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EU-Ukraine: responding
to challenges together

Media Digest, November 2023

The latest issue of Media Digest features publications on the key events of November manifesting the condition and prospects of Ukraine-EU relations.


November is a special month, when significant events in the history of Ukraine and Ukrainians take place.

From the Revolution of Dignity, which started with the Euromaidan, to the real prospect of starting negotiations on EU membership – that is the path Ukraine is taking. The European Union supports Ukrainians in their aspiration for freedom, independence, peace, and the desire to live freely on their land, which Ukrainians are fighting for in a bloody war with weapons in their hands. This is what President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen spoke about as she announced the recommendation of the European Commission to open negotiations with Ukraine on EU membership.

President of the European Council Charles Michel was also open in his support during his visit to the Ukrainian capital to honour the 10th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity. A lot was said on various platforms about shared values and shared challenges that Ukraine and the EU are facing in the political, humanitarian, and, first of all, security areas.

You can find more information in the latest issue of Media Digest.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

European Commission recommends opening negotiations

In Brussels on 8 November, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced the assessment of Ukraine and Moldova’s progress on their path towards EU membership, stating: ’Today is a historic day, because the European Commission recommends the Council to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova.’

According to von der Leyen, Kyiv has completed more than 90% of the necessary steps provided last year when Ukraine received candidate status for EU membership.

Photo: @CharlesMichel
Photo: @CharlesMichel

Charles Michel:
The first step must be taken now

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, paid a visit to Ukraine on the 10th anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity.

The visit took place on the eve of the summit of the European Council in the middle of December, where EU leaders are set to discuss the recommendation of the European Commission to open official negotiations on Ukraine’s accession. ‘I will do everything in my power to convince 27 colleagues, leaders of EU Member States, that we need a positive decision in December,’ said Charles Michel. ‘The first step needs to be taken now.’

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Time for change

On 2 November, European diplomats gathered in Berlin to discuss the mechanism and conditions of EU enlargement. Foreign ministers, ministers for European affairs and their colleagues, like most officials and EU citizens, recognise that these decisions have been long overdue. Russia’s war and its challenges became catalysts of change for Ukraine and the EU, and they need to reform simultaneously to be ready for the next steps.

Read more today

Photo: Diego Herrera Carcedo/AA/picture alliance
Photo: Diego Herrera Carcedo/AA/picture alliance

Ammunition for Ukraine:
EU is determined to achieve its goals

The European Union and its Member States have already provided Ukraine with EUR 27 billion worth of military assistance, an unprecedented amount. The EU invested EUR 2 billion from the European Peace Facility to ensure the delivery of ammunition to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Ukraine already received at least 300 000 rounds of ammunition from the stocks of EU countries; also, new agreements on new joint procurements have been signed. ‘This joint EU initiative is a new step on the way to truly European defence,’ says Charles Michel.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Sanctions without compromises

Members of the European Parliament call on more EU-level oversight and better efforts to limit Moscow’s ability to bypass the EU’s restrictive measures. While highlighting the unprecedented nature of the EU’s restrictive measures, MEPs are concerned about the lack of proper enforcement and attempts to undermine efforts to strategically weaken the Russian economic and industrial base, and hinder the country’s ability to wage war.

Photos from open sources
Photos from open sources

Informed choice:
65% Ukrainians trust the EU

Numerous sociological surveys prove that joining the EU is an informed choice for Ukrainians: for 77% of respondents, it is important that Ukraine becomes an EU Member, and for 51%, it is extremely important to join the EU.

Ukrainian citizens are moderate in their assessment of Ukraine’s readiness to join the EU: only 22% believe that the country is fully ready for this step, while 43% emphasise the need for reforms. Read the article to find out why Ukrainians want to be a part of the EU and what concerns they have.

Photos from open sources
Photos from open sources

Ukraine Facility:
Funding in return for reforms

The government plans to cover nearly half of Ukraine’s financial needs through the EU’s new Ukraine Facility Programme. The programme, with a budget of EUR 50 billion, is designed for a four-year period. For it to take effect, the EU needs to approve its main condition by January, the reform package submitted by Ukraine, which the country undertakes to implement in four years. On 3 November, the European Commission receive a draft of the plan.

Photo: Economic Pravda
Photo: Economic Pravda

An initiative on expanding the rights and opportunities of municipalities for Ukraine: Let’s rebuild!

Ukrainian municipalities affected by Russian aggression are starting to rebuild damaged buildings and municipal facilities almost immediately after the shelling and bombing has stopped. Although some people advise not to rush, people in hundreds of municipalities are convinced that the reconstruction, repairs, and improving resilience of municipalities should start immediately, while simultaneously planning the great reconstruction at the national level. Strong municipalities can play a key role in this.


Two municipalities in Zakarpattia receive EU grants

Grant contracts for a total funding of EUR 500,000 for two humanitarian projects were signed in Berehove, Zakarpattia. The funding comes from cross-border cooperation programme ‘Hungary-Slovakia-Romania- Ukraine 2014-2020’, which has decided to allocate its remaining budget for these two projects in Zakarpattia. The funds were allocated without a competition, through a direct award. The grants will be used for the ‘Better Future’ humanitarian project, and a programme that is being implemented by the Hungarian Ecumenical Service, the Transcarpathian Centre for Development and Counselling ‘Advance’, and NGO ‘Social Centre ETALON’.

Photo: eu4ukraine
Photo: eu4ukraine

Buses for Ukrainian school students

On 4 November, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, and President of Solidarity Fund PL Rafal Dzieciolowski attended the official handover ceremony of the EU solidarity campaign ‘School buses for Ukraine’. The school buses were officially handed over to representatives of local authorities from the Kyiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv and Chernihiv oblasts.

370 school buses will be delivered to Ukraine under the ‘School buses for Ukraine’ solidarity campaign.


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Media Digest was prepared by ‘Communicating EU to Ukrainians’ project (CEU4U), which is financed by the European Union.

Contact person: Anton Teretyshnyk, media expert, EU Project “Communicating EU for Ukrainians” (CEU4U),

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