November, 2005 forty five students at the East Ukrainian National
University in Lugansk, Ukraine submitted papers on whether or
not Ukraine should enter the European Union. The third-place paper
in the 2005 Center for Perpetual Diversity Scholarship program
is presented here. The paper has been edited for clarity.
WHY SHOULD UKRAINE
ENTER THE EUROPEAN UNION
And now 'tis doomed to know the
And break at once or yield to song."
George Gordon Byron
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Ukraine found
itself in a tight corner. The change of economic formation has
infringed all spheres of public life: economic, political, and
In the course of destruction of economic contacts, price liberalization
there happened deep structural crisis, which was marked by catastrophic
fall of manufacturing and living standard of the ordinary people.
The measures, accepted by the government, were inconsistent
and contradictory and didn't promote the solution of the problems
in the country.
The change of a policy as a result of recent presidential elections
was marked also by change of strategic partners. So, instead
of constant maneuvers between the West and Russia, our state
has taken its course on the participation in the EU, which is
considered as structure promoting socio-economic development
of Ukraine. For the first time, since Peter the First, the leader
of one of the eastern-slavic states resolutely turned to Europe,
neglecting genetic ties of slavic unity. Tsar Peter without
hesitation found the advantages of western civilization. He
became first westerner, who broke and built intuitively and
enthusiastically. Through this "broken window " together
with the foreign material curiosities we began to get mental,
scientific and universal achievements from Europe. Today the
president and the government don't get tired to repeat: "Europe
is our dream, purpose and at last the final choice of the Ukrainian
people, and of every patriot of the Ukraine ".
For today the Ukraine has signed with the EU the agreement of
the partnership and the cooperation (March 1, 1998), which tasks
include "encouragement of trade, investments and harmonic
relations between the Contracting parties" and creation
of the conditions, necessary for an establishment the zone of
free trade between the Community and the Ukraine. However, in
practice it turns out absolutely in another way: we have the
high import duties on some groups of goods (for example, 66
% from cost for export of tubes), number antidumping investigations
on other goods are conducted.
In 1993 in Copenhagen the basic criteria for the participation
in the EU of the countries - candidates were approved. The criteria
contain the following conditions:
- political stability of the state institutions;
- a lawful state and democratization of an authority;
- observance of the rights of the man and national minority;
- economic development (market economy, creation of conditions
for an equal competition both competitiveness of the goods
- · observance of conditions and duties, which follow
from the membership in the EU.
Naturally, Ukraine doesn't correspond to these conditions
(not speaking about more rigid Maastricht criteria determining
fiscal-currency conditions of entry in the EU). The course of
the Ukraine in WTO and EU requires radical changes in system
of technical regulation, realization of administrative and tax
reforms, reduction the national legislation to European, rising
of a living standard of the population etc.
If to assume, that the Ukrainian state corresponds to all set
above requirements and Ukraine accept in the European Union,
a number of questions at once arises:
- What benefits carries in itself the membership in the EU,
how this will be reflected on simple Ukrainians?
- Whether the competition with more technological West will
damage our weak economy?
- Whether the Ukraine will turn into a raw materials-producing
agrarian appendage of Europe?
The answers to all these questions become obvious if to look
on example of Ireland during the membership in the EU. This
country was typical agrarian remote place 30 years back, from
which thousands families annually had emigrated. Ireland won
due to entry to the European Community in 1973: at first from
the outlet with cheap agrarian production on the European market,
and then and from reception of the grants from the European
budget. In 2003 Ireland was the largest recipient of the grants
from the budget of the EU in account on soul of the population.
It allowed the Irish government to support the high state charges
on development of an infrastructure, not committing the budget
deficiency. Today this country takes the first place on the
size gross domestic product on soul and also first place on
a parameter of factor of quality of life in Europe.
The membership in EU provides organization of cooperation
on four directions:
- Assistance to development of mutually advantageous
trade by realization of four liberties:
a) Liberty of movement of the goods.
The agreement provides barring of fiscal discrimination, interdiction
on granting export subventions, reforming of natural monopolies;
b) Liberty of movement of the citizens;
c) Liberty of trade in services and liberty of capital flow.
The agreement guarantees barring of discrimination in the
field of granting services. The rules barring of discrimination
are established also for flows of the capital and investments
d) The transitive periods are provided for the purpose of
preparation of the countries for opening their borders. In
the area of the finance they aggregate from 2 to 5 years.
The measures of protection of the contracting parties are
limited by time and size. When the protective measures create
disbalance for the partner of the rights and responsibilities,
the acceptance of measures "levelling of balance "
- The fair competition is called to establish
rules covering such areas, as acceptance of the coordinated
decisions; abusing by a leading position; concentration; state
subventions, resulting to the anomalous forms of a competition.
- The intensification and expansion of cooperation
is assumed team-work in such spheres, as the protection of
an environment, scientific researches etc.
- Claim of institutional structures.
The joining of Ukraine will allow turning to other (qualitative)
model of growth of the Ukrainian economy. This model consists
in transformation of the Ukraine into the diversified manufacturer
and competitive partner. The concept of such model provides
transformation of the rent from exploitation of mineral resources
into capital, invested in those kinds of activity, which create
added cost at the expense of essential inflow of the investments.
The investors will be interested with prospects of use of
a highly skilled manpower and local materials. Besides the
membership in EU will enable the Ukrainian citizens to receive
and to estimate all those European cultural, political and
other values, about which we yet do not know: leadership of
the law, recognition of interests of each person etc.
Summarizing all said above, it is possible to assert, that
the Ukraine should enter the European Union and apply maximum
of efforts for achievement of this purpose.