Ukrainian Regulators Advocate for Exemption from EU Directives

WOCCU CAP Project team organizes meetings with DG FISMA, EU Members of Parliament

October 22, 2019

MADISON, Wis.—World Council of Credit Unions’ Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project team joined a group of key partners for meetings with European Union (EU) officials to ensure Ukrainian credit unions are exempt from certain EU directives.

Officials from Ukraine’s current and future credit union regulators, and an officer from the government agency in charge of negotiating the legal framework for Ukrainian credit unions under an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, all joined the CAP Project team for an October visit to Brussels.

The Ukrainian contingent met with the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA)—the commission responsible for EU policy on banking and finance—for discussions on:

  • expedited exemption procedures.
  • provision guarantees for credit union members’ deposits.
  • the July 1, 2020 transition of Ukraine’s credit union regulatory authority from the National Commission for the State Regulation of Financial Markets to the National Bank of Ukraine.

The Ukrainians also met with several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to advocate that credit unions are key for broader economic development and access to finance in Ukraine. Several of the MEPs are members of the informal parliamentary group “Friends of European Ukraine” and strongly support credit unions across the EU.

The contingent also met with the Chair of the EU Credit Union Parliamentary Interest Group, which is comprised of MEPs from countries with strong credit union constituencies. The Chair said his group would support Ukrainian reforms, security and economic growth—which are facilitated by credit unions in rural and remote areas, including those in the Eastern Ukraine.

“Such meetings are important as the European Parliament must still vote to approve any exemptions to the EU directives for Ukraine so its credit unions can grow and strengthen. They are simply too small to meet the EU requirements. Lack of the exemption would lead to stagnation and closure of credit unions as we have seen in other European countries where such exemptions were not granted,” said Ewa Sierzynska, Chief of Party for the CAP Project.

This is the most recent of numerous advocacy efforts led by the CAP Project team. In a September meeting in Ukraine, DG FISMA gave approval to exempt Ukrainian credit unions from CRD IV capital requirements—a set of prudential rules for the EU banking sector—after a three-year negotiation process supported by the CAP Project. Now, it is up to both countries to swiftly formalize the agreements.

CAP is a four-year project (2016-2020) funded by USAID and implemented by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). The purpose of the project is to improve access to agricultural credit via credit unions by improving their legal and regulatory framework, strengthening Ukraine’s two credit union national associations and building the capacity of credit unions to better serve their members’ needs.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,055 credit unions in 118 countries serve 291 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Author Photo
Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048
WOCCU CAP Project Chief of Party Ewa Sierzynska (far left) led the visit with EU officials in Brussels
WOCCU CAP Project Chief of Party Ewa Sierzynska (far left) led the visit with EU officials in Brussels

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