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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)


Membership status: candidate country

Ukraine meeting

Support for Ukraine

EU-Ukraine relations

The EU cooperates with Ukraine in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and its eastern regional dimension, the Eastern Partnership, with the objective to bring Ukraine closer to the EU.

Since June 2022, Ukraine has official EU candidate status.

Ukraine’s EU path

On 28 February 2022, Ukraine applied for EU membership. On 17 June 2022, the European Commission presented its Opinions on the applications submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. Based on the Commission’s Opinion, Ukraine was given a European perspective on 23 June 2022 unanimous agreement between the leaders of all 27 EU Member States.

The Commission’s Opinion outlined seven steps which Ukraine needed to address in order to progress on the path to the EU. It was complemented by Commission’s analytical report on country’s alignment with EU acquis of 2 February 2023. A more detailed review was part of the 2023 Enlargement Package reports, presented on 08 November 2023, where Ukraine was included for the first time. The Commission also recommended opening accession negotiations with Ukraine. On 14 December 2023, European Council decided to open accession negotiations with the country.

The first intergovernmental conference marking the formal launch of the accession negotiations was held on 25 June 2024.

Key Milestones

  1. June 2024
    First intergovernmental conference marking the formal start of accession negotiations
  2. December 2023
    European Council decides to open accession negotiations
  3. November 2023
    Commission recommends opening accession negotiations

    Ukraine included in the Enlargement Package reports for the first time

  4. June 2023
    Commission oral update to the Council on the progress in the 7 steps
  5. February 2023
    Commission’s analytical report on country’s alignment with EU acquis
  6. June 2022
    Commission recommends and European Council grants Ukraine candidate status
  7. February 2022
    Shortly after the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression, Ukraine applies for EU Membership
  8. September 2017
    Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) enter into force
  9. June 2017
    Visa facilitation and readmission agreements enter into force

Solidarity with Ukrainian people

Almost eight years after the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia launched on 24 February 2022 a large-scale military invasion of the whole country. The destruction and suffering is devastating. Over 8 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and there are millions of internal displaced persons within the country. Ukraine is bravely fighting for the survival of its democracy and national sovereignty.

The European Union and its partners are doing their outmost to help Ukraine and the last weeks have seen high levels of support and unprecedented political decisions. The EU has reacted swiftly, adopting unprecedented sanctions against Putin’s regime, and its collaborator, the Lukashenko regime.

Since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU has made available close to €108 billion in financial, humanitarian, and military assistance to Ukraine and to cater for Ukrainians’ needs in the EU.

A breakdown of this support is provided here:

As part of the EU solidarity response with Ukraine, the European Commission suspended all import duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU until June 2025. The Commission also established ‘Solidarity Lanes’ to help Ukrainian grain and other agricultural goods to reach their destinations through alternative routes to the Black Sea ports blocked by the Russian navy, using all relevant transport modes through EU Member States. It should also ensure that Ukraine could import goods of first necessity (such as humanitarian aid, food, animal feed, fertilizers, fuel). The EU’s Solidarity Lanes have helped Ukraine export 136 million tonnes of cereals, oilseeds and other related products until now.

EU Member States and their citizens are showing impressive solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Each of us can contribute to support Ukraine and its citizens to face the destructions of war and displacement.

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Ukraine Facility

On 20 June 2023, the Commission proposed a new Ukraine Facility to support Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction, and modernization as well as foster Ukraine’s EU accession path. 

The Ukraine Facility will provide up to €50 billion in grants and loans for the period 2024-2027 to support Ukraine's efforts to sustain macro-financial stability, promote short-term recovery as well as rebuild and modernise the country whilst implementing key reforms on its EU accession track. It will support the transition towards green, digital and inclusive economy that is progressively aligned with EU rules and standards. 

Out of this, as of June 2024, €7.89 billion has already been disbursed, including €6 billion in exceptional bridge financing and €1.89 billion in pre-financing.

At the heart of the Ukraine Facility is the Ukraine Plan, developed by the Government of Ukraine and positively assessed by the Council on 14 May. The document sets out reforms and investments that can boost sustainable economic growth and attract investments, amplifying the country's growth potential in the medium-to-long term.

As part of the Ukraine Facility, a Ukraine Investment Framework to attract public and private investments with €7.8 billion in loan guarantees and €1.51 billion for blended finance grants has been established. The Ukraine Investment Framework is expected to mobilise up to €40 billion in public and private investments over the next years.  In June 2024, The EU signed the first €1.4 billion of new guarantee and grant agreements to attract private sector investments to support Ukraine's recovery.

The Facility will be equipped with a robust framework for audit and control, to ensure the protection of EU financial interests, while supporting the further improvement of Ukraine’s system of internal controls. A dedicated Audit Board will assist the Commission by regularly reporting on the implementation of the funds spent to achieve the Facility’s objectives and making recommendations to Ukraine.

The Facility underscores the EU’s steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression and its path towards EU membership.

More information on the Ukraine Facility

Further information

Factsheets available to download

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EU Neighbours East

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EU solidarity with Ukraine

For specific information (programme level), see below