“Ukraine and Moldova One Step Closer to EU Membership – Alona Lebedieva

On June 25, a significant event will take place in Luxembourg: the start of official negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the European Union. This step became possible after prolonged preparation and reforms in both countries, as well as thanks to diplomatic efforts to resolve sensitive issues, including the protection of the rights of national minorities.

The start of negotiations is an important step towards the European integration of Ukraine and Moldova. However, the path to full membership remains long and requires ongoing reforms and adherence to European standards. This is something to remember and not to relax about,” insists Alona Lebedieva, owner of the Ukrainian multi-profile industrial-investment group of companies “Aurum Group.”

Achievements in Reforms

According to the European Commission, Ukraine and Moldova have made significant progress in their internal reforms, which was defined as a prerequisite for the start of negotiations. Ukraine has managed to complete four important reforms, among which special attention has been given to issues of rule of law and protection of the rights of national minorities, including the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia. The main stumbling block on the way to negotiations was Hungary’s dissatisfaction with the level of protection of the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine.

Despite difficulties with Hungary, Ukraine has demonstrated its readiness to compromise, adopting additional measures to protect minority rights. This became a key factor in overcoming the blockade of the process by Budapest,” emphasized Lebedieva.

However, we still face important tasks that need further resolution. Key challenges include ensuring the rule of law and fighting corruption. Reforms should also be aimed at restoring citizens’ trust in the judiciary, which is currently perceived as corrupt and politically dependent.

Cleansing the judicial system of corrupt officials is critically important. Corruption remains one of the biggest obstacles to Ukraine’s European integration. Despite the creation of institutions such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, the effectiveness of their work is often hindered by political interference and lack of resources,” – she says.

Civil society also plays an important role in combating corruption, as it must be able to monitor government actions and demand transparency.

Expected Benefits of Ukraine’s Entry into the EU

Joining the EU opens significant prospects and opportunities for Ukraine. Integration will provide access to a single market, stimulating export growth, attracting foreign investment, and enhancing the competitiveness of the Ukrainian economy. It will also contribute to strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption. This, in turn, will help create transparent and effective governance.

Harmonization with European standards in the fields of human rights, health care, and education will improve the quality of life for Ukrainian citizens.

Integration with the EU means not only economic benefits for Ukraine but also political stability, social development, and strengthening of democratic institutions. This is the path to sustainable development and entry into the European family of nations,” Alona Lebedieva is confident.

Reminder: On March 12, 2024, the European Commission officially presented to the EU Council the proposals for the negotiating framework – documents containing the guiding principles for conducting accession negotiations – for Ukraine and Moldova.”