Overview of political relations

St Michael's church, KyivSt Michael's church, Kyiv

Since 1991, when Ukraine gained independence, the European Union and Ukraine have developed an increasingly dynamic relationship.

Ukraine is a priority partner country within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership. The EU holds with Ukraine yearly Summits at Presidential level.

The current legal framework for EU-Ukraine relations is provided by the Association Agreement, which replaced Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) in 2014.

The Association Agreement constitutes a new state in the development of EU-Ukraine contractual relations, aiming at political association and economic integration. It provides for a shared commitment to a close and lasting relationship based on common values, in particular full respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The AA includes provisions for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).  The DCFTA offers Ukraine a framework for modernising its trade relations and for economic development by the opening of markets via the progressive removal of customs tariffs and quotas, and by an extensive harmonisation of laws, norms and regulations in various trade-related sectors. This will create the conditions for aligning key sectors of the Ukrainian economy to EU standards.

After signing the political chapters of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement at the EU Summit of 21 March 2014, both parties signed the remaining sections of the Association Agreement on 27 June 2014. The Agreement was then simultaneously ratified by the Verkhovna Rada and the European Parliament on 16 September 2014. While several important parts of the Association Agreement entered provisionally into force on 1 November 2014, the DCFTA part started to be provisionally applied as of 1 January 2016. Today, almost all parts of the Agreement are provisionally applied.

The implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, while not constituting the final goal of EU-Ukraine cooperation, will bring opportunities for sustainable economic development and prosperity to all the regions of Ukraine, as well as to its neighbours.