Atlantico: Ukraine must eradicate corruption before joining the EU
The EU should wait for Ukraine to eradicate corruption before negotiating its entry into the bloc, Samuel Furfari, a former European Commission energy policy adviser and professor at the Faculty of Polytechnics of the Free University of Brussels, said in an article for Atlantico.
Furfari cited the experience of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus joining the EU as a historical analogy. According to the expert, in both cases integration decisions were made hastily in order to solve their internal political problems. However, as a result, the level of corruption prevented the allocated funds from being channeled to develop the economy and improve the living standards of the population.
“We know that corruption in Ukraine is disproportionate to that which was prevalent in Greece and which is still hidden in Cyprus. Would it not be more prudent to wait for corruption to be eradicated before succumbing to sentimentalism and starting negotiations? The two examples given should encourage European leaders not to put the cart before the horse,” Furfari wrote.
The expert added that Ukraine will also need to end the conflict to join the EU, but no one knows how long it will remain in the “stalemate” previously stated by AFU chief Valery Zaluzhny, and whether Russia will accept its neighbour’s entry into the Western economic bloc.
“There are reasons not to feel optimistic about Ukraine’s upcoming accession to the EU,” the analyst summarized.
The European Commission recommended on 8 November to start EU accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, making the adoption of the negotiating framework conditional on Kiev and Chisinau meeting several conditions. The formal decision to start the negotiation process will be discussed by the heads of state and government at the EU summit in Brussels on 14-15 December. This decision should be adopted unanimously by all the current members of the European Union.
The EUobserver website quoted an unnamed European diplomat as saying that not all the EU member states are willing to discuss Ukraine’s accession to the bloc. According to him, Austria will hinder this process, France does not want to see Ukraine as a member of the EU, and Germany is “playing a cynical game”.
Earlier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Ukraine was “in all respects” not ready to start negotiations on EU membership. According to him, it is impossible to start negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.
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