The 17th EU-Ukraine Summit took place in Kyiv on 27 April 2015. It was the first Summit in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
Ukraine was represented at the Summit by President Petro Poroshenko.The European Union was represented at the highest level, by President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
In the spotlight of the Summit was discussion on the situation in eastern Ukraine and the application of the Minsk agreements, the implementation of the Association Agreement and political and economic reforms in Ukraine, including EU financial and other assistance as well as Regional issues and preparations for the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Riga and the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
During the joint press conference the EU leadership provided clear signals in support of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the efforts of our country to counter armed aggression on the part of Russia, in particular in the context of continuing the EU sanctions policy and the implementation of internal reforms in Ukraine.
Following the Summit adopted a joint statement:
17th EU-Ukraine Summit: Joint Statement
1. The 17th EU-Ukraine Summit took place in Kyiv on 27 April 2015. The European Union was represented by President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. Ukraine was represented by President Petro Poroshenko. It was the first Summit in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, implementation of which will represent a fundamental step in the process of deepening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU on the basis of respect for common values and their effective promotion.
2. The leaders welcomed the holding of free and fair Ukrainian Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ukraine in 2014 in which the Ukrainian people used their right to choose their own future and which marked an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate its democratic development in line with its international commitments. The leaders recalled the unprecedented public support for Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU as well as for its democratic aspirations. They remembered the tragic events of early 2014 and paid tribute to all those who had lost their lives. They reconfirmed the common objective to build a democratic, stable and prosperous country with guaranteed human rights and fundamental freedoms for all its citizens, and confirmed Ukraine’s commitment to building a deep and sustainable democracy and market economy. The leaders acknowledged the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomed its European choice, as stated in the Association Agreement.
3. The leaders welcomed the signing and the beginning of the provisional application of the relevant parts of the Association Agreement and the progress in preparation for the provisional application of the DCFTA as of 1 January 2016. They highlighted the importance of swift ratification of the Association Agreement by Member States in accordance with their internal procedures. A reinvigorated reform process will be crucial in view of Ukraine's political association and economic integration with the EU.
4. The leaders welcomed Ukraine’s strong commitment to an ambitious reform process as set out in Ukraine’s Strategy 2020, the Government Programme and the Coalition Agreement. They also welcomed the EU's package to support Ukraine in its efforts for launching this renewed reform process, as well as the EU’s Ukraine Support Group and the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform. In this context, leaders welcomed the update of the Association Agenda, an important tool agreed jointly to facilitate the implementation and the monitoring of the Association Agreement.
5. They welcomed the first reform steps taken by Ukraine in key areas, notably constitutional reform, decentralisation, the fight against corruption, the reform of the justice sector, the restructuring of the energy sector and the improvement of the business climate. They underlined that implementation of these reforms will be key and should rapidly achieve further concrete results. In particular, they welcomed:
6. The leaders agreed on the need to further accelerate the reform process on key systemic issues such as:
7. In this context, the leaders welcomed the organisation by Ukraine of the International Conference on Support for Ukraine the day after the Summit, which would allow Ukraine to communicate its reform efforts to the wider world and reflect with the international community on the next steps in the reform process and the necessary support measures.
8. The leaders welcomed the EUR 11 billion financial support pledged by the European Union and European Financial Institutions in March 2014 in support of Ukraine’s political, economic and financial stabilisation. Since then, already some EUR 6 billion has been mobilised in the form of loans and grants, including the recently approved additional third macro-financial assistance programme of EUR 1.8 billion and last week’s disbursement of the final tranche of EUR 250 million under a previous programme. The leaders agreed to swiftly conclude the Memorandum of Understanding and Loan Agreement of the third macro-financial assistance programme to allow for a swift disbursement of the first tranche possibly by mid-2015.
9. The leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since March 2014. These actions are in clear breach of the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, as well as Russia's specific commitments to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 and the bilateral Treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership of 1997.
10. The leaders reconfirmed their strong condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, which they will not recognise. Faced with this continued violation of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and of international law, they confirmed their commitment to fully implement a non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures and called upon UN Member States to respect the United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262 of 27 March 2014. They affirm their deep concern at the continuous military build-up and deterioration of the human rights situation in the Crimean Peninsula, including the denial of free speech and the persecution of persons belonging to minorities, including the Crimean Tatars. They call for the provision of full, free and unrestricted access to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol to international human rights actors.
11. The EU side reiterated its commitment to strongly support Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The leaders underlined their strong support for the efforts aimed at de-escalation and a political solution based on respect for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, in particular in the framework of the Normandy format. They expressed their full support for the Minsk Agreements including the Package of Measures of 12 February 2015, endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2202 of 17 February 2015.
