As EU leaders gathered for the last time in 2013, a post-mortem on Ukraine’s apparent shun of closer ties, was very much high on the agenda.
Spurning a planned EU deal in favour of Russian aide, the Ukrainian government drew the ire of many of its own people, with street protests engulfing Kiev.
In Brussels the message has been somewhat milder, with one EU figurehead stressing that the door remains open to Ukraine, just perhaps not its current government.
The divisive issue has been far from laid to rest, as the summit gave fresh analysis of views on relationship
José Manuel Barroso, European Commision President:
“For the European, as the President of the European Council already stated, the offer of an association agreement including a deepen and comprehensive free trade area has always been precisely that: an offer, a proposition. It was never an imposition. And as we stated in Vilnius the European Union remains committed to the signing of the agreement.”
The two day summit also saw talks held on central African Republic, as fresh fighting engulfed its capital.
With civil war in Syria and a shared economic recovery for the 28 nation bloc also serving as pause for thought ahead of 2014.