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Вплив розширення Європейського Союзу та нова політика сусідства щодо України

04.12.2003
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Стаття – Віталій Разік. (англійською мовою) Influence of Enlargement of the European Union and the New European Neighbourhood Policy on Ukraine.


Vitaliy Razik

Influence of Enlargement of the European Union and the New European Neighbourhood Policy on Ukraine

On May 1, 2004, the European Union entered a new historic phase – the enlargement of the EU took place with the accession of ten new Member States. “An enlarged Union of 25 countries, with a combined population of more than 450 million and GDP of almost ?10000 billion, will fundamentally increase the political, geographic and economic weight of the EU on the European continent.”[1] Enlargement will increase EU growth and employment opportunities within a structure of shared values and common respect for fundamental liberties. New models in the movement of people, capital, goods and services will enhance variety in culture and traditions.

Also, enlargement will change the form of the EU’s political and economic relations with other parts of the world. It has brought changes to the EU’s political geography offering new opportunities to deepen existing relations between the Union and its neighbors to the East and to the South. The EU is decided to further develop partnerships with its neighbors to mutual benefit, promoting security as well as stability and prosperity. The EU politicians emphasize that EU’s external borders will not become new dividing lines between east and west, but the center of attention of enhanced co-operation. Closer geographical proximity means the enlarged EU and the new neighborhood will have an equal chance in furthering efforts to promote trans-national flows of trade and investment as well as shared interests in working together to undertake trans-boundary risks – from terrorism to air pollution. The neighboring countries must be the EU’s essential partners in increasing mutual production, economic growth and external trade, in creating an area of political stability and rule of law.

For the EU’s part, the whole range of the Union’s policies (foreign, security, trade, development, environment and others) will need to meet current challenge. The November 2002 General Affairs and External Relations Council started the work, noting in particular the situation of Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus – new neighbors on the Union’s land border. The December 2002 Copenhagen European Council confirmed that the Union should take the opportunity offered by enlargement to enhance relations with its neighbors on the basis of shared values. “It repeated the Union’s determination to avoid drawing new dividing lines in Europe and to promote stability and prosperity within and beyond the new borders of the Union. It reaffirmed that enlargement will serve to strengthen relations with Russia, and called for enhanced relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and the Southern Mediterranean countries to be based on a long term approach promoting reform, sustainable development and trade.”[2]

Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union specifies that any European state may apply to become a member of the European Union. Prospective candidates must meet the following criteria: democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for minorities; a functioning market economy; the ability to take on the obligations of membership to apply effectively the EU’s rules and policies.

However, according to the EU’s documents and communication “the aim of the new Neighbourhood Policy is therefore to provide a framework for the development of a new relationship which would not, in the medium-term, include a perspective of membership or a role in the Union’s institutions. A response to the practical issues posed by proximity and neighbourhood should be seen as separate from the question of EU accession.”[3]

Through this year’s enlargement the Union and Ukraine have become direct neighbors. The EU-Ukraine Summit of October 2003 recognized the new possibility offered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, which “should facilitate Ukraine’s progressive participation in the EU’s internal market and in EU policies and programmes, taking into account Ukraine’s strategic goals and priorities”[4]. During this summit the position of EU about possible EU accession by Ukraine was shown to be different from what is regulated by article 49 of the Treaty on European Union. Thus, it seems that in the next decade Ukraine has no chances for European Union membership, although some high EU authority officials do not deny Ukraine’s accession in the future. At present the most important is to arrange anew the relations between the EU and Ukraine in the context of the EU Eastern Enlargement. The up till now existing legal regulation of the relations between the EU and Ukraine – the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which entered into force in 1998, but it is quite non-productive.[5] Also the EU Common Strategy on Ukraine, adopted in 1999, is now not adequate to the new situation, which came up after the accession of Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

In order to avoid such not quite sufficient situation the Commission presented its Communication on “Wider Europe – Neighbourhood: A new framework for relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours” in March 2003, in which provided the basic principles of the European Neighbourhood Policy. In October 2003, the European Council accepted such initiative and recommended the Commission and the Council to take it forward.[6]

As a result, the European Commission proposed concrete steps to ensure that the historic enlargement of 1 May 2004 will not create new dividing lines between the EU and its neighbors. The European Commission had defined the guiding principles of the European Neighbourhood Policy from the last year and now adopted a “Strategy Paper” proposing how the neighbors of the enlarged Union can benefit from the enlargement.