12. The leaders called on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the Minsk Agreements and honour their commitments and underlined the Russian authorities' responsibility in this regard. They called for the urgent release of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons, including Nadia Savchenko. In this framework, they expressed their full support for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, as well as the efforts of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in the Trilateral Contact Group. The leaders called upon all parties to cooperate with the international investigations and criminal proceedings to hold to account those who are responsible for the downing of MH17.
13. The leaders took note of the European Council Conclusions of 19 March 2015 regarding the EU restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
14. The leaders stressed the need to challenge Russia's ongoing disinformation campaigns and agreed on the need to strengthen their respective strategic communication efforts.
15. The leaders deplored the massive humanitarian crisis. Ukraine thanked the EU and its Member States for the significant humanitarian support provided. The leaders agreed to enhance their relief efforts to address the needs of the population affected by the conflict, wherever they are and discussed prospects for a more active use of the resources provided by the international community. They agreed on the necessity to provide social assistance to the internally displaced persons at short and long term as well as to improve the coordination mechanism and address remaining legal and administrative obstacles to unhindered international humanitarian assistance to those who need it.
16. The leaders welcomed the progress in the trilateral talks between the EU, Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the delivery of gas from Russia to Ukraine with the goal to increase the security of gas supply for Ukraine and its citizens as well as ensuring stable, sufficient and uninterrupted transit of gas to the EU. While underlining the importance of a stronger energy partnership between Ukraine and the EU, taking into account international commitments, including in the field of nuclear energy safety, the leaders expressed their readiness to continue cooperation between Ukraine and the EU on urgent energy sector reforms in Ukraine, on the joint modernisation and operation of the Ukrainian gas transportation system and storages and on securing gas supplies from Europe to Ukraine, and specifically welcomed the adoption of the new gas law. They agreed to further cooperate in promoting market integration, including through the development of interconnections and standard Interconnection Agreements between Transmission System Operators of Ukraine and bordering EU Member-States.
17. The leaders look forward to the provisional application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine starting on 1 January 2016 and the positive impact its implementation will bring about. They also noted the importance of continuing the trilateral consultations on EU-Ukraine DCFTA implementation in a constructive manner, using the existing flexibilities available to the contracting parties in the DCFTA.
18. The leaders reconfirmed their commitment to achieve the shared objective of visa-free travel provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility set out in the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan are in place. They welcomed the progress made by Ukraine underlining the necessity for a full and effective implementation of all benchmarks and emphasising in this regard the importance of the upcoming release of the next progress report on the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan ahead of the Riga Summit.
19. The leaders welcomed the deepening of EU-Ukraine cooperation notably with the meeting of the first Association Council, which put in place the institutional framework of enhanced cooperation, as well as the signing of the agreement associating Ukraine to Horizon 2020. Leaders praised the deepening of people-to-people contacts notably through Ukraine's participation in the Erasmus+ programme supporting student mobility, academic cooperation and youth exchanges. In addition, they welcomed the willingness of both sides to associate Ukraine to Creative Europe, the Research and Training Programme of Euratom (2014-2018) and the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME 2014-2020). The leaders reconfirmed the importance of concluding the EU–Ukraine Agreement on Common Aviation Area, as referred in the Association Agreement, at the earliest possible date in 2015.
20. The leaders exchanged views on international and regional matters, notably in light of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga and the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy. They highlighted the importance of renewing constructive engagement on the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict with respect to the 5+2 settlement talks. The leaders welcomed the role of the European Commission’s Border Mission to Moldova and Ukraine in the development of border management and reforming of the border and customs services of Ukraine, welcoming the extension of the mandate of the mission for another two years until December 2017. They also expressed satisfaction with the increase in Ukraine's alignment with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) declarations as well as with Ukraine’s participation in the EU-led Naval Military Operation (EUNAVFOR Somalia Atalanta) and in the EU Battlegroups in 2014. The leaders welcomed the launch of the negotiations on the administrative arrangement between the European Defence Agency and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
1. The 14th EU-Ukraine Summit took place in Brussels on 22 November, 2010. The European Union (EU) was represented by Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mr José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Ukraine was represented by President Viktor Yanukovych.
2. The leaders recalled that EU-Ukraine relations are based on common values and a common history and that the EU has acknowledged Ukraine's European aspirations and welcomed its European choice. They noted that the depth of the EU-Ukraine relationship will be determined by the implementation of reforms and by further consolidation of common values.
3. The parties discussed the issue of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democratic values and the rule of law based on an independent and impartial judiciary. They stressed in particular the importance of a free media. Following the recent local elections, the leaders recalled the need for further strengthening of democratic development in Ukraine in particular the electoral framework.
4. The leaders took note of the recent constitutional developments in Ukraine. The EU side encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to undertake constitutional reform in an inclusive and comprehensive manner in close cooperation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.
