Ukraine on the way to Europe

In the context of Ukraine’s prospects of European integration there can be different attitudes to today’s economic problems in the EU. Recent statistic data isn’t too encouraging and it becomes a news topic for supporters of Ukraine’s joining to other integration structures. In fact European economy is in a recession and according to the prognoses of the European Commission Eurozone will be able to return to the trajectory of growth only next year. With this the situation on the labor market continues to deteriorate. The experts of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expect that the rise of unemployment rates will be at 12% and over.

Even despite the severe impact of the financial and economic crisis in the EU countries, a significant part of the population of Ukraine continues to associate the European Union with high standards and quality of life. The majority of Ukrainian citizens support the country’s accession to the EU. According to the June poll, conducted by DW-Trend, 59% of respondents support Ukraine’s accession to the EU. At the same time 24 % of respondents oppose it. The Ukrainians put their hopes on the Association Agreement, mainly related to improving their well-being and economic growth of the country as a whole. Following the results of the last year the volume of trade in goods and services between Ukraine and the EU reached $ 50.7 billion. It is almost 30% of Ukraine’s total trade amount with all countries of the world. The EU remains the largest investor in Ukraine’s economy. By the end of March this year investments from the EU has reached $43.6 billion. This is about 80% of all investments in Ukraine.

Despite the weakening of the integration potential of the EU, in many areas it still remains attractive for Ukraine. The main motivators for the development of relations between Ukraine and the EU are: energy security, investment, and high social standards. But the most attractive for the Ukrainian economy is a high innovative capacity of the EU. Our country still has a long way ahead to reach the level of the world’s innovation leaders. Unfortunately, according to the annual Global Innovation Index report, Ukraine has dropped from 63rd to 71th place in terms of innovation development. However, there is a chance that from very next year the situation will change for the better. And the first step could be the signing of the Association Agreement. After all, the development of EU-Ukraine relations from the perspective of motivation is a mutually beneficial process. Otherwise the talk about the EU’s energy security will be a farce, European values will be less attractive, and there will be much less supporters of Ukraine’s accession to the EU…

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