European Interest

EU will ‘keep standing by’ Ukraine

Flickr/European Council President/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The president of the European Council Donald Tusk with Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko, during a meeting in Brussels, June 22, 2017.

The European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement, in force since September 2017, was put under the microscope in Brussels on July 9. The 20th summit between the EU and Ukraine reviewed the progress in reforms and the first year of visa-freedom.

The EU was represented by the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk. Ukraine was represented by its president, Petro Poroshenko. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström also attended.

“In the last four years, we have done more together than in the last 20,” said Juncker. “That is testament to the efforts of the Ukrainian people and President Poroshenko. And it shows that the European Union will keep supporting and standing by you.”

According to Juncker, more than half a million Ukrainian citizens have made the most out of visa-free travel to the European Union since last year. And bilateral trade has gone up by almost 25%.

“The number of Ukrainian companies exporting to the EU is up by over 40% since 2014,” he said. “This shows just how much can be achieved when we work together in full trust and confidence. This is how we must now go on. The more Ukraine reforms, the more the European Union will support.”

According to the Joint Summit Statement, although work must still continue to improve the business climate in Ukraine through curbing corruption and eliminating protectionist measures, the full implementation of the 2017 Association Agreement, together with Ukraine’s continued progress in delivering its related reform agenda, has already delivered significant benefits to the Ukrainian people, as well as to EU citizens.

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