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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations

Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU.

With the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) signed in 2014 and in force since 2017 after being provisionally applied, our relations have achieved an unprecedented level of closeness. The AA/DCFTA is the blueprint for Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda kicked-off with the 2013-2014 Maidan and for the EU’s support. It is based on shared values and commitment to respect for democratic principles, the rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Our common goal is further economic integration and political association between Ukraine and the EU.

Latest Developments

During the five years since the Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine has taken essential steps in implementing complex reforms. Our partnership is built on the principle that as long as Ukraine keeps reforming at an unprecedented level, the EU keeps supporting at an unprecedented level. Since 2014, this has meant yearly funds of up to € 200 million mobilised from the bilateral pillar of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), for a stronger economystronger governance and stronger society in Ukraine.

The EU support to Ukraine under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, is coordinated by the European Commission’s Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA). Together with the EU Delegation to Ukraine, SGUA develops support programmes for key reform areas (e.g. for decentralisation, the fight against corruption or strengthening the rule of law) which are often co-financed and implemented by EU Member States. The EU also supports the Ukrainian civil society through grants from different financial instruments, through contributions to the European Endowment for Democracy and a steady dialogue that informs our policymaking.

Over the last years, Ukraine has gained access to different European Union programmes, becoming for instance the frontrunner of Erasmus+ among the Eastern Partnership countries; becoming  associated to the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation; and taking part in the Creative Europe programme supporting the cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors.

The EU also cooperates with Ukraine in the framework of the eastern regional dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership.

Bilateral Cooperation

The EU supports Ukraine through a variety of instruments.

Overall, the EU and Financial Institutions (European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) have mobilised loans and grants to help Ukraine stabilise its economy, carry out comprehensive reforms and improve the lives of its citizens. This includes substantial bilateral financial and technical assistance under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (over € 1.565 billion). Ukraine benefits from Twinning and TAIEX, and, beyond bilateral support, from ENI regional and multi-country Action Programmes for the Eastern Partnership countries. In addition to the Chornobyl Shelter Fund, support is provided via the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC II) 2014-2020. Furthermore, the EU mobilised via four programmes a total of € 5.61 billion in macro-financial assistance for Ukraine, paid upon the fulfilment of reform conditions.

The EU also helps Ukraine deal with the humanitarian, social and economic consequences of the conflict in the country’s eastern regions. Having provided in total over € 459 million since the start of the conflict, the EU and its Member States are together the biggest humanitarian donor, addressing the needs of people in the areas directly affected by the conflict, the internally displaced people and refugees who have fled the conflict areas, and the returnees. The EU furthermore provides support for early recovery and co-funds the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, to which the EU and its Member States have been the biggest contributor so far, providing about two thirds of both the mission's budget and monitors.

Finally, since 2017, a € 50 million comprehensive support programme for the government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is in place. It aims at strengthening good governance and decentralisation, supports economic revitalisation and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), increases community security and social cohesion, fosters the regional health care system, supports displaced universities and assists with tackling the infrastructural disconnect. The programme was recently topped-up by € 10 million and expanded to support the Sea of Azov region.

Investments are channelled to Ukraine via the EU External Investment Plan , notably the Neighbourhood Investment Platform. Since 2014, over € 225 million has been channelled through the NIP to Ukraine for the support to infrastructure financing in fields such as fighting the economic consequences of Covid-19, transport connectivity and greening, energy efficiency, support to SMEs, municipal infrastructure and local currency lending.

Loans amounting to € 5.65 billion have been mobilised by the European Investment Bank since 2014 to support infrastructure development and reforms in the transport, energy, agriculture, education and municipal sectors, as well as for SME development in Ukraine. Investment worth more than € 4 billion from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has been mobilised since 2014 to help develop and reform, inter alia, the banking sector, agribusiness, transport and small businesses. (Note: mobilisation of loans does not necessarily mean disbursement as this depends on the degree of maturity of projects).

Via the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) Ukraine, Ukraine-based international experts mainly from EU Member States assist Ukraine with the reform of the civilian security sector.

Find the latest opportunities from the EU-Ukraine cooperation here and here.

Factsheets and Factographs available to download:

Support Group for Ukraine

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Latest News

News article |

Today, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will meet in Brussels with the leaders of EU Member States and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine for the sixth Eastern Partnership Summit...

Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below