June 18, 2018

Ukrainian Reforms: Is the glass half full or half empty?

By Liudmyla Palamar.

Prime Minister of Ukraine H.E. Mr Volodymyr Groysman,  participated in a high-level public debate in Brussels. Titled “Cheering and Steering: Ukraine Reforms Reloaded,” the event has brought together European decision-makers and civil society to discuss the democratic changes, taking place in Ukraine since the Maidan Revolution.

Organized by Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the public discussion fostered the dialogue on the Ukrainian reforms, as well as marked a two-year anniversary of the Center’s UkraineReforms program. The think tank has been facilitating the program to support the developments in Ukraine by empowering local civil society and offering international expertise in the implementation of sustainable reforms.

Prime Minister Groysman, who joined the debate straight after his meeting with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, contributed to the discussion with a clear narrative, focusing on the achievements of the reforms, which are led by his government. Among the success stories, he mentioned the reformation of the national police, the structural change in the oil and gas sector, etc.

Other members of the panel, namely Andrius Kubiliusm, former Prime Minister of Lithuania, and Taras Shevchenko, Co-Chairman of the Council of the Reanimation Package of Reforms, as well as the moderator, Roland Freudenstein, warmly accepted the narrative of the Prime Minister and admitted that Ukraine has made a significant progress over the past three years. Ivan Mikloš, former Minister of Finance of Slovakia, claimed that more positive changes had taken place in Ukraine after the recent Revolution than during all preceding years of independence.

The positive flow of the conversation was balanced with the critical assessment of the existing challenges that the Ukrainian government has to address in order to ensure the sustainable implementation of the reform package. In particular, questionable fiscal system and the influence of oligarchic groups on the decision-making of the Ukrainian government were among the topics, which were raised during the debate and challenged the optimistic narrative of the Ukrainian Prime Minister.

Both parties – Ukrainian and EU officials – expressed satisfaction with the efficiency of their cooperation and emphasized the necessity to continue the implementation of the democratic reform package.


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