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The EU - Ukraine Action Plan

The EU-Ukraine Action Plan was jointly adopted at a special Cooperation Council on 21 February 2005. It is based on the PCA and an important step towards the overall process of developing the increasingly close relationship between Ukraine and the EU, going beyond co-operation, to gradual economic integration and a deepening of political co-operation. The Action Plan, which has been concluded for a period of 3 years, provides a comprehensive and ambitious framework for work with Ukraine, identifying all the key areas of reform. The Action Plan is highly versatile. The quality of implementation will depend on Ukraine's continued commitment to common values; its capacity to implement jointly agreed priorities and effective bilateral cooperation and coordination.

EU Technical Assistance

The EU is the largest donor to Ukraine. Assistance provided by the European Community alone has amounted to almost ˆ 2.5 billion since 1991. This includes assistance under the Tacis programme (including its national, regional, cross-border and nuclear safety components) as well as macro-financial assistance, support under thematic budget lines such as the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and humanitarian assistance provided by ECHO.

Under the national Tacis programme assistance, over the period 2002-2006, has focused on three priority areas: i) support for institutional, legal and administrative reform, ii) support to private sector and economic development and iii) support in addressing the social consequences of transition.

Funding under the national Tacis programmes for Ukraine has been substantially increased over the period 2002-2006 from ˆ 47 million in 2002 to ˆ 88 million in 2005 and ˆ 100 million in 2006.

In addition to support provided under Tacis National Programmes, regional assistance under the TACIS programme addressed in particular issues related to increased inter-state cooperation in transport, energy and sustainable management of natural resources focusing mainly on water. In the area of Justice, Liberty and Security priorities include enhanced integrated border management, combating organised crime and international terrorism and improving migration and asylum management.

Support for cross-border cooperation focuses on economic and social development of border areas, efficient border management and people-to-people contacts.

In the area of nuclear safety, the EC has provided extensive support since the early nineties to Energoatom, the operator of nuclear power plants in Ukraine, to upgrade/modernize its plants to internationally recognized safety standards. In addition, the EC is the largest contributor to projects to recover the Chernobyl site, either through direct funding or through funds managed by the EBRD.

The EC is also providing an annual contribution to the Science and Technology Centre (STCU) in Ukraine which is an intergovernmental organisation established by a number of donor countries dedicated to the non-proliferation of technologies and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction. Since 1994, STCU has supported about 845 projects and 12,500 scientists.

Prospects for the future

Continued effort on political and economic reform through implementation of the PCA and the EU-Ukraine Action Plan is the key priority in relations with Ukraine.

The negotiations of a comprehensive new Enhanced Agreement with Ukraine, as a successor to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will be of special importance for EU-Ukraine relations. Negotiations started on 5 March 2007 and are expected to continue this year and in 2008.

The new Enhanced Agreement should go beyond the existing Partnership and Co-operation Agreement wherever possible. It should include provisions on common values, enhanced cooperation on justice, freedom and security, extensive specifications on energy, and cooperation in a broad range of areas such as transport and environment. A Free Trade Area should be one of the main elements, for which negotiations will start once Ukraine has completed its WTO accession process.

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