EU wearies of financing elusive Ukrainian reform


From 2012 the EU will not be financing individual projects, but paying money directly into the Ukrainian budget for specific reforms. Experts believe the results will be minimal.

The EU began financing projects aimed at promoting civil society, democratic values, rule of law etc back in the 1990s. Since then over 3 billion EUR has been spent on various projects, yet the result and effectiveness of such projects arouses doubts.

At the beginning the EU gave money for specific varied projects in Ukraine, then from 2007 they decided that this was too focused on particular points and that it was better to support entire sectors. Each year the EU selects 2-3 global sectors in Ukraine to which they channel their spending. These were mainly projects in the spheres of energy efficiency, managing borders, etc.

However, according to Press Attache for the EU Delegation to Ukraine, David Stupik,  the form of assistance is to change next year, to work on the principle “more for more, less for less”.  He explains that the EU wants Ukraine to itself have a stronger interest in reforms.

The EU will allocate up to 180 million EUR for Ukraine each year and this money will go directly into the budget for reforming specific areas. However Ukraine will only receive it after proving serious intention to carry out the reforms. “We have projects which have been carried out, experts have drawn up certain recommendations, helped to write the relevant draft laws, yet none of it has been implemented”.

These have included a draft Electoral Code; anti-corruption legislation; a law on public procurement.

Vira Nanivska from the Centre for Policy Studies finds none of this surprising. She believes that the EU representatives have been too diplomatic with Ukraine whereas in their own countries they have much stricter requirements.  She believes that the EU gives financial assistance like a charitable donation, without particularly counting on a result, and says that if Ukraine had a programme of reform on European money as Poland and Bulgaria at one time, the changes would be real. She believes that the financial assistance the EU now provides does not help the country to carry out reforms, but on the contrary, harms it.

From a report by Lilia Hryshko at, , 15500679, 00.html

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