The EU and Ukraine: What Now? Key Criteria and Sectoral Cooperation

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Series Details No.05, February 2013
Publication Date February 2013
ISSN 1861-1761
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The parliamentary elections in Ukraine at the end of October 2012 were evaluated by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (ODIHR/OSCE) as a step backwards for democracy.

The members of the subsequently formed government were selected mainly on the basis of loyalty to the president, and the new government has yet to send any convincing pro-European signals. The European Union had urged the holding of free and fair elections with the aim of ushering in a change of direction in its relations with Ukraine and of pressing forward with the already initialled Association Agreement.

Now the EU faces a dilemma. If it considers democracy and the rule of law genuinely important, then the EU must not abandon its critical stance vis-à-vis the Ukrainian leadership. But isolating Ukraine would not make sense either from an economic or from a security point of view and would send the wrong signal to the Ukrainian population.

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