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Brussels, 3 April 2008
EU–Ukraine relations: basic facts
The EU-Ukraine Partnership and Cooperation Agreement entered into force in 1998. It will be replaced by a New Enhanced Agreement on which negotiations are ongoing.
The Action Plan, as well an extra 10-point list of reform priorities identified by the EU to maximise its potential, was adopted in February 2005. It provides a comprehensive and ambitious framework for EU-Ukraine relations and reflects a wide range of agreed policy priorities. Seven sub-Committees meet on a regular basis, to monitor and guide the implementation of the broad range of areas covered by the PCA.
Ukraine is a key energy partner of the Union, notably because some 80% of EU imports of Russian gas pass through Ukrainian pipeline infrastructure. There is also good potential for the EU and Ukraine to work together to make significant practical progress in combating climate change through improvements in energy efficiency and the economically viable development of renewable energy supplies. Under a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation, five Joint Working Groups meet on a regular basis to monitor and guide efforts aiming at the various energy-related objectives of the Action Plan.
Ukraine is also potentially important as a transit country for the transportation of oil and merchandise trade between the EU and the Black Sea and Caspian regions.
Ukraine is currently negotiating its participation in EU programmes and agencies.
Major developments in 2007 and overall assessment
Negotiations on an ambitious EU-Ukraine New Enhanced Agreement (NEA) started in March 2007 and good progress has been achieved since then in seven rounds of negotiations. In February 2008 negotiations were also launched on a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area as a core element of the NEA.
Early parliamentary elections in September 2007 confirmed Ukraine’s democratic vocation. In the area of human rights, the freedom of the media has been further consolidated.
Visa facilitation and readmission agreements entered into force in January 2008. They are a major contribution to people-to-people contacts and in the fight against illegal migration.
Negotiations on a Common Aviation Area were launched in January 2008.
Ukraine plays a leading role in the Black Sea Synergy regional cooperation launched in spring 2007. A successful ministerial conference was held in Kyiv in February 2008.
The EU and Ukraine co-operate closely on energy issues. The establishment of the Gas Metrology Centre in Boyarka, a major achievement in this context, is a result of joint efforts of the EU and Ukraine in order to ensure transparency and reliability of gas supplies.
In recognition of good progress made in reforms in 2006 Ukraine was awarded additional EU financial support under the Governance Facility (€22 million).
Joint work in the context of EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) contributes to the settlement of the Transnistria conflict. It also aims at tackling issues such as smuggling and illegal trafficking, including of human beings.
Overall good progress was achieved in most areas. However, it has to be noted that the pace of economic and structural reforms stalled somewhat compared to previous years, due to the political instability which characterised most of 2007.
How the EU supports reforms in Ukraine
Assistance and training in the area of democratisation, human rights and the rule of law, supporting Ukraine to build upon and further strengthen the achievements of the Orange Revolution (democratic elections, freedom of the media etc.).
In order to bring Ukrainian products in line with EU technical standards and norms and to enable them to enter the EU market a special Action Plan has been developed which, when implemented by Ukraine, would make it possible to conclude an Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products.
The European Commission committed €35million in 2007 for projects in the area of readmission and the implementation of the EC-Ukraine readmission agreement (signed in June 2007; entered into force on 1 January 2008), to improve Ukraine’s capacity to deal with irregular migration and ensure compliance with European best practice and humanitarian standards.
The Commission allocated €87 million in 2007 for the reform of the Ukrainian energy sector. A list of priority projects in the electricity, gas and oil sectors has been prepared and agreed, and significant funding from international financial institutions has been secured for their implementation.
Increased use of the Community’s twinning instrument (24 projects under preparation and 6 currently underway) and TAIEX assistance they bring dozens of civil servants from all over the EU to work on a daily basis with Ukrainian counterparts to help advance reforms and to share EU know-how and best practices in various areas.
Co-operation on environment, in particular on climate change and on transport has enhanced. Discussions are underway on extending the central axis of the Trans-European Transport Network across Ukraine to the Black Sea and southern Russia.
Assistance to Ukraine
In 2007, the Commission allocated €144 million for assistance to Ukraine (€120 million under the National Programme and €22 million from the Governance Facility). This is an increase of 360% as compared to 2002.
The overall allocation for 2007-2010 is foreseen to exceed largely €500 million, under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument.
The Communication from the Commission to the Parliament and the Council Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007 (3 April 2008) and a country report on Ukraine are available at
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