unions of Ukraine proposed to set up the Agency for the Modernization of Ukraine in order to continue and institutionalize the reformation efforts of the Vienna roundtables participants," notes the Ukraine Tomorrow's final document. Mr. Dmitry Firtash, the FEU President, pointed out that in parallel to the Modernization Agency, the Ukraine reconstruction Fund would be established. "While the plan is being drawn up, we will be simultaneously pursuing discussions with investors giving due account to their interests and expectations. We are looking to raise some $300 bn. This is the estimated amount needed for the comprehensive quality reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy. What is important is that this money will be channeled into business and specific projects and we will be able to see their efficiency at once," added Mr. Firtash.

The declaration signed by German, French and British representatives also states that Russia with its deep historic and cultural ties to Ukraine has always remained Europe's most important neighbor. "For this reason, the Agency initiators wish to make their contribution into the normalization of relations with this country. The first Vienna's roundtable has declared that the situation in Ukraine and reforms in this country are in the EU's and Russia's common interest. Achieving Ukraine's sustainable and successful economic development, in turn, requires close cooperation with both economic zones – the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union," says the document.

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