The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement: A New Legal Instrument of Integration Without Membership?


  • Roman Petrov
  • Cuillaume Van der Loo
  • Peter Van Elsuwege



European Union, Ukraine, Association Agreement, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, integration, legislative approximation


This article analyses the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (EU-Ukraine AA). It argues that this new legal framework, which has the objective to establish a unique form of political association and economic integration, is characterized by three specific features: comprehensiveness, complexity and conditionality. After a brief background of the EU-Ukraine relations, the following aspects are scrutinized: legal basis and objectives, institutional framework and mechanisms of enhanced conditionality, and legislative approximation. In addition, constitutional challenges for the effective implementation of the EU-Ukraine AA are discussed. Based upon a comparison with other EU external agreements, it is demonstrated that the EU-Ukraine AA is an innovative legal instrument providing for a new type of integration without membership.


  1. Gotev, Georgi. “Ukraine Ready to Sign Association Agreement during March EU Summit.”, February 27, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2014.
  2. Łazowski, Adam. “Enhanced Multilateralism and Enhanced Bilateralism: Integration without Membership in the European Union.” Common Market Law Review 45.5 (2008): 1433–58.
  3. Maresceau, Marc. “Les accords d’intégration dans les relations de proximité de l’Union européenne.” In Les frontières de l’Union européenne, edited by Claude Blumann, 151–92. Bruxelles: Bruylant, 2013.
  4. Petrov, Roman. “Recent Developments in the Adaptation of Ukrainian Legislation to EU Law.” European Foreign Affairs Review 8.1 (2003): 125–41.
  5. Petrov, Roman, and Paul Kalinichenko. “The Europeanization of Third Country Judiciaries through the Application of the EU Acquis: The Cases of Russia and Ukraine.” International & Comparative Law Quarterly 60.2 (2011): 325–53.
  6. Van Elsuwege, Peter, and Guillaume Van der Loo. “Competing Paths of Regional Economic Integration in the Post-Soviet Space: Legal and Political Dilemmas for Ukraine.” Review of Central and East European Law 37 (2012): 421–47.
  7. Van der Loo, Guillaume. “The EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area: A Coherent Mechanism for Legislative Approximation?” In Legislative Approximation and Application of EU Law in the Eastern Neighbourhood of the European Union. Towards a Common Regulatory Space? edited by Peter Van Elsuwege, Roman Petrov, 63–88. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2014.


How to Cite

Petrov, R., Van der Loo, C., & Van Elsuwege, P. (2015). The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement: A New Legal Instrument of Integration Without Membership?. Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal, (1), 1–19.