5. The leaders expressed their satisfaction at the progress achieved in EU-Ukraine relations. In this regard they stressed the importance of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement which is currently being negotiated. They reiterated their common commitment to establishing a deep and comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and the EU with a view to providing for gradual integration of Ukraine’s into the EU’s internal market. They looked forward to the conclusion of negotiations as soon as possible while retaining the quality and viability of the Association Agreement
6. The leaders welcomed important reforms taken by Ukraine notably in the economic sphere to ensure an early return to growth and competitiveness. They heralded the agreement reached with the IMF on a Standby Loan for Ukraine based upon a macro-economic stability programme. For its part, the Ukrainian side welcomed the EU’s commitment to provide additional support through a macro-financial assistance package of €610 million. Both sides expressed their commitment to a swift conclusion of negotiations on the associated Memorandum of Understanding. The leaders also stressed the importance of further efforts to combat corruption and to improve the business and investment climate. They noted the key role the Public Procurement Law, adopted earlier in the year, could play in this regard. The EU will continue to support Ukraine in advancing its reform agenda.
7. The leaders warmly welcomed the Action Plan towards visa liberalisation for Ukraine. The Action Plan sets out all technical conditions to be met by Ukraine in order to progress towards the establishment of a visa free regime as a long term perspective for short stay travel for Ukrainian citizens. Its implementation will start now and will be systematically monitored by both sides.
8. The EU heralded Ukraine’s signature of the accession Protocol to the Energy Community following the adoption of a law on the principles of functioning of the natural gas market and looked forward to its imminent accession to that body. The leaders expressed their confidence that the reforms required by the Energy Community Treaty would significantly strengthen the transparency, competitiveness and sustainability of the sector. The EU will continue to support Ukraine in enhancing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, implementing the necessary reforms to modernize its energy sector in line with its commitments under the Energy Community Treaty as well as the conditions envisaged in the Joint Declaration of the EU-Ukraine international conference on modernisation of Ukraine’s gas transit system of March, 2009.
9. The leaders welcomed the initiative of the President of Ukraine to hold the international conference on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Kyiv in spring 2011 in order to mobilize support for the completion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant projects.
10. The leaders also welcomed signature at the Summit of a Protocol allowing Ukraine to participate in EU programmes which will further support regulatory and administrative reform, thereby promoting sectoral integration through convergence of Ukrainian policies with EU norms, standards and best practices. The Protocol paves the way for participation in EU programmes in areas such as business and entrepreneurship, energy and information, communication and technology.
11. The leaders discussed the EU’s continuing support for Ukraine in particular through the Eastern Partnership and welcomed Ukraine’s active engagement in this initiative. They looked forward in particular to the start of Comprehensive Institution Building support to assist Ukraine in public administration reform and notably in the areas of state aids control, sanitary and phyto-sanitary control, migration and coordination of the legislative programme in Ukraine. They also discussed the preparation of the forthcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in May in Budapest.
12. The leaders discussed international and regional issues of common interest, in particular relations with Belarus, Russia as well as the Transnistria settlement in the Republic of Moldova. As partners in the 5 + 2 Transnistria settlement format, they agreed to continue their close co-operation underlining that the unconditional resumption of formal 5 + 2 talks remained a shared goal for both. They expect progress on this matter on the occasion of the OSCE Summit in Astana on 1-2 December 2010. The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in fighting against the acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia. In this regard, the EU welcomed the participation of Ukraine in the EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta and looked forward to its further contribution.
Kyiv, 4 December 2009
The leaders of the European Union and Ukraine met in Kyiv today, at the annual EU-Ukraine Summit – the first following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on December 1st. The Summit was hosted by Mr Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine, accompanied by Mr Petro Poroshenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The EU was represented by Mr Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden in his capacity as President of the European Council; and by the President of the European Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Durao Barroso. The President of the European Council was accompanied by Foreign Minister Mr Carl Bildt. The President of the European Commission was accompanied by the Commissioner for Trade and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
Recognizing that Ukraine as a European country shares a common history and common values with the countries of the European Union, acknowledging the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcoming its European choice, the Presidents welcomed the substantial advances made in EU-Ukraine relations in the past year in all areas of mutual interest including through cooperation on foreign policy and security policy issues; the economic and financial sectors; the energy sphere and in the area of environment and climate and in justice, freedom and security matters as well as many other sectors.
Internal developments in the EU and Ukraine
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine discussed the Ukrainian presidential elections which will take place on 17 January 2010, as well as the implementation of Ukraine’s on-going reform agenda. They emphasized the crucial importance of these elections being conducted in accordance with European and international standards for democratic elections. They stressed the need for political and economic stabilisation notably through constitutional reform, consolidation of the rule of law and renewed efforts to combat corruption and improve the business and investment climate. They called for increased efforts to advance the reform process in Ukraine.
