Alona Lebedieva: In order to be a geopolitical player, you need to invest in it

Despite a number of external shocks, the EU continues to demonstrate the strength of the Single Market. This opinion was expressed by Alona Lebedieva, the owner of the Ukrainian multidisciplinary industrial and investment group of the company Aurum Group, in a comment during the Annual Research Conference (ARC) held last week in Brussels.

We can see, on the example of this conference, how European politicians, members of international organizations and scientists cooperate together, almost online, in order to solve the political challenges facing the EU today. Self-criticism of officials deserves special attention. They openly admit that using the old common market tools in the new external environment is a “dead-end” path that makes Europe a “bad place” to do business. Instead, to be attractive, they must offer unique legislation, taxation and business conditions. Analyzing the experience, the European community opens new ways to strengthen the principles of transparency, democracy, strengthening its governing institutions, actively involving citizens in all these processes. After all, in order to be a geopolitical player, you need to invest in it,” said Alona Lebedieva.

United by the desire for peace, for more than thirty years the EU has been a successful, self-sufficient platform that is constantly increasing its own capacity. It is a good mix of small and large countries that adapts to new, increasingly complex, geopolitical challenges, – noted Alona Lebedieva, – However, despite the new geopolitical context and a number of external shocks, the EU demonstrates unity, close cooperation for the sake of the future and the strength of the Single Market. In my opinion, the success of EU unity lies precisely in the readiness to accept changes, first of all, in the balance of “difference” and systemic changes. And this is the experience that Ukraine needs.

Alona Lebedieva also noted: “One of the proofs of such steadfast unity is the all-round support for Ukraine, which the Ukrainian society feels today from the EU. All of us are literally waiting with bated breath for the adoption of the 12th package of sanctions against Russia, which, according to Josep Borrell, will hit the Russian economy even more deeply, as it will affect the military, defense, IT sectors of the Russian Federation and oil prices. The aggressor country must pay for this war and for all war crimes committed. As the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the day before, the sanctions should affect those who are directly involved in the military invasion, occupation of Ukraine and brutal kidnapping of children. Today, we know about the list, which will include about 120 individuals and legal entities. And for me, personally, this is a strong feature of this package. I want to especially emphasize our children. Russia is committing genocide against the Ukrainian nation by illegally deporting thousands of Ukrainian children, and it must be punished for it. Talking with European officials, I made sure that they share our pain and supporting.”

The Annual Research Conference (ARC) is the main research forum of the European Commission, bringing together leading researchers working on economic policy-making at European and national levels. The theme of this year’s conference: European integration, institutions and development.