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European Commission - Press release

EU-Ukraine Summit: strengthening our partnership and highlighting significant reform progress achieved by Ukraine

Brussels, 24 November 2016

Today, the European Union and Ukraine reaffirmed their strong partnership and shared commitment to a comprehensive reform agenda at the EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels. The European Union resolutely supports Ukraine's continuing reform efforts, and several new commitments were made in order to facilit

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council represented the European Union alongside the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.

At the press conference following the Summit, President Juncker said: "Over the last two or three years, while working faithfully with President Poroshenko and his government, we have witnessed a great deal more progress during this short period than in the previous twenty years." Speaking about the prospect of visa-free travel for the citizens of Ukraine, President Juncker said: "Ukraine has fulfilled all the conditions that we have set, and so it is only normal that, after having seen Ukraine undertake all the reforms that have been asked for, the European Union, for its part, delivers. I remain convinced that despite the difficulties and the divergences that can exist between certain Member States and the European Parliament, we will be able to grant visa liberalisation for Ukraine before the end of the year".

Read the full remarks of President Juncker at the press conference here.

The three Presidents were joined by the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, for a leaders' meeting and by the EU High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, Commission Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič and Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Cecilia Malmström for the plenary session.

Programmes in support of Ukraine's reform efforts

The European Union confirmed a range of specific support programmes designed to foster accountable and transparent governance. A programme to support the fight against corruption, signed at the Summit by Ukrainian Vice-Prime Minister, Ivana Klympush-Tsintsadze and the Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, will support the new anti-corruption bodies and the monitoring of anti-corruption efforts by the Rada and civil society with €15 million. This is just one element in a €300 million programme that also includes support for decentralisation (€97 million), the reform of public administration (€104 million), and the rule of law (€52.5 million). All programmes have been designed by the Support Group for Ukraine and the EU Delegation in Ukraine in close collaboration with the Government of Ukraine and Member States of the European Union.

Read the full press release: EU-Ukraine Summit: Sustained EU support for accountable and transparent governance in Ukraine

To further support reforms of the Ukrainian police, the European Union will provide a €6 million support package covering the areas of community policing and public order. This package will offer training and equipment to police officers to provide community-oriented services and to develop professional public order structures.

The Summit provided the European Union with an opportunity to outline the way forward regarding EU Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine. Of the €3.4 billion pledged by the EU, €2.21 billion has already been provided and a further €1.2 billion will be disbursed in two tranches after the implementation of the agreed reforms. Despite the difficult geopolitical and economic situation, Ukraine has made considerable progress with its ambitious reform agenda and the next disbursement is expected soon.

Support measures in the context of the Minsk agreements

On 25 November, the European Union will increase its support to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) with an additional €5 million, added to €25 million already provided. The EU has been supporting the OSCE SMM from the beginning of its operations and continues to play an active part in ensuring the Mission is able to execute its tasks in the best possible way.

The European Union also reaffirmed its unwavering support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The European Union will support the continued international diplomatic efforts within the Normandy Format and the Trilateral Contact Group aimed at reaching a sustainable political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. For the European Union, the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides remains crucial, including Russia's responsibility in this regard. The duration of economic sanctions on the Russian Federation remains linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The European Union continues to implement its non-recognition policy for the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation.

Strategic Energy Partnership

A new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Energy Partnership between the EU and Ukraine was signed. The EU's Energy Union Strategy pays particular attention to upgrading the Strategic Partnership with Ukraine. The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) replaces the previous Memorandum on energy cooperation, which was signed in 2005. The new MoU foresees enhanced cooperation on a number of energy topics, from energy security to full market integration; from energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the economy to research cooperation.

Read the full press release: EU-Ukraine Summit: The EU and Ukraine intensify energy partnership

Visa Liberalisation

The EU welcomed the agreement on the negotiating position on visa liberalisation reached by the Council ahead of the Summit, demonstrating its commitment to grant visa free travel for short stays in the Schengen area to citizens of Ukraine.

Trade

The Summit also offered an opportunity to discuss the EU's proposal of September 2016 to improve access to the EU market for a number of industrial and agricultural products from Ukraine, in addition to the opportunities created already by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Summit participants assessed the progress made in the implementation of the DCFTA, and the European Union praised Ukrainian reforms in areas such as competition and public procurement. Progress on lifting existing trade irritants would further help to garner support of EU co-legislators to back the proposal for autonomous trade measures.

Immediately following the conclusion of the Summit, the Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström and the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko will speak at an EU-Ukraine Business Roundtable to update representatives of the business community on the economic situation, the objectives and achievements of the reform process. The Roundtable will also take stock of the business climate and investment opportunities in Ukraine.

The speeches of President Poroshenko and Commissioner Malmström will be available to watch online.

For more information:

Remarks of President Juncker at the press conference following the EU-Ukraine Summit

EU-Ukraine Summit website

EU-Ukraine relations factsheet

EU Delegation in Ukraine website

European Commission Support Group for Ukraine website

EU-Ukraine Trade relations website

IP/16/3988

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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