European Union Ukraine Summit
Thursday 24 November in Brussels
European Union Ukraine Summit
Leaders will focus on reforms and visa liberalisation. Since the last summit in 2015 Ukraine has worked on an ambitious reform agenda, which was supported with the EU budget. The November summit could confirm a further €15 million in support of an anti-corruption programme and €104 million for public administration reform.
The summit will be an occasion to welcome recent steps towards visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens when travelling to the EU and vice versa. On 17 November the Council agreed its position, demonstrating its commitments to visa-liberalisation for Ukraine, ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament.
Brussels, 22 November 2016 – The 18th EU-Ukraine summit will take place in Brussels on Thursday 24 November, 2016.
The EU will be represented by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Ukraine will be represented by President Petro Poroshenko.
On the EU side, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz will participate in a leaders’ meeting preceding the summit, while the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Vice-Presidents of the Commission Maroš Šefčovič and Valdis Dombrovskis, and Commissioners Johannes Hahn, Cecilia Malmström and Dimitris Avramopoulos will participate in the plenary working lunch.
The summit will be an opportunity to reaffirm the strong partnership between the EU and Ukraine and discuss progress on, and the EU’s support for, the Ukrainian reform agenda. The leaders will also discuss crisis and conflict-related matters as well as regional and foreign policy issues, such as relations with Russia.
The summit is expected to acknowledge substantial progress made by Ukraine in its reform process. Since the last summit in April 2015 Ukraine has continued to implement an ambitious reform agenda with the adoption of important policy and legislative measures. Among other measures new anti-corruption bodies have been set up, constitutional amendments on justice have been adopted, decentralisation and public administration reform has started and e-asset declarations and e-procurement systems have been launched. The leaders are expected to underline the importance of political and economic reforms and to encourage their continuation. They will also stress the importance of a swift and sustainable implementation of the reforms adopted so far.
Since 2014, the EU has committed €3.41 billion in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. The EU has also provided a support package of €300 million in priority reform areas established together with Ukraine and EU member states. The summit could confirm €15 million in support of an anti-corruption programme and €104 million for public administration reform. The EU should also announce a new programme in support of the rule of law, mainly through judiciary and police reform.
The summit is also expected to provide an opportunity to sign an operational cooperation agreement on data exchanges between Ukraine and Europol.
Reforms in the energy sector have helped to increase market transparency, to substantially reduce the fiscal burden of the energy sector, and to limit Ukraine’s dependence on gas imports from Russia. In this context, the EU has acted as moderator in discussions on energy security between Ukraine and Russia. The leaders are expected to take stock of the prospects for a 2016 winter package. The summit is expected to reaffirm Ukraine’s role as a strategic transit country for gas for the EU and the importance of uninterrupted gas delivery to Europe this winter. In the margins of the summit, the EU and Ukraine are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in Energy.
This will be the first summit to take place since the start of the provisional application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) in January 2016. The leaders are expected to welcome the positive economic impact of the DCFTA, which is further establishing the EU as Ukraine’s main trading partner and has already increased Ukraine’s exports by around 5%. The DCFTA is part of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which was signed in 2014, with large parts being provisionally applied since November of that year.
Leaders will welcome recent steps towards visa-liberalisation for Ukraine. On 17 November the Council agreed its negotiation position on visa-liberalisation for Ukraine with a view to agreement with the European Parliament and the entry into force at the same time as the entry into force of the new EU visa-suspension mechanism for third country nationals exempt from visa requirements.
Crisis and conflict
The summit will reaffirm the EU’s support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Leaders will take stock of the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, the situation in eastern Ukraine and recall their full support to the diplomatic efforts undertaken within the framework of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group. While implementation by all sides is crucial, leaders are expected to stress the specific responsibility of Russia in this regard. Leaders will further discuss the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine and the way forward for the socio-economic integration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s).
Leaders are likely to condemn the deteriorating human rights situation in non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in Crimea and Sevastopol. The EU will reconfirm its commitment to fully implementing its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures.
Finally, the EU is expected to outline its intention to increase its practical support to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine and express its readiness and intention to play an important role in the reconstructions efforts that will be needed once the situation on the ground allows. [Source.]