The European Union should provide Ukraine the opportunity to influence decision-making processes in the EU on the Norwegian model, and Kyiv, in its turn, has to carry out a screening process of conducting European integration reforms in order to eliminate the shortcomings. This was said by Leo Litra, Senior Fellow at the NEC, during the conference “Ukraine’s European Choice: Progress and Prospects”, organized by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting and the “Public Synergy” project on November 19.
Here are the main talking points presented at the panel:
- Ukraine’s desire to new formats of cooperation with the EU is driven by the lack of membership perspective and the lack of a debate of what follows after the implementation of the Association Agreement.
- Leaders of EU and its members states presented several visions on the future of the European Union, however, Ukraine is not part of these visions. That is why a debate on the future of EU that includes Ukraine has to take place. In this regard, the NEC presented a collection of essays of the Ukrainian intellectuals on how we see Ukraine in the future European Union.
- The Association Agreement offers a lot of possibilities but also many responsibilities to Ukraine. At the same time, despite the bunch of responsibilities, Kyiv does not have a seat in the EU – there where the decisions are made. For instance, Norway, which is not member of the EU, is able to state its interest in many decision-making process in the EU. Ukraine needs the same.
- EU institutions will be reshuffled after the elections next year. Ukraine and other associated countries need to make sure that the new institutional design reflects the relations of EU with associated countries and does not have a “melting pot” in which all the countries are put in the same basket.
- For making the discussion about the membership perspective less toxic, Ukraine could embark into proactive actions that would show practical interest in getting the European perspective. This action could be the screening process that would be preemptively implemented by Ukraine with the support of civil society. Undergoing a screening process would show the shortcomings in implementation of reforms related to integration and underline Ukraine’s exclusively positive approach to the debate about the membership perspective.