27.11.2015. Analysis “How Could the EU Accelerate Reforms in Ukraine?”, IWP

Sergiy Solodkyy, First Deputy Director of the Institute of World Policy (IWP), and Vitaly Sharlay, expert of the Reanimation Package of Reforms prepared an analytical brief “How Could the EU Accelerate Reforms in Ukraine?”.

the European Union considers Ukraine’s success in implementing reform as perhaps the only viable alternative to aggressive confrontation with Russia. Successful reform in Ukraine would mean the victory of the European Union’s “soft power.” A defeat for Ukraine would mean not only a loss of reputation for the EU, but an increase in the threat to the eastern part of the continent. Without outside help, Ukraine cannot avoid a deep crisis. This help cannot only be financial: the opinion of both the leaders of Ukraine and the average Ukrainian citizen is that financial assistance is not the main priority. Yet there is a perception within the EU that Ukrainians want only money, and therefore will become a burden (IWP’s public survey, conducted in 2015 in six EU member states, demonstrated that 22 per cent of the Europeans this argument)1.

However, the experts conclude that such suspicions are completely groundless. The main conclusion of our data study is the following: only a tandem approach of support by the EU, combined with determined non-governmental initiatives in Ukraine, can catalyze major change in the country. EU assistance to date has not impressed Ukrainians. The Ukrainian authorities are asking the EU for greater urgency and flexibility that takes into consideration Ukraine’s needs. Ukrainian experts are insisting that the EU should increase pressure on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the success of reforms. The opinion of average Ukrainian citizens is the same: the majority of Ukrainians believe that the EU should put more pressure on Ukrainian leaders to make the process of change more intensive. Obviously, opinion leaders in the European Union will not support all the opinions of Ukrainians – and not least of all because Ukraine must first demonstrate the same determination to ensure change. This analysis is based on confidential interviews of decision-makers, experts survey (65 persons participated), and the unique public poll representing expectations and perceptions of ordinary Ukrainians.

Download the study (in Ukrainian)

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