The leaders welcomed the completion of ratification process of the Treaty of Lisbon, which will provide the European Union with institutional framework necessary to meet future challenges.
The Presidents discussed the global economic and financial crisis and its impact in the region. Noting the stability achieved over the past twelve months with the support of the IMF Standby Arrangement, the EU side called on Ukraine to ensure that the programme remained on track and that necessary economic reforms were implemented in the interests of economic stability and early recovery. The leaders recalled the importance of cooperation in the trade area as a vehicle for prosperity and stability. The leaders emphasised that protectionism was not an answer to current difficulties and that the obligations and responsibilities flowing from membership of the World Trade Organisation should be respected in full. The leaders recognised the potentially significant negative impact of the crisis in the region on the unemployed and on the most vulnerable in society.
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine underlined that climate change is one of the most important global challenges of our time which demands urgent and cooperative action. Ukraine and the EU recognized the scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2°C and that peaking of global emissions should take place as soon as possible in order to make a global reduction of 50% by 2050 compared to 1990. In this spirit, the sides agreed that both the EU and Ukraine need to increase their mitigation efforts and present mid-term emission reduction targets for 2020. The EU and Ukraine will, under the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) work together for a comprehensive and ambitious outcome at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in December 2009 in Copenhagen. In this context, the leaders agreed that the issue of unused emission units should be addressed in such a way that it positively contributes to the outcome of the Copenhagen COP 15 meeting.
The leaders welcomed the continuous development of environmental cooperation between the EU and Ukraine and the potential for further initiatives. They noted the progress made in negotiations on the establishment of the Regional Environmental Centre of Ukraine.
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine welcomed deepening cooperation on the use of renewable energies and increased energy efficiency. The Summit welcomed the launch of the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership, which took place in Stockholm on 26 November, 2009, where Ukraine, the European Commission, and EU and other bilateral donors announced the creation of a support fund with an initial volume of approximately €90 million. This has the potential to facilitate several billion Euro of investments by European and international financial institutions in energy efficiency in Ukraine. The leaders encouraged other donors and institutions to participate in this partnership.
They welcomed the continuing progress in the implementation of the priorities of the EU-Ukraine Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy of 1 December 2005, as set out in the 4th progress report presented to the Summit. While noting the good progress in the roadmaps on nuclear safety, energy market integration and energy transit, the leaders call for further progress in the coal sector and in the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energies.
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine stressed the importance of Ukraine’s accession to the Energy Community Treaty (ECT) and in that respect looked forward to the ECT Ministerial Council in Zagreb on December 18, 2009. They also agreed on the importance of Ukraine's implementation of the relevant energy sector reform commitments. They underlined in particular the importance of security of energy supplies. They expressed their determination to work closely to ensure the security of energy supplies to the EU.
Taking into account that Ukraine is the single most important transit country for gas supplies to the EU and that it is in the strategic interest of all to ensure the efficiency, reliability and transparency of gas supply routes to the EU: in their entirety, the leaders stressed the importance of efforts to reform the energy sector. In this regard, they welcomed the Joint Declaration endorsed by the Joint EU-Ukraine International Investment Conference on the Modernisation of the Gas Transit System which took place on 23 March 2009 and emphasised the urgency of implementing the commitments contained in the Joint Declaration, as well as the wider reform engagements of 31 July 2009 in the context of IFI support for Ukraine's gas sector reform.
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine welcomed the 3rd progress report on negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, noting the substantial further progress that has been achieved in the course of the year. They recalled the forward-looking, innovative and comprehensive nature of the Agreement. They confirmed their strong commitment to complete negotiations as soon as possible, bearing in mind the complex, ambitious and technically demanding character of many aspects of the Agreement and notably the deep and comprehensive free trade area part.
The leaders welcomed in this regard the recent launch of the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda which will prepare for and facilitate the entry into force of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Based on principles of joint ownership and joint responsibility, the Association Agenda is a qualitatively new instrument which replaces the EU-Ukraine Action Plan. Together with the Association Agreement, the Association Agenda will facilitate greater political association and economic integration with the EU.
The Parties re-confirmed increasing policy convergence, based on shared values and commitments, in the field of foreign and security policy. They highlighted in particular the value of continued close cooperation on regional stability and crisis management, and noted the importance of regular policy consultations and Ukraine's alignment with EU foreign policy statements and common positions. The leaders agreed on the aim to further increase Ukraine's participation in European Security and Defence Policy operations and activities, recalling that the Framework Participation Agreement has enhanced possibilities for cooperation in this regard.
The leaders welcomed efforts of the European Union to help deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast, particularly the EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta. In this regard they welcomed the fact that Ukraine is considering a contribution to international efforts in combating piracy through taking part in the Operation Atalanta.
