Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ukraine gets "association" agreement from EU

According to several sources, during today's EU-Ukraine summit in Evian, officials from both sides will discuss a closer political and economic cooperation in the form of an offical agreement.

On the demand of Ukraine, the new agreement to be signed will be called "association agreement" which is close to the pre-accession terminology ("Stabilisation and Association Agreement") of the European Union, although legally it still sounds weaker.

Reuter reports about the possible outcome of today's summit:
A draft summit text acknowledges Ukraine's European aspirations and adds "that gradual convergence of Ukraine with the EU in political, economic and legal areas will contribute to further progress in EU-Ukraine relations".

It describes a broad bilateral pact under negotiation as an "association agreement", wording that can imply the possibility of future membership, and the leaders will announce the launch of a dialogue towards an eventual visa-free regime.
Yet another valuable step towards greater unity in Europe, although in the light of the Ukrainian political crisis one might have doubts how far Ukraine can go beyond empty promises...