December 10. 2023. 7:30

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European Parliament to open Kyiv office following Zelenskyy request

The European Parliament has agreed to open an office in Ukraine to boost its support for the Ukrainian Parliament, following requests by top Ukrainian government officials, according to a document from the European Parliament bureau seen by Euractiv.

The decision approved on Monday evening (20 November) aims to facilitate relations with the Ukrainian parliament, particularly to connect it with the European Parliament’s “relevant committees” and to facilitate administrative work.

The bureau is a body of the European Parliament responsible for administrative decisions on the institution’s internal functioning.

The European Parliament has a liaison office for each member state, which helps Parliament’s outreach with member states, for instance, while communicating with stakeholders, organising events and having relations with local media.

Only a few European Parliament offices are established in non-European cities, according to the document, including New York, Addis Ababa and Jakarta, “where Parliament staff is seconded to the EU Delegation”.

The EU delegation in each non-EU country is the diplomatic representation of the EU in the territory, under the European External Action Service (EEAS).

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has been consistently vocal in supporting Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Last year, the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for freedom of speech to the Ukrainian people and its leader, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Ukrainian people win EU Parliament’s Sakharov prize

The people of Ukraine, represented by their president, elected leaders, and civil society, won the 2022 Sakharov prize, an annual award the European Parliament gives to organisations and individuals that defend freedom of thought and human rights.

Ukraine lobbying Metsola

The document explains that Zelenskyy asked Metsola to establish a Parliament representation in Ukraine, during a visit to Lviv on 4 March. The issue was also raised again by the speaker of Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) Ruslan Stefanchuk at the end of April.

According to the document seen by Euractiv, the Parliament presence in Kyiv will ensure that European Parliament committees are “regularly informed about ongoing issues and processes”, not only in Ukraine but also about “Eastern Partnership countries”.

Read more with EURACTIV

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