Technical preparations for the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, created to establish a free trade area and political and economic bond between Ukraine and the 28 member states, have been finalized today, according to a statement from the Council of the EU.
“The Council today adopted the legal acts empowering the EU to sign those parts of the agreement that have not yet been signed. It also endorsed provisional application of parts of the agreement, since ratification by all 28 EU member states is a long process. This includes the provisions on free trade, which are foreseen to be provisionally applied as of this autumn after the ratification by the Ukrainian parliament,” the statement reads.
The press release states that European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and all EU heads of state or government are to sign on behalf of the EU and its member states, signifying a major step for Ukraine into the European sphere.
According to the statement, the document is to be signed on June 27th. Currently, the EU and Ukraine are integrated via the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) enacted in 1998. In 2008, the Association Agreement was proposed at the Paris Summit as the next step, which focused negotiations on the development of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is pushing for closer ties with the EU, vowed last week to sign the remaining economic section of the association agreement on June 27, on the sidelines of the upcoming EU summit in Brussels.
Ukraine signed the political provisions of the agreement on March 21.