High Expectations: 18th EU-Ukraine summit: reforms and visa liberalisation are in focus

09:53 Nov. 24, 2016

18th EU-Ukraine summit: reforms and visa liberalisation are in focus

Flags of EU and Ukraine in Kyiv (Getty Images)

The summit's agenda will include some 20 issues as observers say visa-free travel is unlikely in November

On Thursday, November 24, Brussels is hosting talks between the leaders of Ukraine and the European Union in the framework of the 18th Ukraine-EU summit.

The summit's agenda will include some 20 issues, according to UNIAN.

The first issue listed on the agenda regards priorities in political and economic reforms, including the EU assistance.

"Since the last summit in 2015 Ukraine has worked on an ambitious reform agenda, which was supported with an EU budget. The November summit could confirm a further EUR 15 million in support of an anti-corruption programme and EUR 104 million for public administration reform," the European Council said in a statement prior to the summit. 

Read more Long-Awaited EU-Ukraine Summit: What to expect?

The second question to be discussed is cooperation in the field of common foreign security policy and a common security and defense policy (CFSP / CSDP).

Next comes the issue of cooperation in the field of judiciary, freedoms, and security, including visa liberalization.

"The summit will be an occasion to welcome recent steps towards visa-free travel for Ukrainian citizens when travelling to the EU and vice versa," the EU Council said reminding that on 17 November the Council agreed its position, "demonstrating its commitments to visa-liberalisation for Ukraine, ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament." 

Issues related to trade, provisional application of the Association Agreement in terms of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, sectoral cooperation, including energy and transport, are also set to be discussed at the summit.

A separate block of discussion will consider the development of the situation in Ukraine. In particular, the sides will discuss the situation in the certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the implementation of the Minsk agreements, including issues related to human rights. The agenda also includes the discussion of illegal Russian annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.

It is expected that another topic of discussion will be the situation in the European Union, regional and foreign policy issues. Separately, the "Russian issue" will be considered as well as the situation in Moldova and Transnistria. It is possible that the parties may discuss other matters.

Ukraine will be represented by President Petro Poroshenko and the European Union by President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Prior to the meeting Kostyantyn Yeliseyev, the first deputy of Poroshenko's chief of staff, noted that this will be a non-standard and strategic summit.

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