UE-Ukraine Relations: Current State and Future Outlook
The analysis that follows illustrates Ukraine’s position in the European Union policy. It endeavours to summarise and evaluate Ukraine-EU relations hitherto and suggest some concrete actions which could have a positive impact on the economic, social and political transformation process in Ukraine. Special attention is given to the new EU initiative, The Eastern Partnership, which is considered the EU’s most ambitious offer addressed to its East European neighbours to date. At the same time, many commentators find it insufficient.
The study which follows has been drafted on the basis of the following hypotheses:
- The EU has shown interest in the Ukrainian affairs mostly when it noticed problems in Ukraine which could potentially threaten interests of the EU as a whole or its individual member states. It has not been the priority of the EU to include Ukraine in its sphere of influence.
- The most convenient time for development of EU-Ukraine cooperation immediately followed the Orange Revolution. But the political elites in Ukraine failed to seize the opportunity, while the EU quickly returned to its earlier “Russia first” policy.
- The attitude of the incumbent government in Kiev to the opposition makes the strategic political dialogue with the EU difficult.
- Having chosen not to advance its cooperation with Kiev, Brussels leaves Ukraine as a sphere of influence for other international actors active in the region – primarily Russia.
- Observation of current trends in Ukraine does not allow for ruling out of negative scenarios, which may lead to a serious political crisis, potentially destabilising the whole region.
- Despite its drawbacks, the Eastern Partnership programme stands a chance of improving EU-Ukraine relations, and working out mechanisms which could be conducive to greater involvement than before of Ukraine in the EU sphere of influence, as well as in EU regulations.
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Piotr Bajda - Doktor nauk politycznych, wykładowca Uniwersytetu Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego, pracownik naukowy Instytutu Studiów Politycznych PAN. W latach 2000-2004 był wicedyrektorem Instytutu Polskiego w Bratysławie; w latach 2005-2009 pracował w Ośrodku Studiów Wschodnich. Autor wydanej w 2010 r. książki "Elity polityczne na Słowacji. Kręta droga do nowoczesnego państwa" (http://www.iwpax.pl/produkt-elity-polityczne-na-slowacji-411.html). Jego teksty dla OMP można przeczytać na stronie www.omp.org.pl a także na blogu OMP (www.omp.org.pl/blog). Współautor wydanej przez OMP pracy zbiorowej "Geopolityka i zasady".