The Association Agreement (AA) is a game changer in Ukraine’s integration with the EU. The AA provides a comprehensive rulebook to guide Ukraine’s efforts in implementing much of the acquis. As such, the AA is unprecedented insofar as it provides a template for both integration and modernisation but without offering a membership perspective. The five-year period since the start of AA implementation has starkly exposed the challenges of implementation, while Ukraine simultaneously pursues root-and-branch reform of the state. This is because the country lacks the strong institutions to implement the complex, wide-ranging and sophisticated corpus of EU rules. Simply put, AA commitments exceed the Ukraine’s capacity to implement them (this is also in evidence in Moldova and Georgia). The conclusion is that, as implementation continues, unless these deficiencies are addressed, it is unlikely to generate improved let alone optimal outcomes.
It is proposed that an amelioration of the implementation process can be achieved by closely linking the AA to Ukraine’s reform agenda to modernise the country.UCEP 2019 EU-Ukraine making the AA work.
Source: Ukrainian Centre for European Policy (UCEP)