October 4, 2012
Today the Eastern Partnership initiative ceases to be the prime and obligatory tool of achievement, or understanding of prospects of the EU membership for Ukraine. Unfortunately, the Eastern Partnership has transformed into one of many international meetings which revive only in times of summits of heads of the states-participants. Since 2008 the uniqueness of each of 6 countries of Eastern Europe promised to become a competitive mechanism for leadership achievement in such sectors, as freedom of speech, law and justice. However, approaches and reality of observance of general values declared by the European Neighbourhood Policy differ very much. Expectations that EU-Ukraine relations will become a model for other Post-Soviet countries didn’t come true. And it looks like in the near future Ukraine won’t be able to share a successful experience of eurointegration. Hence, the leadership of Ukraine has concentrated on other contact points in relations with the EU. First of all, they have to do with visa-free regime and expansion of border infrastructure. In turn, the EU only ascertains democracy curtailment in Ukraine.
The overwhelming majority of official representatives of new EU members have concentrated on fair criticism of internal political processes in Ukraine. However, the tendency of them using “ascertaining of the Ukrainian negative” for their own PR can be traced clearly enough. Especially when electoral campaigns come closer in the countries they represent. It is clear that amid the euro zone crisis, Poland is building its own foreign policy, turning around to the main centers of force in Europe. Both Germany and Great Britain profess their own economic pragmatism in the sphere of EU enlargement.
The European tactics of criticism of Ukraine testifies to the absence of the long-term strategy of EU-Ukraine relations, and the Eastern Partnership has come down to short-term demands. We wouldn’t want to think that the diplomatic isolation of Ukraine is a part of the future EU enlargement strategy. Meanwhile, we are ascertaining that the question of eurointegration of Ukraine is postponed to the time when the economic crisis in Europe is overcome and once again is connected with the termination of another electoral cycle in Ukraine. In due time the Eastern Partnership initiative was supported not by particular politicians, but by the European states.
The authorities and opposition in Ukraine have mercantile interests prevailing over national ones. Ukrainian people know it. Half of the population of Ukraine supports Ukraine’s entering the EU. A large part hesitates. They are still thinking not because they have hope for the Ukrainian political establishment, but because that don’t hear the voice of Europeans. Hence, the necessity of a new dialogue and development of a new strategy of relations becomes as topical as ever.
Author : Viktor Tkachuk