The EU and Ukraine have signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, to come into force on 1 September 2017.
The AA provides the blueprint for Ukraine's ambitious reform path and will foster trade and investment between the EU and Ukraine. The DCFTA has been operating provisionally for a year and has already seen significant growth in trade.
EU is Ukraine’s first trading partner
“The provisional application of the trade part that entered into force last year has already increased our trade by 25%,” remarked Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, at the EU-Ukraine Summit held in Kiev on 12 and 13 July.
“The fully ratified agreement will allow us to further strengthen our cooperation and to deepen the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU.”
The EU has also granted Ukrainian citizens visa-free travel to the Schengen area in June, as well as eliminating additional tariffs and customs duties on agricultural and industrial products.
Progress in Ukraine’s reform programme
At the summit, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko outlined the government’s Strategy 2020 and its Action Plan 2017-2020 aimed at extending reforms in the country, including improving SME competitiveness.
Simultaneously, the EU announced €200m of priority programmes to support:
- conflict-affected areas in east Ukraine;
- energy efficiency programmes, including contributions to the Energy Efficiency Fund established by Ukraine;
- public finance management, and
- the implementation of the AA/DCFTA via a technical cooperation facility