The Parties noted the continuing progress in the area of justice and home affairs. They underlined the continuing importance of the revised JLS Action Plan and the accompanying Scoreboard in promoting reforms and strengthening common values, notably as regards respect for human rights, democratisation and the rule of law, which are the cornerstone of the EU-Ukraine relationship
The leaders of the EU and Ukraine welcomed the conclusion of the Strategic Co-operation Agreement between Ukraine and Europol and an agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
The leaders agreed on the importance of promoting mobility between the EU and Ukraine and welcomed the progress in implementation of the Ukraine-EU visa facilitation and readmission agreements promoting people-to-people contacts and assisting the Parties to combat illegal migration. In this context the Parties also recognized the importance of comprehensive migration policies and international standards on protection and asylum.
The leaders underlined the importance of continued cooperation in the full implementation of the EU-Ukraine visa facilitation and readmission agreements and looked forward to constructive discussions on the Visa Facilitation Agreement, in the competent Joint Committee in spring 2010, in the light of Ukraine’s proposals for further facilitations for Ukrainian citizens as well as developments in EU legislation in the area of visa policy.
The EU and Ukraine leaders reviewed progress in the dialogue launched in 2008 with the aim of developing relevant conditions to establish as visa free regime as a long term perspective. They welcomed the report of the Senior Officials of 19th November to the Summit, noting progress made to-date, and endorsed the proposal to move to a structured visa dialogue focused on sequenced priorities of action and recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities.
The EU and Ukraine looked forward to a discussion on the visa dialogue at the next EU-Ukraine Justice Freedom and Security Ministerial meeting in the light of a progress report by Senior Officials.
The leaders welcomed the implementation and functioning of the local border traffic regime between Ukraine and Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, and encouraged all parties to make best use of the local border traffic regime in accordance with the EU acquis.
The leaders also welcomed progress achieved in the negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Agreement on Common Aviation Area and encouraged the negotiators to finalise the negotiations at technical level at the next round as soon as possible.
The leaders expressed their full commitment to the Eastern Partnership which was launched on 7 May 2009 in Prague. In this regard the leaders looked forward to the forthcoming meeting of Foreign Ministers on 8 December in Brussels, and welcomed mutual efforts to give the Eastern Partnership practical effect. They recalled that the Eastern Partnership complements and contributes to existing bilateral relations.
The leaders underlined their wish for the Eastern Partnership to contribute to political association and economic integration. To this end they agreed that the Eastern Partnership should provide for new mechanisms of cooperation, inter alia within the Comprehensive Institution Building programmes currently being developed in order to meet this goal.
The leaders encouraged the European Commission to take an ambitious approach to preparation of future projects within bilateral and multilateral dimensions of the Eastern Partnership, giving due regard to proposals of the Partner States.
Encouraged by the recently agreed Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Dialogue on Regional Policy and Development of Regional Cooperation, and by the EU’s Joint Initiative for Crimea, the leaders welcomed closer practical cooperation between the EU and Ukraine’s regions. They underlined the importance to model such regional cooperation on the principles of EU cohesion policy as foreseen by the Eastern Partnership. They also expressed hope that the EU’s “Joint Cooperation Initiative in the Crimea” will provide important contribution to sustainable regional development. The parties expressed appreciation for the continuing positive cooperation with the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) at the Ukrainian-Moldovan border and for the extension of the mission’s mandate until 2011.
The leaders discussed relations with Russia and the issue of European security, namely the Corfu Process. They expressed interest in further coordination within the OSCE's Corfu Process on the basis of shared positions, stressing their strong commitment to the OSCE and its role as the main forum for the debate on Euro-Atlantic Security, based on its comprehensive approach to security.
The leaders underlined the efforts of both sides to encourage closer ties between the EU and Belarus and agreed on the need to support democratic development in Belarus. They welcomed close practical cooperation between Ukraine and Belarus in the context of the Eastern Partnership.
The Parties stressed the need for continued efforts to resume negotiations in the "5+2" format with an aim to reach a peaceful and viable settlement of the Transnistria conflict in the Republic of Moldova.
3rd JOINT PROGRESS REPORT
Negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
Relations between the EU and Ukraine are based on the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA), which entered into force in 1998 and will renew automatically until the entry into force of a new contractual arrangement.
Negotiations on a comprehensive, ambitious and innovative “new enhanced agreement” between the EU and Ukraine were launched in March 2007. Since that launch, two joint reports on the progress achieved in the negotiations have been prepared. These were presented to the EU-Ukraine Summits in Kyiv in 2007 and Paris in 2008. At the Paris Summit, the leaders of the EU and Ukraine agreed that the new enhanced agreement should be given the title of Association Agreement (AA), and that it should renew the EU-Ukraine common institutional framework, facilitating the deepening of relations in all areas, as well as the strengthening of political association and economic integration involving reciprocal rights and obligations.
