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Ukraine and the EU: The Challenges and Opportunities of a Closer Political Relationship

February 23, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm



Tuesday, 23 February 2016, 14:00 – 15:00


Committee Room 21, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA


Free, but registration is required. To attend please RSVP to: rsvp@henryjacksonsociety.org. Please note RSVPs must include your full name and any affiliations including for any guests you wish to bring. Organisers send a confirmation that will be required to attend the event.


Serhiy Leshchenko, Viktoria Ptashnyk, Alex Ryabchyn, Ostap Semerak, Alyona Shkrum – Ukrainian Parliamentary Delegation


Henry Jackson Society

On 1 January 2016, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement between European Union (EU) and Ukraine came into effect. It was the latest development in Ukraine’s ever closer ties with the EU. It began in September 2014, when Ukraine’s parliament approved a historic agreement with the EU that propelled its country towards the West and away from Russia. After seven years of negotiations and domestic turmoil, the Verkhovna Rada ratified the EU’s Association Agreement.

Ukraine’s deepening relationship with the EU offers Kyiv great opportunities. Not only has the DCFTA come into force, but democratic elections have been held, markets have been liberalised, and reform has been made a key priority by Kyiv. But challenges remain. Soviet-era governance structures persist, corruption is endemic, oligarchs maintain control over the commanding heights of the economy, the economy is weak, and Russia still supports separatists in the east.

By kind invitation of Sir Gerald Howarth MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with a delegation of five Ukrainian Members of Parliament: Serhiy Leshchenko; Viktoria Ptashnyk; Alex Ryabchyn; Ostap Semerak; and Alyona Shkrum. As part of a high-level visit to the UK, the delegation will each speak to the theme “Ukraine and the EU: The Challenges and Opportunities of a Closer Political Relationship”.

Speakers’ biographies

levchenkoSerhiy Leshchenko is a member of “Bloc Petro Poroshenko” and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. He is chair of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on the Implementation of International Anti-Corruption Legislation. Prior to being elected, he was a well-known investigative journalist who conducted several major independent anti-corruption investigations, and published several books on cronyism and rent-seeking in Ukrainian politics.


ptashnikViktoria Ptashnyk is a member of the “Samopomich” (Self-Help) party and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. Prior to being elected, she was a partner in one of Ukraine’s leading law firms. Ms Ptashnyk sits on the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, and her area of expertise is focused on anti-monopoly and competition law reform.


Alex Ryabchyn is a member of the “Batkivchchyna” (Fatherland) party and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. He is co-chair of the Ukraine-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Group, and serves as head of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Energy Efficiency. Mr Ryabchyn holds a Master’s degree from the University of Sussex and earned a PhD in economics from the Donetsk University.


Ostap Semerak is a member of the “People’s Front” party. He is deputy head of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration and is a delegate to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. He is former Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers.


shkrumAlyona Shkrum is a Ukrainian politician, lawyer and human rights advocate. She is a member of the “Batkivshchyna” (Fatherland) party and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. Ms. Shkrum is head of the Subcommittee on Civil Service and Service in Local Self-Government, and is also co-chair of the Ukraine-France Inter-Parliamentary Group. She was educated at the University of Cambridge and l’Université Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris 1.

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February 23, 2016
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Committee Room 21
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
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