Ukraine’s Special Partnership with Germany and the EU

The Risks of Mismatched Expectations and How to Overcome Them

The image and cooperation of Ukraine with the EU, Germany included, is strongly related to Kyiv’s ability to implement reforms successfully. Under President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, certain reforms received a boost, while other reforms risk to roll-back the progress achieved in recent years. Together with the EU’s hesitance to advance its relationship with Ukraine, the current situation raises new concerns about whether trust and credibility between the parties are now at risk. The possibility of an anti-Western backlash in Ukraine should not be underestimated either. While both Ukraine and the EU member states are distracted by the Corona pandemic, serious domestic issues, geopolitical turmoil, and a bullying Russia, there is a need to further strengthen this partnership.

We invite you to discuss the mutual expectations of Ukraine and Germany in the broader context of EU-Ukraine relations, the risks involved when these do not match, and how parties can prevent them from materializing.


Jean-Pierre Froehly
Special Envoy for Ukraine and Head of the Ukraine Task Force at the German Foreign Office

Vasyl Khymynets
Director-General, First European Directorate General, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Cristina Gherasimov
Research Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations

Leo Litra
Senior Fellow, New Europe Center, Kyiv

Chair: Adam Traczyk
Associate Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations

20 October 2020
Invitation type
Invitation only
Core Expertise topic
Core Expertise region