Thursday, April 29, 2010
The European Union (EU) recently provided Ukraine with a "honey do" list of 18 tasks if Ukraine wishes to have a closer relationship with the EU and eventually become an EU member. Ukraine is already a priority partner country under the European Neighborhood Policy and hopes to establish free trade with the EU by signing an Association Agreement later this year.
The European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, presented the list of reforms to Ukraine this week. The list includes reforms in the areas of government, finance, business, energy and the environment. Fule's April 28 remarks on this topic may be found here. Many of the tasks are accompanied by specific incentives. For example, judicial reform to improve the efficiency and independence of the judiciary may lead to an additional 10 million euros in aid. Financial aid of 610 million euros is tied to financial reforms including the resumption of payments on a loan from the International Monetary Fund which were suspended when Ukrainian legislators could not agree on a budget last year. (Perhaps these incentives will be more successful in accomplishing the "honey-do" list than in my home.) The ability of Ukrainian legislators to agree on a package of reforms is in doubt, however, after recent media broadcasts of fighting and egg-throwing in the parliament. If you haven't already seen it, the video can be found here.