This 3rd Joint Progress Report highlights the progress achieved since then. Since the Paris Summit of 2008, five negotiating rounds have taken place. Since March 2009, these have been supplemented by an intensive programme of videoconferences allowing a continuous and accelerated process of negotiation on economic and sector cooperation issues, with the participation of a wide range of experts. Following agreement that Ukraine would accede to the WTO (accession took place on 16 May 2008), the EU and Ukraine launched negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as a core element of the Association Agreement. Since the Paris Summit, four rounds on the DCFTA have taken place.
Negotiations in the last year have continued in a positive and constructive atmosphere. A strong joint commitment to advance has allowed all 31 chapters on economic and sector cooperation to be provisionally closed, promising the implementation by Ukraine of critical EU laws and standards in areas as diverse as environment, public health, agriculture and transport.
The next round on the FTA aspects of the Agreement is scheduled to take place on 7-11 December 2009 in Kyiv, and a programme of negotiations has already been agreed for the first half of 2010. Both sides retain their confidence that the Agreement can be concluded in the year ahead, bearing in mind that the quality and viability of the agreement should be their principal considerations.
Specific Progress Since the 2008 Summit
Both sides have agreed on large parts of the text on the Preamble, Objectives and General Principles of the Agreement. At the same time, broad agreement was reached on the main outlines of the Institutional Provisions of the Agreement – in other words, the arrangements under which the enhanced EU-Ukraine dialogue will function. On the General and Final Provisions, the recently opened discussions on provisions for a dispute settlement mechanism covering the entire agreement have so far been promising.
On the chapter dealing with Political Dialogue and Reform, Political Association, and Cooperation and Convergence in the Field of Foreign and Security Policy, both sides have provisionally closed the negotiations on almost all matters. The provisionally agreed text covers issues such as the aims of political dialogue; fora for the conduct of political dialogue; dialogue and cooperation on domestic reform; regional stability, conflict prevention, crisis management, and military-technological cooperation, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; disarmament and arms control, and combating terrorism. Discussions continue on references to respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders.
The Justice, Freedom and Security chapter is also close to final agreement. Both sides have agreed on aspects covering the rule of law and respect for human rights; protection of personal data; cooperation on migration, asylum and border management; movement of persons; money laundering and terrorism financing; cooperation on the fight against illicit drugs; the fight against crime and corruption; combating terrorism. Negotiations are now focused on illegal employment; movement of persons/the reference to a visa-free travel regime; admission rules and judicial cooperation on civil matters.
In the group on Economic and Sector Cooperation, negotiations on all 31 areas have been finalised, opening the way for a comprehensive implementation by Ukraine of core EU laws and standards which will impact on the context in which economic activities will be conducted, and on the lives of citizens. These include agriculture and rural development; audio-visual policy; civil society cooperation; company law; consumer protection; cross-border and regional cooperation; culture; the Danube river; education, training, and youth; financial cooperation including anti-fraud provisions; energy cooperation; environment; financial services; fisheries and maritime development; health policy; industrial and enterprise policy; information society; macro-economic cooperation; management of public finances; mining and metals; participation in Community agencies and programmes; research and technological development; social cooperation; space; sports; statistics; taxation; tourism; and transport.
Since the launch of negotiations on the DCFTA in February 2008, eight negotiating rounds have been conducted. The most recent round of FTA negotiations was held in Brussels on 5-9 October 2009. Negotiations took place on a large range of issues (tariffs, investment/services, and rules such as intellectual property rights, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and technical barriers to trade). Some chapters, such as customs and trade facilitation and intellectual property rights, are close to provisional completion (the chapter on rules of origin has already been finalised). Discussions on regulatory approximation, for instance concerning sanitary and phytosanitary standards, or technical barriers to trade, will be covered intensively in the next few months. The next round of negotiations (9th round) will take place on 7-11 December 2009 in Kyiv. Further substantial efforts will be needed to complete negotiations in this complex area. In further negotiations on the DCFTA part, both sides will be guided by the fact that the establishment of a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area between the EU and Ukraine will lead to gradual and ever deeper integration of Ukraine with the internal market, in parallel with the implementation of relevant elements of the acquis communautaire.
Implementation of the Association Agreement
Turning their attention to the effective implementation of the new agreement, at the EU-Ukraine Summit on 9 September 2008 in Paris the leaders of the EU and Ukraine announced the intention to prepare a new practical instrument to replace the existing Joint Action Plan. Following extensive negotiations, agreement was reached on the text of an “Association Agenda”. The Association Agenda was endorsed at the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council on 16 June 2009 and came into force following an exchange of letters on 23 November 2009. Together with the JLS (Justice, Freedom and Security) Action Plan of 2007, the Association Agenda will serve as the main reference point for joint activities, and will encompass the reform agenda in Ukraine.
