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

Three agreements were signed at a ceremony following the summit

Main results

The 23rd summit between the European Union and Ukraine took place in Kyiv on 12 October 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, there are concrete achievements that change people’s lives, bring freedom, more capacities to support the rule of law, and more prosperity. That’s the real meaning of the ties between Ukraine and the EU.

European Council President Charles Michel

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

President Michel emphasised the benefits of EU-Ukraine ties for citizens

Political association and economic integration

The leaders reaffirmed the continued commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union.

They welcomed the results achieved under the EU-Ukraine association agreement (AA) and the success of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA). Since the beginning of the DCFTA’s application in 2016, bilateral trade flows have substantially increased.

Both 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 a chance in recent years to participate in the Erasmus+ project. 50 million European citizens have enjoyed visa-free movement to the EU.

Remarks by President Michel following the EU-Ukraine summit

The leaders agreed to further enhance economic integration and cooperation within the framework of the AA, including in the following areas:

  • approximation of Ukraine’s policies and legislation with the European Green Deal
  • integration of Ukraine’s energy markets and energy systems with the EU energy market, establishing a level playing field
  • continued gas transit via Ukraine beyond 2024, modernisation of Ukraine’s gas transmission system and strengthening of European energy security
  • alignment of Ukraine with the EU Digital Single Market within the remit of the association agreement.

The EU and Ukraine also signed three agreements in the margins of the summit:

  • a civil aviation agreement creating new commercial opportunities for Ukrainian and EU member state airlines
  • an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the Horizon Europe programme and the Euratom Research and Training programme
  • an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the Creative Europe programme

In the run-up to the Eastern Partnership summit, the leaders welcomed the progress made in implementing the AAs and DCFTAs with Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, and called for their full implementation. The summit will take place in Brussels on 15 December 2021.

Reform process

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

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

The EU reaffirmed its continued substantial support for Ukraine with a clear link to the effective implementation of reforms and policy measures. Since 2014 the EU and European Financial Institutions have mobilised an unprecedented package of more than €17 billion in loans and grants for Ukraine.

COVID-19 assistance

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

The EU and Ukraine will cooperate closely to ensure Ukraine has access to COVID-19 vaccines in the framework 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 connected 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 Digital COVID Certificate is accepted by Ukraine.

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

Foreign and security policy

The EU reaffirmed its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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

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

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

Remarks by President Michel following the EU-Ukraine summit

The leaders reiterated their strong condemnation of the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

The EU welcomed the establishment of the International Crimean Platform launched at the kick-off summit that took place on 23 August in Kyiv, and supports the implementation of the joint declaration which the EU and its member states have signed up to.

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

EU sanctions against Russia

The leaders highlighted that the EU had again extended its economic sanctions on Russia, which had been adopted since 2014 in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

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

Moreover, the day before the summit, the Council imposed restrictive measures on an additional eight individuals for actively supporting actions and implementing policies that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

EU relations with Ukraine

EU-Ukraine relations are based on an association agreement (AA) which entered into force in 2017. The economic part of the AA is a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA).

Visa liberalisation

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

Previous summit

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

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