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14 August, 2013 18:15   ▪  

Amanda Paul: Ukraine needs to end its “yo-yo” behavior and step onto the reform “treadmill”

“EaP policy could be compared to a fitness regime, with the objective of improving the economic and political health of those countries that partake in it. In return for following the “EaP workout,” participants receive closer political and economic cooperation with the EU, known as the “more for more approach,” writes Amanda Paul, a Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, in her EUobserver blog

Analysing Ukraine’s participation in the Eastern partnership Programm, Mrs Paul says: “In 2009 Ukraine was the fittest participant, making Kiev a center to follow. A regional lynch-pin Kiev had the closest and deepest relationship with the EU. Ukraine was the only country to have held free and fair elections, to have an active and vibrant civil society and a free media. Regularly citing its European choice and its desire to be an EU member, the expectation was that Kiev would be the first one to cross the EaP finishing line and have its Association Agreement and DCFTA signed, sealed and delivered — proving the success of the EaP.”

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Unfortunately, this has not happened because Ukraine has proven to be a “yo-yo” dieter and the country’s health has both politically and economically worsened. Kiev has been unable to stick to the EU fitness program, finding it very difficult to break bad habits, even though these bad habits are increasingly damaging the country’s health and ignore the wishes of Ukrainian society, which wants (and deserves) a fitter country.

“Ukraine has all the potential to be a winner and a regional champion, but its current trajectory is unfortunately making it a regional loser. Ukraine needs to end this “yo-yo” behavior and step onto the reform “treadmill.” Kiev still has a chance, but time is running out. Kiev must stop dithering and do what needs to be done,” adds Amanda Paul. 

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