EU recognizes Ukraine's European aspirations, declares its commitment to political association, economic integration
The European Union recognizes Ukraine's European aspirations and declares its commitment to political association and economic integration.
"We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union, including through continued close cooperation to strengthen the rule of law, advance reforms, foster sustainable economic growth, support the green and digital transitions and increase resilience," the leaders of the EU and Ukraine said in the joint statement on the results of the Ukraine-EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday.
The parties discussed the implementation of the Association Agreement following its entry into force in September 2017.
"In this context, we acknowledged the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomed its European choice, as stated in the Association Agreement," the leaders said in the statement.
In this regard, the leaders agreed to exploit fully the potential of the Agreement and stressed the importance of Ukraine continuing to implement its commitments to that end.
"We welcomed the results already achieved in the implementation of the Association Agreement and the success of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which has supported the increase of bilateral trade flows by about 65% following its application since January 2016, with the EU now Ukraine's largest trading partner," they said in the document.
The leaders agreed to proceed in 2021 with the comprehensive review of the achievement of the Agreement's objectives, as the Agreement stipulates.
In addition, the leaders reaffirmed the emphasis on maintaining Ukraine's macro-economic stability, keeping the IMF commitments on track and implementing all medium-term structural policies agreed within the EU macrofinancial assistance programme, as well as a strong and independent National Bank of Ukraine.
"The EU reaffirmed its continued substantial support for Ukraine, and its link to the effective implementation of reforms and policy measures. Building on successful Ukrainian reforms and international support since the Revolution of Dignity, the EU announced new programmes to support agriculture, local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) notably through local currency lending, civil society, transport, infrastructure, environment and climate action, as well as specific support for the east of Ukraine. The EU also continues to support Ukraine on decentralization and strengthening local self-governance, and on enhancing the fight against corruption," the leaders said in the statement.
In addition, the leaders welcomed the continued successful implementation of the visa-free regime for the citizens of Ukraine.
"We underlined the importance of continuing to fulfil the visa liberalization benchmarks and accelerating related reform efforts. We looked forward to the resumption of the normal travel opportunities for our citizens, once epidemiological conditions allow," they said.
The leaders welcomed the Eastern Partnership Leaders' video tele-conference meeting of 18 June 2020.
"Taking into account the results and orientations from this meeting and building on the March 2020 Joint Communication, we reaffirmed the strategic importance of the partnership, and looked forward to the sixth Eastern Partnership Summit in 2021, which is expected to endorse long-term policy objectives and the next generation of post-2020 deliverables on the basis of these objectives and input of Member States and partner countries," the leaders said.