The Association Agenda – the first of its kind – will firstly prepare for and secondly facilitate the entry into force of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It is a practical, focused and living document based on the principles of joint responsibility and joint ownership, and it will be updated by the sides as the priorities contained in it are implemented.
Thanks to the constructive engagement of both sides, negotiations on the Association Agreement proceeded well in the course of 2008/2009, leading to a joint understanding on large parts of the Agreement and provisional agreement at expert level on the texts concerning the Preamble, Political Dialogue, Justice, Freedom and Security, and Sector and Economic Cooperation. A limited number of issues remain to be treated further at a later stage. Both the EU and Ukraine consider the completion of the negotiations as a key short term objective. They reconfirm their willingness to put their relations on a new footing of political association and economic integration, which should be supported by strong institutions and is relevant to Ukraine’s European aspirations.
SENIOR OFFICIALS’ REPORT
on EU-Ukraine visa dialogue
to the EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika
in view of the EU-Ukraine Summit on 4 December 2009
At the September 2008 Paris EU-Ukraine Summit, the leaders "…decided to launch a visa dialogue, developing the relevant conditions, with the long‑term perspective of establishing a visa free regime between the EU and Ukraine". The EU-Ukraine visa dialogue to develop the relevant conditions for visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens to EU as a long term perspective was launched accordingly on 29 October 2008.
After a first round of meetings covering blocks 1 (“Document security, including biometrics”), 2 (“Illegal migration, including readmission”), 3 ("Public order and security") and 4 (External Relations), the Senior Officials met on 19 May 2009 and identified the adoption and implementation of legislation in the following areas as a priority: document security, including biometrics; border management; migration management; asylum; data protection; judicial cooperation in criminal matters; fight against organised crime and anti-money laundering; fight against corruption; fight against trafficking in human beings; fight against drugs; cooperation between law enforcement authorities; protection of human rights; combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination; challenges in obtaining residence registration. Moreover, the full and correct implementation of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements, as well as the revised EU-Ukraine JLS Action Plan, remains of paramount importance for the dialogue.
The EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika of 3 June 2009 agreed to continue work at an operational level through on-site visits by experts conducting a detailed analysis and evaluation. This would lead to a clear assessment of the situation in each Block, "allowing for recommendations to be made, in view of setting up the methodology for developing the relevant conditions for establishing visa free travel for Ukrainian citizens to the EU".
On 19 November 2009 the Senior Officials met to analyse the results of the work done since June 2009 and noted the following:
1. On site visits by experts from Member States took place in October and November 2009 covering the areas of document security, including biometrics (27-28 October 2009), illegal immigration, including readmission (12-13 October 2009), public order and security (19-20 October 2009) and external relations (11 November 2009).
2. These visits produced a detailed analysis and evaluation, allowing for a clear assessment of the situation in each Block.
3. Work on all four Blocks of issues should now be continued in a structured visa dialogue containing sequenced priorities of action and recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities. These recommendations should describe specific reforms and measures to be undertaken by Ukraine in order to make progress in the relevant areas identified in the Senior Officials' May report.
4. In parallel to the visa dialogue, regular contacts on the joint readmission and visa facilitation committees have demonstrated that the two agreements are overall being implemented satisfactorily and the Senior Officials underlined the importance of continuing constructive cooperation in the effective implementation of these two agreements and look forward to constructive discussions on the possible updating of the visa facilitation agreement.
The Senior Officials will present their next report to the EU-Ukraine JLS ministerial troika in 2010.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr J.-L. De Brouwer
Acting Deputy Director General
Directorate General on Justice,
Freedom and Security
Internal processes in Ukraine as they are perceived and supported in the EU
The holding of free and democratic parliamentary elections in Ukraine in March received a very positive response in the EU as it was perceived as considerable progress in implementing political priorities of the Action Plan. These developments encouraged Brussels to make a number of steps towards Ukraine, in particular, to start preparations to negotiations on a new framework agreement. The corresponding signal of EU support was given during the Ukraine-EU Cooperation Council on September 14 in Brussels.
At the same time EU continues to call for establishment of democratic but also effective system of state in Ukraine, clear coordination of policies of the President and the Government according to the tenets of the Constitution, continued course on political and economic reforms, consistent foreign policy. These issues were raised during the meetings of the EU High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana with President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovych in Kyiv on October 19. EU also draws attention to the areas where reforms are still needed:
Establishment of favourable conditions for small and medium-sized business;
Improvement of investment climate;
Adoption of legislation required to complete the process of WTO accession.
