President Zelenskyy should continue the course of integration into the European Union laid down by the Constitution. Yet both Ukraine and the EU need to get prepared for the accession. Ukraine is continuing the reforms – the economic and political, laid down by the previous team. However, the strategy at the moment is not so much the accession to the EU as the implementation of European norms, standards and human rights, the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
In order to be ready to transfer many of the powers of Ukraine in certain spheres to the EU in the accession process, the presidential team needs to audit them and to align them with the European standards in order to clearly divide competences between the EU institutions and the Ukrainian authorities. Ukraine is a sovereign independent state, and its national interests – the interests of the people – are a factor which will determine whether it will make the final step. This is a work for 5-7 years for our society – for practical transformation and mental preparations.
The EU is in a state of crisis in view of Brexit, the distribution of refugees, the flow of migrants, the terrorist threat and the coming to power of populists. Ukraine’s accession to the EU is not relevant to the EU itself; on the other hand, the EU is now preparing for the accession of the Balkans. Ukraine is an important trading partner and an EU’s ally. EU countries respect international law and sanction regime against Russia, so instead of Russia they trade with Ukraine, and this should continue. The more Ukraine implements European norms and standards, the more trade will grow – the more living standards in Ukraine will rise.
As for the accession, referendums are foreseen in many EU countries: people there will also say yes or no to Ukraine’s accession. Ukraine needs to carry out preparatory work to improve the image of Ukraine in Europe in terms of reforms, tourism, education exchange programs- among those who will vote in these referendums.
Why Ukraine are not ready to join now?
PhD, author of thesis “Sovereignty to secure interests of states. Aspects of International and European Law”, Founder of Promote Ukraine, Brussels