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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.

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 by 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.

Key Milestones

  1. December 2023
    European Council decides to open accession negotiations
  2. November 2023
    Commission recommends opening accession negotiations

    Ukraine included in the Enlargement Package reports for the first time

  3. June 2023
    Commission oral update to the Council on the progress in the 7 steps
  4. February 2023
    Commission’s analytical report on country’s alignment with EU acquis
  5. June 2022
    European Council grants candidate status
  6. June 2022
    Commission recommends 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 already devastating. Over 8 million people have fled to neighbouring countries and there are 6.6 million internal displaced persons within the country (as of 10 August). 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 four sets of unprecedented sanctions against Putin’s regime, and its collaborator, the Lukashenko regime.

Since the Russian aggression started, the EU, Member States and European Financial Institutions have mobilised around €9.5 billion to support Ukraine's overall economic, social and financial resilience in the form of macro-financial assistance, budget support, emergency assistance, crisis response and humanitarian aid. €2.5 billion so far have been dedicated to military aid provided under the European Peace Facility. Moreover the EU has provided in-kind assistance worth €425 million under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

As part of the EU solidarity response with Ukraine, the European Commission proposed on 12 May to suspend for one year import duties on all Ukrainian exports to the EU as well as to establish ‘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 10.9 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. Should you have any questions on how you can support Ukraine or what the EU is doing to help Ukraine, please contact us: EU-Assistance4Ukraineatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (EU-Assistance4Ukraine[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).

EU4Ukraine banner

What we do

Together with the EU Delegation to Ukraine we have been working relentlessly to coordinate support for Ukraine and rapidly mobilise emergency assistance to the country (apart from humanitarian aid and aid through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism):

  a) By Re-purposing of ongoing projects

The EU Delegation to Ukraine is fully operational. It is currently re-purposing up to €200 million worth of ongoing projects to deliver emergency assistance to meet pressing needs of the Ukrainian population and authorities.

  b) €120 million State and Resilience Building Contract (SRBC) – Budget Support

As part of an emergency package for Ukraine announced on 24 January 2022, a €120 million grant in the form of a State and Resilience Building Contract was approved by the European Commission on 17 March. During her visit to Ukraine on 8 April, President von der Leyen announced the full disbursement of the €120 million grant. The programme aims at strengthening civilian crisis preparedness and management at both central and local levels, an area of utmost importance for Ukraine at present. This will contribute to continue addressing existing vulnerabilities against crises affecting the society as a whole, as well as critical infrastructure, including the transport network, information and communication systems.

  c) Emergency support programme of €330 million

Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons and host communities will be the core part of the programme - housing and social services (around €200 million). Focus will be also placed on the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, including possibly energy equipment; support to digital and cybersecurity is also foreseen. The program will also support to independent media and civil society.

Ukraine Facility

On 20 June 2023, the Commission proposed to set up a new Ukraine Facility to support Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction, and modernisation. Following the interinstitutional negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council, the Facility was adopted on 29 February 2024.

The Ukraine Facility will be the dedicated financial instrument that will provide coherent, predictable as well as flexible support for the period 2024-2027 to Ukraine, adapted to the unprecedented challenges of supporting a country at war. A first payment under the Facility was made on 18 March through the exceptional bridge financing, to ensure the continued financial stability of Ukraine.

On 20 March 2024, Ukraine submitted to the European Commission the Ukraine Plan, which will underpin the reforms and investments under the first pillar of the Facility. The Commission will now assess the Plan and submit a proposal for a Council implementing decision setting out the conditions for the disbursement of support.

Ukraine Facility Pillars

The overall amount of the Facility is €50 billion for the period from 2024 to 2027.

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.


Further information

Factsheets available to download

EU NEighbours East -new

EU Neighbours East

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EU solidarity with Ukraine

Photo gallery

For specific information (programme level), see below