Way to a visa-free travel regime between Ukraine and the European Union
Following the commitments envisaged by the 2001 EU Action Plan on JHA in Ukraine, which became the JLS chapter of the EU-Ukraine Action Plan, EU Council of Ministers officially approved European Commission's draft mandate for holding negotiations with Ukraine concerning a draft Agreement on the facilitation the visa issuance, November 2005.
The conclusion of the Agreement will enable to introduce common regime of the visa issuance to Ukrainian citizens by the Member States' consulate posts within the scope of Schengen aquis. The Agreement envisages waiving of visa requirements for the holders of diplomatic passports; unification of the list of documents necessary for the visa issuance; the issuance of multiple-entry visas (term of validity of up to five years); waiving fees for processing the visa application for a wide range of categories of citizens; general unification and facilitation of the visa issuance processing in the consulate posts of the EU Member States.
One of the fundamental elements of the Agreement is the recognition of a visa free travel regime perspective for the citizens of Ukraine.
Following its conclusion the next target to achieve is efficient implementation of the Agreement on the visa facilitation. This, in particular, implies working out and conclusion of bilateral agreements on visa-free regime for the border areas residents.
The final goal of Ukraine-EU visa dialogue will be introduction of a mutual visa-free travel regime. The instrument to create such prerequisites can be a road map of measures to be taken to approximate Ukrainian legislation to the EU acquis in the areas of migration and border management, passport and visa systems, fighting against transnational organized crime etc., approved jointly with the EU.
Joint development of Ukraine’s border infrastructure
EU allocate considerable funds for financial assistance, aimed at the development of border infrastructure of Ukraine. It is worth mentioning, that in accordance with 2001-2003 years budgets of different programs of EU financial assistance, more than 33 million euro were allocated for the improvement of border infrastructure of Ukrainian border crossing points 'Yagodin' and 'Rava-Russka' on the border with Poland and 'Uzgorod' on the border with Slovak Republic.
In the course of implementation of the EU Action Plan on Justice and Home Affairs in Ukraine and its Scoreboard in the years 2004-2005, due to the EU financial assistance, technical equipment of Sumy border detachment (2,5 million euro) as well as Chernigiv, Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov border guard detachments (8,75 million euro) was substantially improved.
The national indicative TACIS program for the years 2004-2006 foresees granting Ukraine EU financial assistance for construction and modernization of Ukrainian border crossing points ‘Luganka’, ‘Uzgorod’ (second phase) on Ukrainian-Slovak border and ‘Ustilug’ on Ukrainian-Polish border. The matter of use of the EU financial resources for the improvement of infrastructure of the border crossing points with a small volume of traffic ‘Vylok’, ‘Dzvinkove’, ‘Kosyno’ on Ukrainian-Hungarian border and ‘Maly Berezny’ on Ukrainian-Slovak border is being examined.
In reply to the Appeal of Government of Ukraine from 12.08.05 concerning the increase of volumes of EU financing for strengthening of infrastructure and technical equipment of the state border of Ukraine, the European Commission has agreed on 19.09.05 to examine this issue in more detail on the basis of concrete suggestions from the Ukrainian side and with participation of the EC Delegation in Kiev and corresponding Ukrainian authorities.
Later, on the beginning of the year 2006 a special working group, composed of EC Delegation in Kiev collaborators and representatives from relevant Ukrainian ministries and agencies, has been set up. Two joint meetings of the aforementioned working group related to issues of Ukraine’s border infrastructure development have already been held until now.
New framework agreement: the EU membership as a final objective?
According to the Ukraine-EU Action Plan, implementation by Ukraine of the AP political priorities, in particular, holding free and fair parliamentary elections was to open the way towards further substantial development of Ukraine-EU relations, in particular, the launch of negotiations on the new framework agreement to replace Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1994.
On September 13, 2006, the European Commission prepared draft directives (mandate) for negotiations with Ukraine on the new framework agreement. Currently the draft directives are debated by the EU member states. The process is expected to be completed by the end of the year so that full-fledged negotiations would begin in early 2007.
Ukraine and EU share the view that the new agreement must become an ambitious and far-reaching document which should bring our relations to a qualitatively new level. The comprehensive free trade area should become a cornerstone of the new treaty. The FTA will envisage not only liberalized trade in goods, but in services and capital movements, as well as removal of non-tariff technical barriers to trade. Such an FTA should promote Ukraine's gradual integration to the EU Internal Market. At the same time, the talks on the FTA can be launched only after Ukraine's accession to the WTO.
Ukraine expects that the new treaty will pave the way for transition from the principles of partnership and cooperation on the basis of PCA to the principles of political association and economic integration of Ukraine to the EU. We shall take every effort to ensure that the new document recognizes Ukraine's EU membership perspective. At the same time, we are aware of the difficult situation in the EU due to the failure of referenda on EU constitution. The Ukrainian side is prepared to engage in an open, constructive and flexible dialogue with the EU on this matter.