EU relations with Ukraine

Association agreement

 The association agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together. It promotes:

  • deeper political ties
  • stronger economic links
  • the respect for common values.

The deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) is the economic part of the agreement. It offers a framework for modernising Ukraine's economy and trade relations.

The association agreement entered into force on 1 September 2017.

Negotiations of the association agreement

On 11 July 2017, the Council adopted a decision to conclude the association agreement with Ukraine on behalf of the EU. This was the final step of the ratification process, allowing the full implementation of the agreement as of 1 September 2017

Negotiations with Ukraine were launched in 2007. The first political chapters were signed in March 2014. Following the presidential elections in Ukraine, the remaining chapters were signed on 27 June 2014, in the margins of the European Council.

Major parts of the agreement are already provisionally applied as of 1 September 2014. The provisional application of the deep and comprehensive free trade area started on 1 January 2016

Association council

On 15 December 2014, the EU and Ukraine held the first meeting of the association council, under the new association agreement. 

On 16 March 2015, the EU-Ukraine association council endorsed the updated association agenda. This agenda will be instrumental in guiding the process of enhanced reforms and economic modernisation in Ukraine. It constitutes the main political tool for the implementation and monitoring of the association agreement.

On 7 December 2015, the EU and Ukraine held the second meeting of the association council.

The third association council was held on 19 December 2016. 

Visa dialogue

Visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Ukraine entered into force in 2008. The same year a visa dialogue was launched. 

On 20 April 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens. The Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the proposal on 28 February 2017.

On 11 May 2017, the Council adopted a regulation on visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.  

EU-Ukraine summit

On 12-13 July 2017, the 19th EU-Ukraine Summit took place in Kyiv. Leaders discussed:

  • the importance of pursuing an ambitious reform process, especially in the fight against corruption
  • the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, including the implementation of the Minsk agreements
  • ways to maximise the benefits/potential of the EU-Ukraine association agreement

The 18th EU-Ukraine summit took place on 24 November 2016. Leaders focused on reforms and visa liberalisation. Since the last summit in 2015 Ukraine has worked on an ambitious reform agenda, which was supported with the EU budget.

The November summit confirmed a further €15 million in support of an anti-corruption programme and €104 million for public administration reform. 

The summit was also an occasion to welcome recent steps towards visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens when travelling to the EU and vice versa.

The 17th EU-Ukraine summit took place in Kyiv on 27 April 2015. This was the first summit taking place under the framework of the association agreement.

EU and Ukrainian leaders adopted a joint-statement on:

  • Ukraine's political and economical reforms
  • the application of the Minsk agreements for a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine
  • the preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga

EU actions taken in support of Ukraine

Against the background of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and its difficult economic situation, the EU has stepped-up its engagement with Ukraine providing political, financial and economic support.

Support programme

The EU has deployed a massive support programme for Ukraine in the course of 2014, committing €11 billion over the next seven years (2014-2020).

Autonomous trade measures

The EU granted trade preferences to Ukraine by introducing autonomous trade measures, thereby unilaterally removing the customs duties.

CSDP mission

The EU has deployed a CSDP mission to assist Ukraine in reforming its civilian security sector.

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine

The EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.