Ukraine should speed up the positive dynamics of European integration progress. And now it is important to save it.
On the air of the “Inter” TV channel, Maria Golub, ANTS expert on European integration and bilateral relations between Ukraine and the EU, and representative of the International Victory Center of Ukraine, emphasized this.
“Of course, the key is to work on those seven EU recommendations. We are currently seeing good progress, as evidenced by recent appointments, including the head of the SAP and two members of the Supreme Council of Justice. Similarly, the competitive selection process for the head of NABU began. Other areas have seen progress, but much will depend on how quickly the Verkhovna Rada works. Because, at least according to four points, the adoption of relevant legislation is expected. According to our government, certain draft laws have already been drafted and are awaiting approval. This legislation on media and FATF issues, as well as the oligarchic law, should be effective. All of these positive dynamics must be accelerated in September and October to achieve good results in the first report, which the European Commission will publish at the end of November,” – she says.
The expert emphasized the necessity of communicating progress in all directions.
“Much will depend on how the Ukrainian language functions in the dialogue with the European side, as well as where we can direct our advocacy efforts if we recognize that there are differences of opinion. Both parties are now paying closer attention to these seven recommendations, and we will begin this political season at the same brisk pace “- Golub noted.
She mentioned that proper communication with the European side is required, as the dialogue involves not only governments, but also civil society in EU member states, business, and the management environment.
“This dialogue is essential, and it must be continued. We’ve already seen how well such a dialogue works when it’s necessary to resolve contentious issues, such as Ukraine’s candidacy. Sometimes it is simply a misunderstanding or a lack of awareness of Ukraine’s progress. As a result, communication should become critical not only with Brussels, but also with other important EU capitals. Furthermore, this communication should be more actively linked to the process of developing this large-scale Plan for the country’s modernization and restoration. Again, the position of EU member states will be decisive and critical,” – expert said.
According to her, it is also important to continue the enhanced dialogue, including on membership.
“We have a significant amount of European integration work, and there is also a positive dynamic here. Ukraine is gradually implementing and aligning its legislation with European legislation. There were relevant government decisions and draft laws, such as those on visa-free customs travel. As a result, this entire process must be accelerated as much as possible.”
Without modernization and restoration, progress toward the EU is impossible.
“First and probably most important, we need to understand how the Ukrainian side views the entire recovery process. It is possible to say allegorically that the European side has now handed the ball over to Ukraine and is eagerly awaiting a specific plan for recovery,” – Maria Golub was incensed.
It will have at least three parts, according to her:
1. Ukraine should present its own vision for the structure of management of funds coming from the EU and other key partners such as the G7 countries. It is also necessary to understand exactly what role the United States will play in the reconstruction process.
2. A vision must be presented: how we will directly distribute reconstruction: everything related to infrastructure, and where our geopolitical, economic, and trade interests lie in this area. And how Ukraine sees itself in the global economic landscape in the next 5-10 years. All of this must be articulated and communicated to partners in order for the dialogue to be as productive as possible.
3. It is essential to approach so-called basket filling realistically and pragmatically. This is necessary so that both Ukraine and its partners understand who will pay for the reconstruction: what will come from grant programs, what will come from loans, and who will take over these loans. Who will carry the debt obligations: the EU, the newly formed structure, or, ultimately, Ukraine? It is also necessary to understand how we will be filled in terms of contributions, i.e. what role key EU member states such as France and Germany will play. Another point worth mentioning is that confiscated russian assets could be another option for filling the recovery basket. They have now significantly increased their efforts to locate Russian assets. They are frequently so well hidden that you would never guess that they are assets of the aggressor country. There, significant funds can be discussed, and Ukraine has every moral right to question whether they will be confiscated, transferred, and spent on our country’s reconstruction.
“Another component of this modernization strategy should be safety. European partners are constantly emphasizing this. We need to figure out how we, along with our partners, will provide security guarantees for the infrastructure that has already been restored and rebuilt, says Maria Golub. – The reconstruction process must begin immediately, because European democracy is slow to make decisions, though it can speed up when necessary. The sooner we begin discussing specifics, the better.”