The EU Council said in a statement Tuesday it had finally approved the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, establishing a political and economic association between the bloc and the country, was signed in 2014. It was ratified by all EU member states in 2016 with the Netherlands being the last state to support the move. In April 2016, Dutch voters held a referendum on the issue and rejected the agreement by 61 percent of votes out of fears that the deal would obligate the Netherlands to provide financial or military support to Kiev. Despite low voter turnout and the non-binding nature of the referendum, most Dutch parties agreed to abide by the outcome.
“On 11 July, the Council adopted a decision to conclude the Association Agreement with Ukraine on behalf of the European Union. This takes place on the eve of the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, on 12 and 13 July. 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. It will allow the full implementation of the agreement as of 1 September 2017,” the statement said.
Under the agreement, Ukraine has to adopt a wide range of reforms, including in the fight against corruption, public finance management, decentralization and the energy sector.