After two months of political fighting and heavy lobbying to kill an initial draft by the centre-right European People's Party group seen as hostile by Kyiv, the European Parliament instead adopted a consensual resolution on Ukraine, supported by all major political groups.
In a nutshell, the mixed message is that MEPs back Ukraine's EU membership aspirations but warn of "worrying signs of the erosion of democracy and pluralism".
According to the adopted text, such signs are evident in the way that some NGOs are treated and in the complaints individual journalists have lodged about editors and publishers regarding events they are asked to cover.
MEPs also express concern about the "increased and politically-motivated activity by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and the misuse of administrative and judicial resources for political purposes". They also draw attention to the disappearance of the editor-in-chief of a newspaper covering the ins and outs of corruption.
The Parliament regrets that local and regional elections held on 31 October "did not set a new, positive standard". The EU assembly also regretted that Ukraine had changed its electoral law a few months before the poll, "leaving too little time to improve the law and prepare to conduct elections in a sound, democratic manner".
An historic precedent
One unusual feature of the resolution is its call on the Ukrainian authorities "to establish a common forum to coordinate Ukraine's political position vis-à-vis the European Union, that forum to consist of politicians from both the ruling coalition and the opposition".
Up to now, the governments of EU hopefuls, whatever their political colour, have been responsible for drawing up political positions with regard to Brussels.
Asked by EurActiv to comment, German MEP Elmar Brok, a leading member of the EPP group, said this was indeed a novelty and had set a precedent. But he indicated he was not completely happy with the adopted formulation.
Brok insisted that rather than constituting a 'forum', which in his words was a "technical question," it was more important for Ukraine's government and opposition to come up with "principal joint positions" on EU relations.
He said that for the last five years, the political forces in Ukraine had been divided over the country's status with NATO. This, in his words, should be avoided with respect to the EU.
"It's a call for continuity in the principal strategy towards Europe," he said.
But this does not mean that the opposition must lose its right to criticise the government, he insisted.
Asked if he was satisfied with the adopted text given that he was the author of a much more critical earlier draft, Brok said the text adopted was "a fine resolution", as all groups had accepted that there had been "shortcomings" in the elections and in the democratic functioning of the country.
His regret, he said, was that the Socialists and some other political groups had only realised this now, rather than before the 31 October elections.