Ukraine and EU: A Stable Partnership?
Prospects of European Ukrainian Relations after the Presidential Elections
Donald Tusk expressed Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine in his speech on 19 February on the Maidan anniversary in the Verchowna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. “There is no secure Europe without a secure Ukraine”. A strong commitment to support Ukrainian sovereignty that is for already five years questioned by its Eastern neighbour Russia. In fact, after signing the Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2014 the European Union initiated an unprecedented program to support reforms in politics and the economy of the country. Even though the association agreement explicitly does not open the perspective of EU accession, Ukraine recently enshrined its ambition to join EU and NATO in the constitution.
Ukraine has implemented substantial administrative and economic reforms. At the same time, the democratisation of political institutions and the establishment of an independent justice as a precondition for confidence in rule of law face serious challenges. Large parts of the population hardly feel any improvements in their personal security and wellbeing. Facing the uncertainty with regard to the results of the presidential elections in March and April, the concerns about the continuation of Ukraine’s “European way” grow. Does the EU intend to renew its massive support for Ukraine for anotherfive years? What does the EU demand from the new president? How can the EU contribute to Ukrainian security facing the lasting war in the East, the unsolved issue of Crimea and the tense situation in the Sea of Azov?
- Hanna Shelest, Ukraine Analytica, Kiev/Odessa
- Barbara Kunz, French Institute for International Relations, Paris
- Rebecca Harms, MEP, Parliamentary Group Greens-European Free Alliance
- Bernd Forster, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Berlin
- Paweł Kowal, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Dr. Ellen Ueberschär, Heinrich Boell Foundation
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