15-08-2012

Expert survey: Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU will be signed in 2013


| Euroatlantica


The Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU will be signed during 2013 according to the majority of experts. These are the results of a survey conducted by anonymous questionnaire among the participants of the Fifth Euro Atlantic Forum: Ukraine and the EU on the Brink of the New Association Agreement: Free Trade, Energy Security and Democracy, held in Kiev on the January 25-26. In the course of the event experts, representatives of NGOs, government agencies and ministries, diplomats, foreign experts and scholars discussed the most important aspects of relations between Ukraine and the European Union.



 

The Forum was organized in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ukraine, Foundation for Polish-Ukrainian Friendship (PAUCI), Center for US-Ukraine Relations (CUSUR), Civic Expert Council within Ukrainian part of the EU-Ukraine cooperation Committee and UNITER project which is carried out by Pact in Ukraine with the support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Methodology

All the participants received a short questionnaire. The questionnaire corresponded to the thematic content of the panel discussions of the event and was designed to determine the attitude of the audience on the key issues. In total during the forum 54 questionnaires were collected.

The total number of answers on certain questions may vary as some respondents did not complete the questionnaire or believed that no answer was a correct one. Also the total percentage on certain questions may exceed 100% as the respondent could select multiple answers.

Results

The survey results demonstrate that there are still a lot of uncertainty in the process of signing and ratification of the Association Agreement, and most importantly - the information about the negotiation process is largely closed from the public. According to the majority of experts, the Agreement may be signed no earlier than 2013, and its ratification would last no less than 4 years. Thus the entry into force of this document should be expected not before 2017. 

Moreover, this equation still contains a lot a variables and unknowns. These would be upcoming elections in Ukraine, or the will of political elites, bureaucratic procedures, ets. Thus, foreseeing of the future ‘destiny’ of association becomes a challenging task even for the expert community. 

For more effective implementation of the agreement, according to most experts, the shift of Ukrainian public administration system towards the European standards is needed. Obviously, the time left until 2017 should be enough for such large-scale reforms. There still were less surveyed experts who supported the creation of separate institutions (coordination center) and the adoption of new documents (national program). 

In the framework of energy dialogue with the EU, experts have a single voice: majority of them believe that the EU should be a part of a consortium managing the Ukrainian gas transportation system and that the rules of the European energy community may possibly strengthen Ukraine's position in negotiations with Russia. 

Ukrainian consumers, according majority of respondents, will gain the most from signing FTA with the EU. Among the branches of Ukrainian industry, according to majority of expert community, the agriculture will benefit the most. Only two experts believe that none of the industries will benefit, meaning that FTA in general is not beneficial to Ukraine.

Detailed results are given below.

Answering the question “When will the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement be signed” the majority of surveyed experts (41%) have answered that most likely the agreement will be signed until 2013. According to 30% of respondents we should not expect the signing until 2015. Only 7% of respondents think the parties will sign the agreement this (2012) autumn. 22% of experts chose the answer "Difficult to say". See Graph 1 below.

Graph 1. When will the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement be signed?

 

The next question concerned the ratification of the Association Agreement and was defined as follows: "How long will the ratification process of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement take place?". 41% of the experts did not answer this question by selecting the option "Difficult to say." A third part of those surveyed believe that the ratification process will take at least 4 years, 22% believe that ratification will go on for 2 years.  See Graph 2.

Graph 2. How long will the ratification process of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement take place?

 

Most experts (73%) chose bringing the public administration of Ukraine in line with the European standards as the primary tool for preparing Ukraine for the implementation of an Association Agreement. 31% of those surveyed prefer creation of a single institution, which will control the reforms process as well as coordinate the Association Agreement implementation. 19% of experts support the elaboration of the National implementation programme of Association Agreement.  Another 17% feel the need of inclusion of international technical assistance resources to the reform process.  See the Graph 3.

Graph 3. What has to be given a special priority when preparing the Administration of Ukraine for the Association Agreement implementation?

  

Should the EU be a part of the Ukrainian Gas Transit System consortium? 69% were "Pro", and 19% - "Contra". Another 9% did not find an answer to this question.  See Graph 4.

Graph 4. Should the EU be a part of the Ukrainian Gas Transit System consortium?

To the question "Will the European Energy Community regulations strengthen Ukraine’s position in negotiations with Russia?" received 81% of positive answers of respondents? Just 7% have answered negatively. 7% of those surveyed was not sure. See Graph 5.

Graph 5. Will the European Energy Community regulations strengthen Ukraine’s position in negotiations with Russia?

Most experts (62%) believe that agriculture sector can benefit from the signing of DCFTA between Ukraine and the EU. Almost half of surveyed (48%) believes that the food industry can get benefit from the FTA with the EU. Equal number of experts (by 44%) believes that the FTA will benefit chemical and metallurgical industries. A third part of experts believes that the consumer goods industry will get benefit too. See Graph 6.

Graph 6. Which sectors of Ukrainian industry can benefit from DCFTA?

According to most experts surveyed at the Forum, consumers would get benefit from signing the DCFTA. Half of respondents (52%) believe that the government will get benefit and only 22% responded - that the producers will get benefit. See Graph 7.

Graph 7. Who will gain the advantage from DCFTA?

IEAC expresses gratitude to those who participated in the survey! Also special thanks go to Victoria Humeniuk for preparing questionnaires, Alina Archipenko and Lesia Bendiuk - for data processing. Results were obtained using the online service Google Docs.


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