The European Union and Ukraine concluded today the first meeting of the Association Committee under the new Association Agreement. They discussed the important progress being made by Ukraine in transforming its economy and governance within the Association Agreement framework, under difficult circumstances. They also discussed the way ahead to deal with remaining challenges, including continued reform efforts by Ukraine and the EU's support to their implementation.
The EU-Ukraine Association Committee convened on 13 and 14 July 2015 in its first meeting under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement , important parts of which are being provisionally applied since 1 November 2014.
The participation of sixteen Ukrainian Deputy Ministers in the meeting and the substantive dialogue on the broad range of areas under the Association Agreement demonstrates the deepening and strengthening of the bilateral relations between the EU and Ukraine. The EU delegation was led by Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia accompanied by the Head of the Support Group for Ukraine anda number of senior officials from the European External Action Service and European Commission.
The EU used the occasion to welcome reforms and progress made to date. It also called for the swift implementation of legislative steps taken, notably in relation to constitutional reform, decentralisation, the fight against corruption, the reform of the justice sector, the restructuring of the energy sector and the improvement of the business climate. The EU recalled its commitment to maintain its unprecedented level of financial support to Ukraine: since spring 2014 EUR 6 billion have been mobilised by the EU and European financial institutions.
The EU and Ukraine discussed the preparations for the application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as of 1 January 2016, and the follow-up to the concrete recommendations of the May 2015 European Commission report on the implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP).
The Association Committee convened in a situation in which Ukraine is faced with economic and financial uncertainty and continuing political and security challenges. The EU will continue its efforts aiming at a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
The EU and Ukraine reaffirmed their commitment to common values and principles. They welcomed the ratification of the Association Agreement by the majority of EU Member States, and look forward to the finalisation of the ratification process in the near future.
The Ukrainian delegation at the Association Committee, is participating this week in a visit to EU institutions organised by the Support Group for Ukraine of the European Commission. The purpose of the visit is to foster closer links and deepen understanding between the EU and Ukraine in particular in crucial reform areas, and to facilitate the implementation of the Association Agreement, including the DCFTA.
See also: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/ukraine/