The European Neighbourhood Policy sets objectives for partnership with neighboring countries based on obligations to shared values and political, economic and institutional reforms. “The Union offers the prospect of a stake in its Internal Market and of further economic integration. The speed and intensity of this process will depend on the will and capability of each partner country to engage in this broad agenda. The policy builds upon and reinforces the existing framework of co-operation.”[7]

The Commission today proposes a method to meet the goals of the European Neighbourhood Policy. This method consists in defining a set of priorities in jointly agreed Action Plans with a view to bringing these countries close to the European Union. Also that plans is based on a commitment to shared values, that is respect for human rights, the rule of law, good governance, the promotion of good neighbourly relations, and the principles of market economy and sustainable development The Action Plans will contain a number of priorities intended to strengthen commitment to these values.

The Action Plans will also cover a number of other key areas, such as: political dialogue; economic and social development policy, offering neighbouring countries the prospect of a chance in the EU internal market based on legislative and regulatory approximation; trade opening in accordance with the principles of the WTO and convergence with EU standards; Justice and Home Affairs. The Action Plans will be differentiated to reflect the existing state of relations with each country. The next step could “consist in offering a new privileged partnership in the form of European Neighbourhood Agreements, to replace the present generation of bilateral agreements, when Action Plan priorities are met.”[8]

In that context the EU should work to spread the benefits of enlargement for political and economic stability in the neighboring countries and to help reduce prosperity gaps.

The EU should act to reinforce and unite its existing neighbourhood policy towards these regions around two overarching objectives for the next decade or longer:

– To work with the partners to reduce poverty and create an area of shared prosperity and values based on deeper economic integration, intensified political and cultural relations, enhanced cross-border cooperation and shared responsibility for conflict prevention between the EU and its neighbours.

– To anchor the EU’s offer of concrete benefits and preferential relations within a differentiated framework, which responds to progress, made by the partner countries in political and economic reform.[9]

Also very important in changing of EU aspiration is used article 51 of the PCA, which recognizes the importance of legislative approximation for strengthening economic links between Ukraine and the EU, and identifies a number of priority areas. Since late 2002 Ukraine, with EU assistance, has sought to reinforce structures, planning and its approach to defining goals and tasks in pursuit of its legislative approximation program. This helped very much in managing EU legal basement in Ukrainian legislation.

On March 2003 the Ukrainian government and the EU issued the “Joint report on the implementation of the partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and Ukraine.”[10] General principles of that document show some principles, which may help to find strict direction for adaptation of the legislations. The main issue of that report is connected with respect for democratic principles and human rights; market economy; regional co-operation; possibility of establishing a free-trade area.[11] Also the EU expressed its willingness to help Ukraine in its process to adapt the legislation and consult with the Committee for European Integration to conduct appropriate amendments to the PCA. The EU side also takes occasions to inform Ukraine about developments in the EU and enlargement.

In order to develop closer EU – Ukrainian relations it is also indispensable for the government of Ukraine to become deeply committed to the process of European integration. For the European future of Ukraine its internal situation will be of enormous significance. The approach­ing president elections will be a test for Ukrainian democracy. The Ukrainian ruling elite must become aware that respect for democratic freedoms and economic reforms of the country is a condi­tion for developing close relations with the EU.

