Thursday

18th Oct 2018

EU-Ukraine summit 'unlikely' this year

  • Yanukovych (l) and EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy in happier times (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

The EU and Ukraine will "most likely" not hold a summit this year, but diplomats blame it on technical instead of political reasons.

"We wanted to see the elections [in Ukraine] take place before we started preparations for the next summit, whch means this will most likely take place only next year ... sometime at the beginning of 2013," EU foreign service spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told EUobserver on Monday (5 November).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

A Ukrainian contact said December had been mooted as a potential summit date, but people are now speaking of January or February instead.

"You should have a summit but you also need some deliverables," the contact added, referring to a diplomatic custom in which every top-level meeting is accompanied by some kind of deal.

The two sides have held a summit every year for the past 15 years.

The break in tradition comes amid a sharp deterioration in ties since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych came to power in 2010.

The EU already cancelled a meeting with him in Brussels last October after he jailed his main political opponent, former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.

Top EU officials did go to Kiev last December to initial an EU-Ukraine trade and political association agreement. But the frosty meeting in the Ukrainian capital came with a warning the pact will not be signed or ratified unless Tymoshenko goes free.

They told Yanukovych's Prime Minister Mykola Azaraov to "stay home" in May this year. EU leaders the same month boycotted a regional summit in Yalta and later boycotted the Euro 2012 football championships in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's parliamentary elections in October did nothing to repair damage.

International monitors, the Vienna-based OSCE, said "democratic progress appears to have reversed in Ukraine" in their assessment of the vote. EU foreign service chief Catherine Ashton this weekend also complained about vote-counting delays.

In terms of the association pact, Kocijancic said EU foreign ministers will discuss the future of the treaty later this month.

One EU diplomat said the pact might be signed in order "not to push Ukraine into Belarus-type isolation."

But other sources said the signature is highly unlikely and that the summit postponement is linked to Yanukovych's increasingly bad name.

"Nobody wants to see him shaking hands with VIPs in Brussels so soon after the elections. It would be seen as EU approbation of his authority despite the poor conduct of the parliamentary vote," an EU diplomatic contact said.

EU snubs Ukraine, again

EU Council President Van Rompuy - the Union's highest official in protocol terms - has told Ukraine's prime minister he is not welcome in the EU capital.

EU ministers disagree on Ukraine boycott

Poland and Sweden have questioned the value of a sports boycott on Ukraine, but Austria and Belgium back the idea, while others are waiting for new developments.

EU countries split on Ukraine treaty

A handful of EU countries want to sign a treaty with Ukraine in autumn despite its erosion of democratic standards. But others disagree.

EU looks at Morocco and Tunisia to offload migrants

EU member states and the European Commission are pressing ahead with plans to possibly use Morocco and Tunisia as countries to offload asylum seekers and migrants - part of larger bid to create a so-called "safe third country" list.

News in Brief

  1. Poland questions supremacy of EU court
  2. Medvedev to meet Juncker and Merkel in Brussels
  3. Italians and Czechs least favourable to remaining in EU
  4. Facebook hack set to be first major test of EU data rules
  5. Barnier open to extending Brexit transition period
  6. Juncker mulls rejection of Italy's 2019 budget
  7. German justice minister to lead SPD in European elections
  8. Tusk: May should come with new Brexit proposals

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. MEPs demand more from EU on human rights in Asia
  2. EU migration solutions are on the table - let's adopt them
  3. No progress at Brexit summit, talks continue
  4. May faces EU leaders head-to-head as Brexit deal falters
  5. Nordic region's top bank in new Russia funds complaint
  6. Why 'Spitzenkandidat' is probably here to stay
  7. EU ministers struggle to deal with Poland and Hungary
  8. Commission tried to hide details of 'WiFi4EU' glitch

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us