EU relations with Ukraine

Negotiations for the association agreement (AA) with Ukraine were launched in 2007. Recent events and the uprise of new political forces in Kiev accelerated the signature process. The first political chapters of the AA were signed in March 2014. Following the presidential elections in Ukraine, the remaining chapters of the association agreement 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 next association council will be 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.

On 17 November 2016,  the Council agreed its position, demonstrating its commitments to visa-liberalisation for Ukraine, ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament.

On 2 March 2017, EU ambassadors confirmed, on behalf of the Council, the informal agreement reached on 28 February 2017 between the Maltese Presidency and the European Parliament on visa liberalisation for Ukrainians. The regulation will then be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading, and subsequently to the Council for adoption.

EU-Ukraine summit

On Thursday, 24 November 2016, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, hosted the 18th EU-Ukraine summit. He represented the EU together with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. President Petro Poroshenko represented Ukraine. 

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.