In the view of developing relations with the EU, very important for Ukraine is Poland Ministry of foreign Affairs recent proposals concerning the EU policy toward new Eastern neighbors.[12] Those proposals indicate that relations with the new eastern neighbors should be developed within a coherent framework, but in an individual way. EU relations with its eastern neighbors should be differentiated, depending on the progress of the countries in their reform process, the degree of convergence of their values and foreign policies with these of the EU, and relevant to their aspirations concerning their relations with the EU. On the other hand, the countries of Eastern Europe, due to their common historical experience in the 20th century, have a lot of similar problems that result from the legacy of almost a century of communist rule. Despite opening to the West, their economies are still dependent on each other. Moreover, strong political connections exist between them. Therefore it seems reasonable for the EU to have a coherent, comprehensive framework of its eastern policy that will enable individual development of relations with each of the countries concerned, without prejudicing their final formula. This framework could constitute the Eastern Dimension of the EU and facilitate co-ordination of policies of the enlarged EU and its member states towards the EU eastern neighbors, as well as of the projects. It could allow for co-ordination and synergy of activities of the EU and regional as well as international organizations and institutions. In this respect, a more active involvement of the EU in the co-operation within sub-regional structures like the Central European Initiative would be advisable. Such an “umbrella” (the Eastern Dimension) would also enable a more effective use of the assistance for the Eastern European states. It should furthermore facilitate a greater involvement of international financial institutions and private capital in assistance projects.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, it is, in our opinion, in the interest of the enlarged EU to recognize the European choice of this country, which is so important for stability and security in the eastern part of the continent. It is also in its interest to appreciate gearing long-term European policy towards the country’s membership of the EU. Although Ukraine’s progress in reforms and some aspects of its internal as well as foreign policy are disappointing and are a source of concern for a lot of the EU high authority officials, the policy of critical engagement, dialogue and developing co-operation combined with assistance seems for us to be the most effective and relevant. The dialogue should be open and should touch upon the problems of concern for both the EU and Ukraine. There is certainly a need for a more active promotion in the Eastern European states of the European Union, its forthcoming enlargement and of opportunities as well as benefits that can be derived from closer co-operation with the EU. A concerted effort of the Member States’ posts and European Commission representations can make a significant difference. Poland looks forward to co-operation with the EU, its present and new member states, in promoting the idea and knowledge of European integration in the eastern neighboring states and providing all possible assistance for these countries, so as to enable them to get ready for capitalizing on the opportunities the EU enlargement will bring.

In order to develop such relation between the EU and Ukraine there are some points and recommendations, which can be divided into two groups. The first one concerns what the EU could do for Ukraine. The second one – the basic changes in Ukraine, which could influence the devel­opment of cooperation with the Union.

Group one included:

1. Ukraine has a right to attempt the status of an associated country

The recognition of Ukraine’s right to seek the status of an associated country without a specified time perspective should be the current task for the EU. The Union must also support the Ukraine’s efforts toward the signing of an association agreement. Such agreement should contain the acknowledgment, undefined in terms of timing, but explicitly recognizing the perspective of future membership of Ukraine in the EU. The fulfillment of the so-called Copenhagen criteria by Ukraine should be a condition of such declaration.

As stated by the European Council at Copenhagen in 1993, the EU membership requires that the candidate country has achieved, inter alia:

stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; a functioning market economy able to cope with competitive pressures and market forces within the EU; and the ability to take on the obligations of membership, including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.[13]

Therein, the Copenhagen criteria for membership in the EU were formally legitimated and accepted as a basic framework for integration efforts in Ukraine. To organize the sufficient legal basic of execution of the requirement of the PCA, Ukraine lawmaking body has designed the concept of adaptation of national law to the EU legislation. Currently this concept is exclusive to Ukraine and at minimum, it satisfies a light PCA approximation commitment, and at maximum, it ensures that the EU pays attention to the European objective of Ukraine. Furthermore, the adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to acquis communautaire[14] provides some expectation that the EU might present a new model of joint relations, which give possibility to enhance level requested for accession to the EU.

The new EU members, especially the countries bordering with Ukraine: Poland, Slovakia and Hungary ought to share their experiences related with the process of European integration. The Permanent Polish-Ukrainian Conference on European Integration, which is functioning since 1999, could among other things, serve this objective.

Change of the nature of EU assistance

One of the elements of support for Ukraine’s efforts to obtain the status of an associated country ought to consist of a change of the nature of the assistance granted by the Union.

Facilitation of entry for Ukrainian citizens to the enlarged EU

The facilitating measures, among other things, ought to consist in the development of the EU countries consulates network in Ukraine. Building of common consulates might be also considered. Consulates should be located in as many towns of Ukraine as possible, both in the western and in the eastern part of the country, so that people applying for visas should not need to undertake lengthy travels to reach them.

New member states of the Union, bordering with Ukraine, could broadly apply national visas entitling to a stay only in the country issuing such a document, at least until the time when the Schengen frontier between the old and new EU members will be removed. It would be advisable to introduce particular regulations for the inhabitants of the border zone.

Development of youth exchange programs

EU may create a special scholarship program for students from Ukraine. Such a program could help build up a pro-European elite in Ukraine, which is necessary for the integration of that country with the EU.

Public opinion research indicates that the most pro-European part of the population consists of the young people and of those who have themselves visited the EU countries or its candidate states. From that point of view, one of the most effective methods of pro-European education would consist of the exchange of youth, and in particular enabling young Ukrainians to visit the EU countries and the candidate countries.

5. Supports for Non-Government Organizations

The EU should support the development of civil society in Ukraine. Aid could originate both from Union and particular member states funds. It would also be advisable to assure as much EU Non-Government Organizations’ involvement in the implementation of projects in Ukraine as possible.

