EU-Ukraine Association Agreement: EU Postpones Provisional Application of Trade Part

EU ministers of European affairs, meeting inthe General Affairs Council in Brussels today, have agreed to delay the provisional application of the trade related parts of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The decision was taken “following consultations with the Ukrainian side and as part of the overall efforts towards a comprehensive peace process” in the country, a press release said.

In parallel, proposals for extending the EU’s autonomous trade preferences for Ukraine until 31 December 2015 were presented to the ministers.

Today’s decision delays until 1 January 2016 the provisional application of the Agreement’s title on trade and related matters, including the establishment of a free trade area. At the same time, this decision paves the way for the provisional application of much of the remainder of the Agreement to start on 1 November. “This will concern important provisions on justice, freedom and security including the fight against crime and corruption; increased cooperation in a wide range of economic sectors based on the gradual approximation with the EU’s body of law, as well as financial cooperation,” the press release said.

In a joint statement adopted today the Council and the Commission recalled that “the Association Agreement is a bilateral agreement and any adaptations to it can only be made at the request of one of the parties and with the agreement of the other, according to the mechanisms foreseen in the text and in compliance with international law and with the respective internal procedures of the parties.”

The Association Agreement will deepen Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU, including the establishment a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA). It was signed by the EU, its member states and Ukraine on 21 March and 27 June. The European Parliament gave its consent on 16 September. The process of ratification in the EU’s member states, which is needed for its entry into force, is ongoing.


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