EU-Ukraine summit, Kiev, Ukraine, 12 October 2021

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Three agreements were signed during a ceremony after the summit

Principle results

The 23rd summit between the European Union and Ukraine took place in Kiev on October 12, 2021.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, represented the EU. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy represented Ukraine.

Behind official meetings are concrete achievements that change people’s lives, bring freedom, more capacity to support the rule of law and more prosperity. This is the real meaning of the ties between Ukraine and the EU.

President of the European Council Charles Michel

At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted a joint statement.


President Michel underlined the benefits of EU-Ukraine relations for citizens

Political association and economic integration

The leaders reaffirmed their continued commitment to strengthen Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the European Union.

They welcomed the results obtained under the EU-Ukraine agreement association agreement (AA) and the success of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Since the application of the Deep and Comprehensive FTA began in 2016, bilateral trade flows have increased significantly.

The two sides welcomed the exchange of their assessments of the AA with a view to presenting a joint assessment at the next bilateral summit in Brussels in 2022.

We belong to the same European family. 17,000 Ukrainian students have had the chance in recent years to participate in the Erasmus + project. 50 million European citizens have benefited from the visa waiver to enter the EU.

Remarks by President Michel at the end of the EU-Ukraine summit

The leaders agreed to continue strengthen economic integration and cooperation within the framework of the AA, in particular in the following areas:

  • approximation of Ukraine’s policies and legislation with the European Green Deal
  • the integration of Ukraine’s energy markets and energy systems with the EU energy market, establishing a level playing field
  • continuation of gas transit through Ukraine beyond 2024, modernization of Ukraine’s gas transport system and strengthening of European energy security
  • Ukraine’s alignment with the EU’s digital single market in the framework of the Association Agreement.

The EU and Ukraine have also signed three chords on the edge of the summit:

  • a civil aviation agreement creating new business opportunities for Ukrainian airlines and EU member states
  • an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the Horizon Europe program and the Euratom research and training program
  • an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the Creative Europe program

In view of the Eastern Partnership Summit, leaders welcomed the progress made in the implementation of AAs and Deep and Deeper FTAs ​​with Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, and called for their full implementation. The summit will take place in Brussels on December 15, 2021.

Reform process

The leaders recognized the substantial progress Ukraine in its reform process, such as the historic opening of the agricultural land market.

They stressed the need to intensify these efforts, in particular with regard to judicial reforms, the fight against corruption and the reform of the security sector.

The EU reaffirmed its continued substantial support to Ukraine, clearly linked to the effective implementation of reforms and policy measures. Since 2014, the EU and European financial institutions have mobilized an unprecedented package of more than 17 billion euros in loans and grants for Ukraine.

Map with bubble chart showing EU aid to neighboring countries in response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Help

The leaders noted that the EU support to help Ukraine cope with socio-economic impact pandemic goes far beyond what the EU has provided to any other partner, with an allocation of € 1.2 billion in macro-financial assistance plus a support program of € 190 million.

The EU and Ukraine will cooperate closely to ensure that Ukraine has access to COVID-19 vaccines as part of the COVAX platform, including through the EU Vaccine Transfer Mechanism.

The leaders also welcomed the fact that Ukraine is among the non-EU countries and territories linked to the EU digital COVID certificate. This means that a Ukrainian COVID certificate is accepted in the EU under the same conditions as the EU digital COVID certificate. Likewise, the EU COVID digital certificate is accepted by Ukraine.


President Michel reiterated the EU’s unwavering solidarity with Ukraine regarding its territorial integrity

Foreign and security policy

EU reaffirms its unwavering support for Ukraine independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The leaders noted the importance of further strengthening cooperation in the field of Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and Ukraine’s increased convergence with Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

They also recognized the importance of further strengthening cooperation in tackling hybrid threats and disinformation.

Security also means stepping up efforts to counter hybrid threats and cyber attacks. That is why we will further strengthen our cyber dialogue.

Remarks by President Michel at the end of the EU-Ukraine summit

The leaders reiterated their firm condemnation the flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by acts of aggression committed by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

The EU welcomed the creation of the Crimean International Platform launched at the kick-off summit held on 23 August in Kyiv, and supports the implementation of the joint declaration to which the EU and its Member States have subscribed.

Ukraine welcomed the conclusions of the June European Council, in which EU leaders reaffirmed that full implementation of the Minsk agreements remains the essential condition for any substantial change in the EU’s position in its relations with Russia.

EU sanctions against Russia

The leaders stressed that the EU had again extended its economic sanctions against Russia, which had been adopted since 2014 in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberation destabilization of Ukraine.

The duration of these sanctions remains clearly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

In addition, the day before the summit, the Council imposed restrictive measures on a eight people for actively supporting actions and implementing policies that compromise or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

Background

EU relations with Ukraine

EU-Ukraine relations are based on a association agreement (AA) which entered into force in 2017. The economic arm of the AA is a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

Visa liberalization

Since 2017, Ukrainian citizens no longer need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area.

Previous summit

The previous EU-Ukraine summit was held on October 6, 2020 in Brussels.


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