Group Two:

Internal Reforms in Ukraine

In the nearest forthcoming time Ukraine will face a very important test, meaning the president elections. It is necessary that they should proceed with observance of democratic rules. In this context it is extremely important that the situation of the mass media improves. The freedom of the mass media is one of the most important tests of the state of democracy. The judiciary system also requires profound reforms. Only an independent judiciary is capable of facing and tackling such problems as the “Gongadze case”.

It is necessary to reform the local self-government authorities. So far, they differ substantially from similar institutions in the EU. They lack sufficient autonomy from the central state authorities. Reforms would help the Ukrainian self-government authorities in estab­lishing relations with local authorities in the EU and in the candidate countries.

Without democratization it will not be possible to develop the closer relations with the EU, as the respect for the principles of democracy is one of the Copenhagen criteria, the fulfillment of which is a prerequisite for entry to the EU.

Ukraine’s Foreign Policy

It is necessary to turn from a declarative pro-European orientation to specific and tangible actions. Ukraine ought to begin to make use of the possibilities contained in the PCA and in the Common EU Strategy on Ukraine as soon as possible.

It is indispensable that Ukraine should get involved in the process of integration of the global economy. In order to achieve this it is above all necessary that Ukraine should join the WTO. Ukraine cannot remain in isolation from the process of integration on the global scale if it intends to become integrated with the EU.

Compatibility of Ukrainian Legislation with EU standards

The Ukrainian parliament ought to devote serious efforts to assure that newly adopted laws should be compatible with the regulations in force in the EU. It is also equally important that the law should be implemented in such a way as to assure that it will not just remain on paper.

In the process of adapting Ukrainian legislation to the EU rules and regulations, the acquis communautaire is a key element of Ukraine’s European integration. This should cover the legal system in general and include current legislation, the drafting of new legislation, law enforcement and procedural rules. In order to ensure the effective implementation of the adaptation process, there is a substantial need to involve all branches of power: parliament and executive bodies at the law drafting stage, judicial institutions at the law enforcement stage. Adaptation is not an isolated process, and must be accompanied by legal, judicial, administrative, economic and other reforms.

Transparency in the Economy

Deregulation in the Ukrainian economy is indispensable. The excessive number of regulations, often contradictory, very strongly hampers any legal business activity. It is also one of the important reasons of corruption. The fight against this phenomenon, omnipresent in Ukraine, should become one of the prior­ities both for the government authorities, as well as for the civil society just emerging in Ukraine.

Facilitation of Tourism

It would be advisable for Ukraine to unilaterally abolish the visa requirement for EU citizens. Greater investment in tourism is also needed. The increase of tourist traffic, in which also the inhabitants from the Union would participate, would contribute to a change of Ukraine’s image among the inhabitants of the EU countries.


[1] Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, Wider Europe — Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, Brussels, 11.3.2003 COM (2003) 104 final, available on http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/enp/document_en.htm

[2] Id, at 3.

[3] Available on http://www.delukr.cec.eu.int/site/page23730.html

[4] From the speeches and documents of the EU-Ukraine Summit of October 2003, available on http://www.delukr.cec.eu.int/data/doc/Summit03-statement-eng.pdf

[5] EU-Ukraine: Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA), available on http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/ukraine/intro/ip04_431.htm

[6] EU Enlargement: good news for Ukraine, available on http://www.delukr.cec.eu.int/site/page23081.html

[7] Supra note 1, at 6.

[8] What is the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)? Available on http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/enp/index_en.htm

[9] Supra note 1, at 9.

[10] Available on http://www.delukr.cec.eu.int/site.php/page2803.html

[11] Joint report on the implementation of the partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and Ukraine, Title I art. 2-5, available on http://www.delukr.cec.eu.int/site.php/page2803.html

[12] Non-paper with Polish proposals concerning policy towards new Eastern neighbours after EU enlargement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, January 2003, available on http://www.msz.gov.pl/start.php?page=1160815001

[13] European Council, Presidency Conclusions: European Council in Copenhagen, 21-22 June 1993, available on http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l33021.htm

[14] According to the Law of Ukraine: On the National Programme of Approximation of Ukrainian Legislation to the European Union Legislation: “Аcquis communautaire – shall mean the legal system of the European Union, including the European Union legal acts adopted within the framework of the European Community, Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Policy on Justice and Home Affairs.”