Committee of Verkhovna Rada on European Integration hosted an expert discussion of the EaP Index 2012

 
This was already the second presentation and discussion of the EaP Index 2012 in Ukraine. It focused mostly on the areas where Ukraine has not shown poor progress. Experts also discussed methodology of the project and challenges related to this.
Large part of the discussion focused on the findings of the Index that have to do with ‘deep and sustainable democracy’  - the concept that the European Union proposed last year as a key benchmark according to which neighbouring countries are being assessed. The EaP Index pays special attention to this concept and offers a comprehensive list of questions for assessment.
Although Ukraine ranks second after Moldova in ‘Deep and Sustainable Democracy’ and is nearly on the same level as Georgia and Armenia, it scores rather low where ‘Independent Judiciary’ and ‘Fighting Corruption’ are concerned. According to Roman Kuibida, an expert of the Index on judiciary, the scores reflect the situation on the ground. In Ukraine judiciary is still perceived as a useful tool to reach political goals. Moreover, despite formally good laws the practice of their implementation makes things even worse. For instance, although legislative provisions on appointment, promotion and dismissal of judges and on judicial powers are rather progressive, in reality in the past years a lot of judges were replaced by those that are more loyal, particularly from Donetsk region.
Ukraine also scores low where ‘Market Economy”, particularly ‘Business Climate’ is concerned. In 2011 EaP index Ukraine showed similarly poor results, but was still ahead of Belarus kamagra oral jelly price. 2012 Index shows that Ukraine scores on the same level as those of Belarus, which means that situation deteriorated in 2011. Veronika Movchan, an expert who worked on this part of the Index, highlighted that indeed Ukraine is the only EaP country where business climate has deteriorated.
There are more areas where Ukraine is lagging behind, especially where it comes to approximation towards EU standards and implementation of EU requirement. Thus, Oleksandr Sushko, research director at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, pointed out that although Ukraine was the first Eastern Partnership country to sign the Action plan on visa liberalization it is not going to be the first one to implement it. Moldova, for instance, has already completed the first legislation phase of the Action Plan, while Ukraine still needs to adopt a number of laws (on non-discrimination, personal data protection and biometric passports, and migrants’ rights) to reach the same stage. “Not everything can be measured, but it’s become clear that Ukraine is losing pace,” said the expert.
Leonid Litru, the leader of the expert team from Moldova provided a few examples from areas where Moldova takes the lead, according to the Index. For instance, Moldova recently adopted a highly debated and sensitive non-discrimination law. Having done so Moldova completed the first legislative phase of Action Plan on visa liberalisation. Moldova also completed negotiations on joining the EU’s Open Sky, while Ukraine has been negotiating it for already some years.
Vsevolod Chentsov, Director of the EU Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, pointed out that Ukraine faces far more challenges in meeting the EU requirements than other EaP countries. According to him, this has to do with the scale of its economy and interests of national producers that ‘have to be protected’. He also mentioned that it might not be proper to compare all six EaP countries, that are so different, according to the same set of criteria.

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