Майдан / Статті Карта Майдану

додано: 29-01-2004
Lara Apasova: Go West, Ukraine
Tech Central Station - www.techcentralstation.com

Версія до друку // Редагувати // Стерти // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1075373924.html

Last November, the European Parliament at its plenary session in Strasbourg adopted a resolution on "Wider Europe-Neighborhood: New frameworks of relations with our Eastern and Southern neighbors".

The answer came from Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in a plenary session of the CEI Heads of Government in the Polish capital. "Ukraine's pro-European choice is ultimate and it will be consistently and unswervingly pursued," he said. "Whatever challenges may face us in the future, Ukraine won't deviate from its European developmental course."

Sounds great, particularly after September's summit at which the presidents of Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Ukraine signed the Statement on Common Economic Space. This opened a door not only to economic but also political integration of Ukraine and other former Soviet republics into Wider Europe. Russia evidently sees the outcome of that summit as a signal to toughen up the Ukrainian frontier.

Certainly, EU integration is more than attractive for Ukraine, and it is important for it to keep relations with Central European countries such as Poland and Hungary which in May 2004 will become EU members. But the Central European market has already been open for Ukraine for a long time, and in fact the historic developments occurring in May 2004 will be for some Ukrainian businesses a backward step in EU integration. For example, President Leonid Kuchma has pointed out that Ukraine will lose a market for its metallurgy and chemical industries without any compensation. Still, Kuchma reports that his meetings with European External Relations Commissioner Christopher Patten have helped keep the country on the Union's radar screen.

So, just how strong are the EU hopes for Ukraine? It's got size, geographical location, deep historical, cultural, economic and other links to Central and Western Europe, its mentality and democratic traditions, and the hopes of the present generation to see become part of united Europe.

The EU and Ukraine have a common interest in accelerating the democratic and economic transition process in Ukraine. A successful transformation will bring prosperity not only to Ukraine but to the entire region. Ukraine has enough potential to make a breakthrough towards new technologies in industrial production, towards new relations in the sphere of economy, towards new views on quality of life and living standards, towards social and cultural integration of our population into the European community.

In his address to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) "European choice", Kuchma said the creation of real preconditions for solving the main geopolitical task of our state - Ukraine's accession to the European Union - should become the main focus of economic and social development for the next decade. All institutional transformations, economic policy, social and humanitarian reforms should be aimed at this. It is, however, a complex system of transformations that would allow our state to apply for EU associated membership by the end of 2007 and create real (internal) preconditions for Ukraine's accession to the EU by 2011.

Ukraine has underlined its priorities for further cooperation, including energy, trade and investment, justice and home affairs, legislative reform, environmental protection, transport and regional and cross-border cooperation. And now it is focusing on further development of the relations between Ukraine and the EU in the light of the EU's future enlargement and its coming nearer to Ukraine's borders. The Wider Europe concept gives a mechanism that will move Ukraine-EU relations from the rhetorical to the practical sphere.

Версія до друку // Редагувати // Стерти // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1075373924.html

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