“Prospects for EU–Ukraine Relations for Upcoming Years” – panel discussion during the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz

Ukraine’s relations with the European Union were the subject of discussion during a panel with the participation of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodoymyr Groysman, which took place during the 30th Economic Forum in Karpacz.

Ukraine is at the halfway point of implementing the Association Agreement with the EU, and today it primarily depends on the Ukrainians themselves. However, partner countries’ support can help to speed up this process. Poland and Lithuania, being most supportive of Ukraine’s European aspirations, start to prepare for the forthcoming Presidencies of the Council of the European Union in 2025 and 2027.

Participants in the panel discussion entitled “Prospects for EU–Ukraine Relations for Upcoming Years”, discussed what should be done so that Kiev, as well as Brussels, would be ready to start the next stage of integration, i.e. talks on full membership, and how Ukraine can use various regional initiatives (including the Eastern Partnership and the Lublin Triangle) to develop relations with the EU. “European Pravda”  was a partner of the panel discussion.

The moderator of the discussion, the correspondent of the well-known Ukrainian portal Ukrinform, Jurij Banachewycz, emphasised that the fastest process of integrating Ukraine into the European Union began after the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko. Later, thanks to the fact that the European Union introduced a visa-free regime, Ukrainians were given an opportunity to see how the EU countries develop and also to observe the advantages that result from integration with the EU.

As the former Prime Minister of Ukraine and Chairman of the party “Ukrainian Strategy” Volodymyr Groysman pointed out, currently on the European continent there is a struggle between two worlds – authoritarian and democratic. We can observe how, through persecution and political arrests, authoritarian regimes are strengthening themselves and expanding their influence. The Russian military bases in Crimea pose a direct threat to the whole of Europe and NATO. The Russian Federation also carries a threat to energy security, the economy and the information space through hybrid warfare. Poland and the Baltic States are well aware of this, and Ukraine feels it directly when defending the values of the democratic world.

It is therefore extremely important for European countries to support Ukraine. One of the instruments to help in this process is the Lublin Triangle, which has great potential for development and may become a more effective tool than previous initiatives, including the Eastern Partnership. Małgorzata Gosiewska, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm, emphasised that thanks to the inter-parliamentary contacts the Lublin Triangle met in Donbass, drawing the attention of the political world in the West by showing that Ukraine still needs support. In addition, the Speaker noted the good pace of reforms in Ukraine, which is maintained despite the crisis, related to the pandemic and the ongoing war, and reflected in the joint Ukrainian-Polish presidential declaration. Moreover, Małgorzata Gosiewska believes that while building a common future, we should remember about positive examples of cooperation and promote them, at the same time talking about difficult issues and striving to solve them.

The President of the State Investment Office of UkraineInvest Sergiy Tsivkach believes that the new field of cooperation is economy. Deepening integration opens new prospects for cooperation as well as for business. Tsivkach believes that already today Ukraine and its western partners should build strategies for the next 10-15 years in the field of enterprise modernisation and decarbonisation, and show positive examples of cooperation, increasing the investment attractiveness of Ukraine, which will contribute to its faster integration with the EU.

Political dialogue should go simultaneously with economic dialogue, according to Volodymyr Groysman. The former Prime Minister emphasised that Ukraine should now accelerate the implementation of the Association Agreement, including adjustment of legislation and standards, and in the meantime discuss the prospects of further integration of Ukraine into the EU. Groysman thanked Poland for the fact that for many years our country has maintained a clear and stable position in the matter of supporting Ukraine and its integration into the EU.