01.05.2015. Policy note, What is the future of the Eastern Partnership, IWP

Survey of Ukrainian experts, politicians, journalists, public officials and community leaders, conducted by the Institute of World Politics in the framework of a major project of the Association for International Affairs (Czech Republic) showed: during five years of the Eastern Partnership, doubts and fears of Ukrainian experts and diplomats did not vanish, they transformed into clear requirements for its reform.

The main results of the survey

– The priorities of the Ukrainian agenda under the Eastern Partnership should be to enhance security and increase mobility. To implement the first, the EU should develop a unified and clear policy towards its eastern neighbours, which will be based on an objective assessment of the threats and risks that exist in the region. The latter implies the abolition of visa regime between Ukraine and the EU that will allow ordinary Ukrainians  to benefit from the European integration.

– Eastern Partnership for Ukraine is primarily a tool for political rapprochement with the EU. In view of this, granting Kyiv EU membership becomes paramount. Lack of clarity on this issue will undermine reform efforts of the Ukrainian leadership.

– Ukraine’s desire to reform is shared by the countries of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad countries. Furthermore, interviewed experts agreed on priorities and areas of cooperation between the EU and EaP countries. They include mobility and economic development.

– Every fifth Ukrainian respondent partly considers the Eastern Partnership a geopolitical tool of the EU aimed against the interests of Russia. Overall, in 10 countries, the figure was 37.9%, which is the result of dramatic changes in the region.

– Ukrainians are skeptical about Ukraine receiving the status of candidate country for EU membership in the near future. 42% of those surveyed named Moldova as a country that is most likely to get the candidate status. Only 18% believe that it is Ukraine, among all of the Eastern Partnership countries, that has the most chances to get candidate status.

– 80% of Ukrainian respondents do not believe that the Eastern Partnership will be effective in the next five years, and therefore will be forced to finally reform.

– Ukrainian respondents are unanimous in their believe that the EU should offer the prospect of membership to Ukraine as an incentive for reform. 84.8% of the experts share this opinion, and 15.2% – partially agree.

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