Which areas Ukraine should strengthen to accelerate EU integration

Monday, 10 June 2024 —

Last September, the Institute of Economic Research and Political Consulting with the Bendukidze Free Market Center and leading experts from various fields, launched the UAEUmeter project. The goal is to create an understandable and visual monitoring tool for analysing Ukraine’s EU accession.

Ukraine's progress towards the EU can be tracked both overall and specifically in six important areas for the Ukrainian economy.

Monitoring EU integration processes is not easy, as this path is not solely measured by the number of adopted laws or regulations.

The quality of normative documents, their compliance with the requirements of the Association Agreement and the EU Acquis communautaire, statements by Ukrainian officials and the direct implementation of various reforms should also be evaluated.


Read more details on Ukraine's progress towards EU integration can be found in the article by Ievhen Anhel, Nestor Barchuk, Oleksandra Betlii, Andrii Butin, Iryna Kosse and Stanislav Yukhymenko from the Institute of Economic Research and Political Consulting – How quickly is Ukraine moving towards the EU? Leading and lagging sectors.

Experts covered the period from September 2023, when the UAEUmeter project was launched, to March 2024. Data for April will be available later.

Changes in almost all the areas analysed by UAEUmeter occurred at the end of last year. Experts rate these legislative and other changes quite highly.

This activity was likely driven by the many deadlines for government programmes, strategies and other initiatives that fall at the end of the year, prompting politicians and officials to work more intensively.

The only area where almost nothing happened was social policy and employment, which remains at an initial stage of adapting rules and standards to EU legislation.

One of the leaders in moving towards the EU is digital transformation.

This success is due to the creation of several effective digital tools in document management, entrepreneurship, declaration, the introduction of electronic registries and the start of harmonising national legislation on cybersecurity with European standards.

Similarly, the end of 2023 was very successful for the transport sector (+1.69).

Note that in each of the analysed areas, experts assess certain events on a scale from -3 to +3 (-3 being the most negative impact on Ukraine's EU accession, 0 having no negative or positive impact, and +3 being the most positive impact).

In March, the progress of this sector towards the EU was also quite intense (+1.52).

In the area of free movement of goods and customs, Ukraine shows good results, particularly in customs reform in accordance with the EU Acquis. For instance, Ukraine has joined the EU Customs Information System and now uses the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS).

The progress in EU integration in entrepreneurship and industrial policy is based on previous, pre-war achievements in the digitalisation of services and deregulation. Recent progress in this area has been quite slow though.

Experts were not inspired by the announcement of the new economic platform Made in Ukraine (0.44 points) or the creation of the Council for Entrepreneurship in Wartime (which received a negative rating of -0.38 points).

In the field of the rule of law, Ukraine successfully implemented two points during 2022-2023 related to the reform of judicial governance bodies and the Constitutional Court. These points were part of the conditions set by the European Commission for opening accession negotiations.

In November, amid the European Commission's report on Ukraine, UAEUmeter experts highly rated the progress in the rule of law sector, with a score of +1.71 for the month. However, further implementation of the EC's recommendations is moving very slowly.

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