Ukraine’s Indispensable Economic Reforms

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Series Details 29.04.16
Publication Date 29/04/2016
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Economic reform is central for today’s Ukraine. The capacity of the Ukrainian nation—leadership and population together—to deliver a modern and efficient economy, if achieved, would constitute the winning asset in the West’s current struggle with Russia in Eastern Europe. Success on the economy would represent the most convincing argument Ukraine could offer to all those who doubt the country’s ability to stand as a modern and efficient state. Producing tangible economic results is the best way to dispel these doubts.

The economic challenge is one of the most pressing as Ukraine strives to stabilize its internal and external accounts, relaunch its productivity growth, and engage in the long-term process of modernizing its manufacturing sector. Yet, far from being a lost cause, economic reform in Ukraine is one of the domains of government policy in which some optimism can be nurtured. Indeed, in spite of current ups and downs, achieving a prosperous economy in a reasonable time span remains a realistic prospect for Ukraine.

Economic reform in Ukraine must succeed. This is in the interests of all Western partners, as the outcome of these reforms will be crucial for the stability of Eastern Europe. If only for that reason, Ukrainian leaders must act in the economic field with decisiveness to come out of their gray zone and channel the country’s new national pride along the road to reform.

As for the EU, it must support Ukrainian efforts without hesitation and be ready to deliver more efficient and flexible assistance. In the end, this is about mutual trust, and if Ukraine is to succeed, international partners in general and Europeans in particular must show confidence in the success of this economic change. Reform in Ukraine goes far beyond merely the economic dimension. It is also about convincing the Russian leadership to return to cooperation and partnership rather than persisting in confrontation. Hence, there is a need for all partners—Ukrainians and foreigners alike—to live up to this challenge.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Can Ukraine Achieve a Reform Breakthrough?
CAPX, 19.08.16: Lack of reforms has turned Ukraine into a vulnerable basket case

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