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Document 22014A0529(01)

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Association Agreement with Ukraine

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Dates
  • Date of last review: 10/10/2016
  • Initial creation date: 10/10/2016
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  • Author: Publications Office
Text

Association Agreement with Ukraine

 

SUMMARY OF:

Association Agreement between the EU, its Member States and Ukraine

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE AGREEMENT?

  • The agreement constitutes a new stage in EU–Ukraine contractual relations, aiming at political association and economic integration through:
    • promoting a gradual rapprochement between the parties based on common values;
    • enhancing political dialogue and cooperation in the areas of justice, freedom and security;
    • promoting peace and stability;
    • creating the conditions for enhanced economic and trade relations leading to Ukraine’s gradual access to parts of the EU’s internal market;
    • establishing conditions for increasingly close cooperation in other areas of mutual interest.
  • It replaces the EU–Ukraine Partnership and Cooperation Agreement as the legal basis and framework for EU–Ukraine relations.

KEY POINTS

The agreement comprises a preamble which sets out the reasons for the agreement and its aims. This is followed by 7 titles.

  • 1.

    General principles

The principles that are essential elements of the agreement between the parties are:

  • respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • promoting respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and independence, as well as countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The EU and Ukraine also agree that the principles of a free market economy underpin their relationship. They also recognise that the following are central to enhancing their relationship:

  • 2.

    Intensified political dialogue and cooperation

Political dialogue will be further developed to bring about gradual EU–Ukraine convergence in the area of the common foreign and security policy as well as the common security and defence policy. Among other things, it will seek to:

  • strengthen cooperation and dialogue on international security and crisis management to address global and regional challenges and key threats;
  • build result-oriented and practical cooperation for achieving peace, security and stability on the European continent.
  • 3.

    Justice, freedom and security

Here, priorities include:

  • consolidating the rule of law and strengthening institutions at all levels of administration in general; and
  • law enforcement and the administration of justice in particular.

The aim is to strengthen the judiciary, improve its efficiency, safeguard its independence and impartiality and combat corruption. Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms will guide the parties’ cooperation on justice, freedom and security.

The parties also commit to:

  • increasing their dialogue and cooperation on migration, asylum and border management; and
  • combating organised crime and money laundering.

The title also includes explicit mention of the parties’ wish for increased people-to-people contacts and their recognition of the importance of the introduction — in time — of visa-free travel to the EU for Ukraine’s citizens, provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place.

  • 4.

    Trade and trade-related matters

The objective of the parties is to create a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). They commit to developing a new climate conducive in particular to trade and investment and to stimulating competition, all of which are crucial to economic restructuring and modernisation.

The DCFTA involves the gradual removal of customs tariffs and quotas which, linked to the broader process of aligning Ukraine’s laws with EU laws, standards and practices (acquis), will contribute to further economic integration with the EU’s single market.

  • 5.

    Economic and sector cooperation

This title covers cooperation in a wide variety of fields and sectors based on gradual alignment with the EU laws and practices and, where relevant, with international norms and standards. Sectors concerned include:

  • 6.

    Financial cooperation

The EU and EU countries have given financial assistance to Ukraine since the 1990s. Ukraine can benefit from continued financial assistance through the relevant EU funding mechanisms and instruments to achieve the objectives of the Association Agreement. For the period 2014-2020, the former European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument has been succeeded by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).

  • The main principles of financial assistance are as envisaged in the regulations covering the relevant EU financial instruments (e.g. the ENI, the instrument promoting human rights and democracy and the instrument for development cooperation promoting civil society, etc.).
  • The parties agree priorities which are then reflected in funding programmes. EU assistance is implemented in close cooperation with other international financial institutions or donors. Ukraine is also eligible for projects under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility.
  • 7.

    Institutional, general and final provisions

This last title covers how EU–Ukraine relations are managed. The institutional set-up is as follows:

  • EU–Ukraine Summit: this allows top-level political dialogue between presidents.
  • Association Council: this is dialogue at ministerial level and has the power to take binding decisions.
  • Association Committee: assists the Association Council in preparing its duties; the committee is able to create subcommittees to implement sector cooperation.
  • Parliamentary Association Committee: this is a forum for Members of the European Parliament and of Ukraine’s Parliament to meet and exchange views.
  • Civil society platform: this will promote regular civil society meetings and make recommendations to the Association Council.

FROM WHEN DOES THE AGREEMENT APPLY?

The political chapters of the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement were signed in March 2014. The remaining sections of the agreement were signed in June 2014. The agreement will enter into force once all EU countries, in addition to Ukraine, have ratified it.

Provisional application of several important parts of the agreement began on 1 November 2014:

  • on the respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law;
  • political dialogue and reform;
  • justice, freedom and security;
  • economic and sectoral cooperation (e.g. energy, environment, climate action, transport, agriculture, rural development, consumer protection and fisheries) and financial cooperation, including anti-fraud.

The DCFTA provisionally applies as of 1 January 2016.

BACKGROUND

The EU has been following the political situation in Ukraine. It is closely involved in seeking a solution to the crisis. In view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation, it decided, in 2014, to introduce sanctions.

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part (OJ L 161, 29.5.2014, pp. 3-2137)

Corrigendum

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Decision 2014/295/EU of 17 March 2014 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, as regards the Preamble, Article 1, and Titles I, II and VII thereof (OJ L 161, 29.5.2014, pp. 1-2)

Council Decision 2014/668/EU of 23 June 2014 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, as regards Title III (with the exception of the provisions relating to the treatment of third-country nationals legally employed as workers in the territory of the other Party) and Titles IV, V, VI and VII thereof, as well as the related Annexes and Protocols (OJ L 278, 20.9.2014, pp. 1-3)

Successive amendments to Decision 2014/668/EU have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Final Act between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, as regards the Association Agreement (OJ L 278, 20.9.2014, pp. 4-5)

Notice concerning the provisional application of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States of the one part and Ukraine, of the other part (OJ L 311, 31.10.2014, p. 1)

Notice concerning the provisional application of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part (OJ L 321, 5.12.2015, p. 1)

last update 10.10.2016

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