After that the delegation met with representatives of the European External Action Service, with whom they discussed the European neighbourhood policy towards Ukraine and state of play on EU-Ukraine negotiations of Free Trade Area.

Also the mission met with representatives of the European Commission who are in charge of relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Southern Caucasus. The delegation had a business dinner with Deputy Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union Mr Vsevolod Chentsov and his colleagues form the Mission, who are in charge of energy issues. During the meeting participants exchanged information on problems they face in Ukraine as well as talked about current state of play of the EU-Ukraine relations in energy and other spheres.

The Ukrainian representatives met member of Cabinet of Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger. In course of the meeting they raised its concerns as for barriers for doing business in energy sphere in Ukraine. In particular, participants of the meeting discussed issues related to a need for reforms in electricity sphere, proper regulation of licensing process for subsoil use, clear rules for access to gas transportation system, proper quality control of fuel products, elimination of fake fuel products from the market, implementation of practice for renewable energy use, etc. Then the delegation also met with International Relations Department of BUSINESSEUROPE.

This was followed by the extraordinary meeting of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee in the European Parliament. This meeting was chaired by the Member of the Parliament European Conservatives and Reformists, Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Mr Paweł Robert Kowal. Several Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission and Council of the European Union (in total nearly 30 people) were present at the meeting. The key point of the agenda “general overview of the fuel and energy sector development in Ukraine” were introduced by the mission members.

After that the Mission had a meeting with Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission. During a two-hours meeting they have touched upon actual for the industry problems and possible ways to solve them. In particular, the  Mission participants voiced concerns as for increase of fake products at the Ukrainian oil products market, need for proper control of fuel quality, problems related to production sharing agreements and licensing of subsoil use activities, implementation in Ukraine of Directive 2001/80/EC on Limitation of Emissions of Certain Pollutants into the Air from Large Combustion Plants and electricity market reforms.

“I am extremely satisfied with the trip to Brussels. Of course we could not solve all Ukrainian problems over night and change the world. But anyway, we had plenty of opportunities at all levels and in all EU-institutions to tell about things we consider being important for Ukraine’s energy future. Our dialog partners listened with great interest about our perspectives and quite often mentioned that those “slightly” differ from official Ukrainian statements, especially when it comes to Free Trade Agreement negotiations which trigger energy issues as well. Last but not least, I guess our group could convince our partners that Ukraine is not only asking for financial aid in Brussels, but that there are people who are heavily engaged and concerned about the destiny of Ukraine. A “sweet” side-effect was, no doubt, the growing team spirit among the members of our EBA travel group. We had much fun and learned a lot from each other and I hope we will stay in touch. Thanks to all of you this way again!” – Wolfram Rehbock, Attorney-at-law, partner, Arzinger