Risk of EU contemplation regarding Ukraine

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

In the present agenda of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, it makes no sense to discuss visa liberalisation, argues Viktor Tkachuk.


Viktor Tkachuk is director-general of the Ukrainian Foundation for Democracy – 'People First'.

"The EU has found itself in a situation where it does not have a model for development. The proof of this is the current deterioration of the economic recession and the ineffective work of the all-European political institutes. The economy in the European Union countries has ceased to provide financing for integration-related processes.

The EU also lacks models to support economic integration. Instead, we see attempts of centralising management through financial assistance. This causes the political crisis.

Management centralisation destroys the consideration of the national, political, economic and mental culture in the EU. In such a situation, the vision of further integration both inside the European Union and outside on the borders of its member states is absent. The vision is determined but also hidden behind democratic monitoring. The EU has chosen passive observation, instead of active actions.

The lack of an internal model for development is also causing problems in the relationship with Ukraine.  

In the present agenda of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, it makes no sense to discuss the topic of visa liberalisation. Ukraine’s citizens have to play by the existing rules.

What is a key moment in this situation? Today, only the understanding of human needs among citizens of Europe and Ukraine is determinative. Europe and Ukraine are united today by the identical matrix of human aspirations; this being health and family, medicine and education, work and safety, transparency of state budget and the authorities' accountability. The basic needs for both Europeans and Ukrainians are identical.  

Therefore, it's necessary that the European politicians start to develop a new platform for dialogue with Ukraine. It is very acute. If these intentions aren't declared at least by September of this year, then Russian and American energy corporations will sign a contract on 'product' distribution in November, where Ukraine will be playing the role of product.

China also wants its share of the Ukrainian market and it has already started to make considerable investments in Ukrainian agriculture and in the energy sector (consisting of coal and gas).  

Who is the most interested opponent in the development of a new platform for EU-Ukraine relations? Most probably Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Germany and the Czech Republic – the countries that have historic connections to Ukraine. These states have a great interest in a democratic and highly developed Ukrainian state in their neighbourhood.  

European contemplation can develop into two scenarios:

  • The pessimistic scenario: Parliamentary elections in Ukraine on 28 October this year will become the last political act of post-Soviet reflection. The corrupt authorities will receive an absolute victory and Ukraine will be back in the year of 1933.
  • An 'optimistic scenario' will bring Russian style political culture to EU's borders this year, as those would become dominant in Ukraine's politics.

The choice of the EU's strategy of contemplation when it comes to Ukraine remains open."

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