The European Union (EU) on Tuesday, in a symbolic move, adopted the association agreement with Ukraine on the eve of a summit in Kiev.
“This is the final step of the ratification process through which the EU and Ukraine commit to a close, long-term relationship in all main policy areas,” the Council of the EU said in a statement, adding that the agreement will fully kick in as of Sept. 1, 2017.
Nevertheless, most of the association agreement, signed in May 2014, is already operational.
“Many political and sectoral parts of the agreement have been provisionally applied since Sept. 1, 2014, while its trade part, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), has been provisionally applied since Jan. 1, 2016,” said the statement.
European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are due to met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a summit in Kiev on Wednesday and Thursday.
On top of the agenda of the summit are the Ukraine-EU association agreement and the conflict in Ukraine.
In a non-binding advisory referendum in April 2016, a vast majority of the Dutch voters rejected the agreement.
The Dutch Senate in May this year approved the agreement after an EU summit in December 2016 hammered out a conclusion that there would be an appendix in the treaty, which states that the treaty is not automatically a step towards membership of the EU, nor does it mean that workers from Ukraine can easily work in the EU.