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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 December 2012

EU support to Ukraine for energy reform and local development

The European Commission has announced additional EU funding for Ukraine for 2012 today. The support is part of the Eastern Partnership and will focus on energy reform and the involvement of citizens in local development.

Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy stated: "This decision shows that we remain committed to support Ukraine on its path to political association and economic integration with the EU and that energy reform is at the core of our work in this area. The measures we are proposing are fundamental for citizens – in terms of local governance and development, including civil society organisations.”

Additional funding for the energy programme will continue EU's support for Ukraine's reforms in the sector and facilitate alignment with EU norms and commitments under the Energy Community that Ukraine joined in 2011. It will also help Ukraine prepare for the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU. Other objectives of the new support include the improved quality of oil products (with a system of quality checks), better energy security and less environment pollution.

Further support will be also given to promote sustainable social and economic development at local level. The programme will continue to facilitate the self-organisation of communities, support small-scale civil initiatives and boost the active involvement of citizens in their local communities.

Economic activities in rural communities and small towns will also get assistance. Until now, a total of 1,324 community projects have been supported thanks to the EU's work in this area. Nearly 1.1 million people have benefited from these projects and 12,000 community members and 3,500 local and regional officials received training on institutional development, financial management, planning, community project management, assessment, and decentralisation.

Background

The Annual Action Programme 2012 for Ukraine was adopted in two successive tranches throughout the year. The first part of the programme was adopted in August 2012 and amounted to €70 million. With a total allocation of €68 million, the second part adopted today is made up of two components:

  • Continued suррort for the implementation of Ukraine's energy strategy: €45 million,

  • Community Based Approach to Local Development – CBA Phase III: €23 million.

Bilateral assistance to Ukraine comes from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This is the main financial and cooperation instrument though which the funding is given to the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.

The Eastern Partnership represents the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The Association Agreement is a new framework for stronger and deeper bilateral relations between the European Union and Ukraine, in the context of the Eastern Partnership initiative. It is currently the closest contractual tie that can exist between the EU and a third country. It also provides for a progressive liberalisation of trade (deep and comprehensive free trade area – DCFTA) and engages in dialogues on visa-free regimes (Visa Liberalisation Action Plan – VLAP).

For more information

Website of the DG Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/fule/index_en.htm

On the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI):

www.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/neighbourhood/

Annual Action Programme 2012 for Ukraine:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/ap/aap/2012_en.htm

Contacts:

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)


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