The EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform

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The political chapters of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement were signed on 21 March 2014 and the remaining sections on 27 June 2014. Important parts of the Agreement, notably excluding the trade part, were provisionally applied starting from 1 November 2014; the provisional application of trade provisions of the Agreement started as of 1 January 2016. Full entry into force of the Agreement will take place once all EU Member States have ratified it.

The institutional, general and final provisions of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine (Article 469) stipulates the establishment of a Civil Society Platform, tasked with promoting regular meetings of representatives of the civil societies of both parties, "in order to keep them informed of, and gather input for, the implementation of this Agreement". Thus, the Platform complements the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and allows civil society organisations from both sides to monitor the implementation process from the point of view of civil society and prepare their recommendations to the relevant authorities.

The composition of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform is stipulated in Article 469: "It shall consist of members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the one hand, and representatives of civil society on the side of Ukraine, on the other."

The Platform was established on 16 April 2015, and has members on each side. On the EU side, it comprises EESC members and permanent observers from European civil society networks (BusinessEurope, European Services Forum, ETUC, Euro Coop, European Disability Forum and the EaP Civil Society Forum).

The Platform may make recommendations to the Association Council (ministerial level); furthermore, the Association Committee (senior civil servant level) and the Parliamentary Association Committee are obliged to organise regular contacts with its representatives to obtain their views on the attainment of the objectives of the Association Agreement (Article 470).