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EU Solidarity with Ukraine

Ukraine’s path towards EU accession

Green light to open accession negotiations

On 14 December 2023, the EU leaders agreed to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and reconfirmed their commitment to continue strong support to the country and its people as long as it takes.

The Council of the EU has been invited by the EU leaders to adopt the negotiating framework once Ukraine completes the relevant reform measures set out in the Commission's recommendations from 8 November 2023.

Europe is in the eyes of all Ukrainians who fight for a better future. And together, we can win this fight. Together, we can complete our Union. Together, we can bring Ukraine in our common European home. This is the dream of Ukraine's heroes and Ukraine's martyrs. And it is our dream, too. Together we are Europe.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Aspiring to join the EU

Ukraine applied for EU membership at the end of February 2022, only days after Russia launched its full-scale unprovoked and unjustified aggression. The Commission presented its Opinion on the application in June 2022, and Ukraine was granted EU candidate status by all EU Member States that same month. 

In Ukraine, this created a powerful reform dynamic despite the ongoing war, with strong support from the people of Ukraine.

Steps to accession - a solid foundation for a harmonious partnership

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), in force since 2017, and the EU's decision to grant Ukraine EU candidate status in 2022 were some of the pivotal moments in Ukraine's path towards further EU integration. Ukraine and its citizens have demonstrated their commitment to democratic values, economic development and strengthening their ties to the EU.

The first results of this partnership are already visible. For example, Ukraine’s scientists and citizens take part in important EU programmes for research, innovation and education through Horizon Europe and Erasmus. More recently, Ukraine has joined the Single Market programme and the Connecting Europe Facility.

EU assistance to Ukraine

The EU has provided significant financial assistance to Ukraine. Since the start of Russia's war of aggression in 2022, the EU, its Member States and financial institutions have mobilised around €85 billion in support to Ukraine and its people.

This includes €40.6 billion for Ukraine’s overall economic, social and financial resilience in the form of emergency macro-financial assistance, budget support, emergency assistance, crisis response and humanitarian aid. In addition, military assistance measures amount to around €27 billion, of which €5.6 billion have been mobilised under the European Peace Facility. €17 billion have been made available to help EU Member States cater for needs of Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Timeline

  1. 14 December 2023

    The European Council decides to open accession negotiations with Ukraine

  2. 8 November 2023

    The Commission recommends that the Council opens accession negotiations with Ukraine.

  3. 23 June 2022

    The European Council recognises the European perspective and grants candidate status to Ukraine.

  4. 17 June 2022
  5. 28 February 2022

    Ukraine applies for EU membership.