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Ukraine And European Security - International Mechanisms
As Non-Military Options For National Security Of Ukraine.
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Chapter 4. "Evolutionary" Approach" - Ukraine And European International Establishments.
Section 3. Ukraine and The Council of Europe
The Council of Europe (CoE) became an initial step towards united Europe for the new democracies of Central Europe in 1990th and their entry of this organization proceeded as relatively non-controversial process.(266) In contrast, the process of Ukraine's admission to the CoE, which took almost three years, clarified considerable deficiencies in country's foreign policy conduct.
Ukraine applied for full membership in the Council of Europe on July 14, 1992 and on September 16, 1992 Ukrainian parliament was granted a "special guest" status by the Parliamentarian Assembly.
Afterwards, Ukraine was remarkably slow to comply with the necessary requirements for the admission and, as several observers suggested it, was not active enough in its declared intention to join the Council.(267) For instance, when holding twelve seats at the Assembly, usually not more than four representatives of Ukraine came to Strasbourg.(268)
The lack of a concentration on active cooperation with the CoE, was also reflected by a composition of Ukrainian parliamentarian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly - the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the delegation, which belonged to the Communist Party of Ukraine, were conceivably less interested in Ukraine's integration to European structures - this notable element has also significantly delayed final admission of Ukraine to the Council.(269)
One can also assume, that besides critical domestic problems, as well as some external factors like artificial linkage of Ukraine's admission with that of Russia, stressed by some CoE member-states, it was also perhaps, previously suggested account on the level of possible security protection of this organization, which generated such Ukrainian attitude to this European institution.
Since the beginning of 1995, the policy of Kiev nonetheless, has altered remarkably and Ukrainian leaders finally started to concentrate on realistic prospects of country's accession in the CoE and in March 1995 Ukrainian representative was appointed to the Council of Europe on a permanent basis.(270)
Practical alterations in Ukrainian policy to the CE initiated an official visit of Chairman of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Martinez to Ukraine.(271) Later on, in April 1995, a group of legal experts presented to the Bureau of the CE Parliamentary Assembly "Report on the Legislation of Ukraine", which investigated a degree of "conformity of the legal system of Ukraine with the fundamental rules of the Council of Europe in matters of human rights, the rule of law and pluralistic parliamentary democracy".(272)
The rapporteurs outlined the existence of "the principle components of a pluralistic democracy" in Ukraine and suggested that further reformation of the country "can be completed after the accession of Ukraine to the Council".(273)
Following the same month, three Committees of the Assembly (Political Affairs Committee, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Committee on Relations with European Non-Members Countries) sent also rapporteurs to Ukraine which to examine an applicant's request. Their final reports also gave positive assessment to Ukraine, as country which "seems to be overall well committed to the process of democratization".(274) In the next few weeks, the CoE Information Center was opened in Kiev by the enthusiastic activities of the Ukrainian Legal Foundation, non-governmantal association of Ukrainian lawyers, headed by the parliamentary deputy Serhiy Holovaty, who at the same time was vigorously working in Ukrainian delegation to the CoE Parliamentary Assembly.(275)
All these events preceeded extremely critical political crisis in Ukraine, which highly accentuated the importance of Ukraine's admission to the CoE as well as the necessity of the settlement of prolonged political deadlock in Kiev.
This outstanding forced Ukrainian leaders to find a practical solution through signing of a Constitutional agreement between the President and the Parliament on June 8, 1995, which also put out a procedure for the adoption of a new Constitution of Ukraine within one year.
The agreement has been very well welcomed in Europe as well as within international organizations, as Ukraine demonstrated political will and ability to settle existing complex problems in a constitutional way and through democratic compromise. This step was also positively received by the CoE members as important, and leading toward further political reform in Ukraine and undoubtedly played crucial role in final country's admission the CoE on November 9, 1995.(276)