Following the Revolution of Dignity in 2013-2014, the European Parliament engaged in an unprecedented level of cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine in the field of democracy support.
In the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding renewed in 2021 between the European Parliament's President and the Rada's Speaker, regular exchanges and dialogues, study visits and support actions are taking place.
Actively supporting the European Union's international efforts to promote democracy and human rights is one of the European Parliament's core responsibilities, set out in in the EU's founding treaties.
You can find the latest news, check out videos and podcasts, find relevant legislation and resolutions and discover how the EU is helping Ukraine. There are also links to useful websites.
The EU has always been keen to forge closer links with Ukraine, boost its economy and support democracy and the rule of law in the country.
Over the years the EU and European Parliament have consistently opposed Russian aggression against Ukraine. In a resolution adopted in December 2021, MEPs called on Russia to withdraw its troops threatening Ukraine and said any aggression by Moscow must come at a high economic and political price. Parliament had already expressed grave concern about the large Russian military build-up at the border with Ukraine and in illegally occupied Crimea in a resolution adopted in April 2021.
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU adopted a wide-range of sanctions that will have severe consequences for the country.The European Parliament held an extraordinary plenary session on 1 March, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed MEPs. Parliament expressed unwavering support for Ukraine and called for further measures.
The EU and Ukraine already have an Association agreement in place, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. The accord established political association and economic integration between the EU and Ukraine and provided for mutual free market access.
The agreement established ground rules for cooperation in areas including energy, transport, and education. It also required Ukraine to implement reforms and respect democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law.
The free trade agreement substantially integrated EU and Ukraine markets by dismantling import duties and banning other trade restrictions, albeit with specific limitations and transitional periods in sensitive areas, such as trade in agricultural products.
There are various EU initiatives to support Ukraine's economy, aid its green transition and help the country to reform.
Since 2014, more than €17 billion in grants and loans have been mobilised by the EU and financial institutions to support reforms in Ukraine, while applying conditionality depending on their progress.
Since 2015, more than 11,500 Ukrainian students have participated in the EU's popular Erasmus+ programme.
The EU invests in projects to stimulate Ukraine's economy, including direct support to 100,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, assistance to more than 10,000 firms in rural areas and funds to modernise public IT infrastructure.
Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the EU has mobilised more than €190 million for Ukraine to support immediate needs and socio-economic recovery as well as €1.2 billion in macro-financial assistance. The EU has supplied more than 36 million items of personal protective equipment, as well as ambulances, critical medical equipment and training for health care staff. In cooperation with civil society, the EU provides food and medicines to vulnerable families.
On 16 February 2022, MEPs approved a €1.2 billion macro-financial loan to help Ukraine cover its external financing needs in 2022.
In 2018 Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Oleg Sentsov. The Ukrainian film director and human rights activist was imprisoned for protesting Russia's annexation of his native Crimea on Independence Square in Kyiv, but released from jail on 7 September 2019 as part of a prisoner exchange deal between Russia and Ukraine.