Victor Tkachuk on Democracy, Ukraine & the EU

The history of financial relations between the EU and Ukraine is rather confusing. 2,5 billion euros were allocated to our state over the years of our independence. However, the efficiency of these allocations is noticeable by no means always.

Although Ukraine remains to be a recognized leader of the “Eastern Partnership” program, which was offered for the neighboring EU states, the quality of cooperation with the European institutions leaves much to be desired. Until recently, European functionaries were at one with Ukrainian governmental officials in the only matter: the first ones were ready to invest money in nicely composed, however, often content-free projects, others devoted themselves to the “development of those means” with genuine enthusiasm. Obviously, such a situation disappoints both parties and only provides additional arguments to eurosceptics inside the EU and eurointegration opponents inside political circles of Ukraine.

However, both a financial crisis in the European Union and declared aspiration for eurointegration on the part of Ukraine require to change the algorithm of granting financial assistance. In Ukraine a struggle for receiving funds from Western partners has transformed into some kind of a national sport, and, to a large extent, has put the brakes on the establishment of a civil society, instead of promoting it. “Investments into Ukrainian reforms” became a bright example of the fact that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

We can only welcome the fact that starting from the next year the EU will allocate financial assistance to Ukraine only for specific projects using a “more for more” principle. Today, our country needs assistance in the adaptation of our legislation to the European requirements, support in combating corruption in reality (maybe, by means of case-studies from the experience of the Post-Soviet countries), assistance in introducing technological innovations in energy saving and goods manufacturing.

Anticipating the signing of an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU at the end of 2011, it is reasonable to start a new year by “turning over a new leaf” in our cooperation. Firstly, by strictly reporting on the use of means which were allocated in a form of assistance; secondly, by directing financial flows to solving problems which impede our state’s rapprochement with the EU.

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