Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to analyse the relationships between Belarus and Ukraine with the EU. The aim is to discover the benefits and limitations of both parties. The research shows that both the Belarus and EU can benefit from each other; however, it is extremely difficult for Belarus to be a part of EU due to their human rights record and their strict law. Moreover, Belarus does not agree that complying with the EU is the best direction for the country, since the president does not agree with rules and regulations of the EU.
The research also shows that Ukraine can benefit from EU. Nonetheless, they have poor human rights record like Belarus, which prevents them from eligibility of joining the EU. It is arguable that the benefits may offset the drawbacks of joining EU as EU provides stability and improvements in the living condition of both Ukrainians and Belarusian. In addition, the EU would definitely benefit from this relationship. This includes the strong steel industry in Ukraine that will further improve the European economy due to the reduction in border controls between Ukraine and Western Europe.
It is impossible to enter the EU in the near future. Nevertheless, Ukraine and Belarus can still qualify to join the EU if they comply with the rules and regulations that the EU deem appropriate and the fast recovery of their human rights record. Limitations on the report includes: The use of an old source from the 1960s The researchers are based on professional predictions on the benefits of the European Union, should Belarus and Ukraine join the EU. Introduction Methodology
For our group project on the EU’s relations with Eastern Europe, we have chosen to focus on Belarus and the Ukraine as we were enticed to the fact that they are both Eastern European countries yet are not members of the EU. topic is current as developments are still being made presently, and therefore we felt this topic was thought provoking as we could observe the progress of relations between these countries and the EU. We decided that to ensure a clear focus, it would be best to divide the sections of the project amongst group members.
These sections were done either individually or in pairs, and only the slides and appendices were done as a group. The contents of our report were compiled using a variety of methods. We used the internet to initiate our research and then accessed a range of texts to obtain a more in depth and broader understanding of our areas. We read the relevant chapters of the core book, journals, related newspapers, press releases, and electronic resources carefully to extract the most significant material.
These sources abled us to acquire to dateinformation and supporting evidence. The assortment of material available broadened our knowledge and horizons and we gained a wide range of opinions and arguments. To collaborate our content to form a complete and thorough project we had to use effective methods of communication. We did this through our weekly tutorial lessons, but also during the week in our free time. We often communicated via Facebook, but also phone, text or email to keep each other updated on our progress, share work and ideas and to arrange meetings.
Through these methods we suggested improvements and provided feedback, clarified and reiterated our aims and set deadlines, and started pulling the report together. We also helped each other overcome any difficulties faced and cleared any queries, whether this was regarding the work specifically or any group conflicts. We faced a few small hiccups within the group but through effective communication cleared any misunderstandings. We did face a serious setback when one team member failed to communicate with the group and contribute to the project (see appendices).
After attempting all methods to get in touch with the member, we were still unable to resolve the situation which resulted in the removal of the member from our group to prevent a negative impact on our project. The History of the EU The EU is a political and economic union with 27 member states located in Europe its aim was to end the wars between people following the Second World War. The six founders were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands, these countries were united by European Coal and Steel community in order to secure lasting peace and bring the nation together as equals (Haas, 1950-1957). 957 the founders decided to build a European Economic Community with the Treaty of Rome which covered a verity of goods and services and by the 1960s policies were put in place however this did not last because in 1968 the six countries customs duties were eliminated(Dinan, 3rd edition).. Although when years went past other countries decided to join the communities: Denmark, Ireland and United Kingdom. This had a positive impact on the community as they were able to develop new social and environmental policies and the European Regional Development Fund also by having their first elections to the European Parliament in 1979.
Furthermore, the community started to reinforce in 1981 to 1886 when Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the community. This made them become more demanding in expanding its regional as they were already developed in the southern Europe. However in 1989 the political side of Europe theatrically changed when Berlin Wall fell which then led a fusion in Germany and the countries of central and Eastern Europe being overdrawn from soviet Control. On the other hand the new Treaty on European Union was also being negotiated at the same time Europe had dramatic changes.
The negotiation was agreed by the European Council, president and prime minister in 1991 however it did not come to force until 1993. Due to the new European changes more countries joined the community (http://europa. eu). See appendices. Since the foundation of the EU, many countries have been wanting to join the European Union. Bulgaria and Romania are one of the Eastern countries which joined the EU in early 2007. However the former Soviet Union state Ukraine is been one of the countries that is being prioritised by the EU because of its economic benefits it would bring for the European Union.
Therefore both are seeking for a rising close relationship with each other that will go further than a mutual cooperation to increase political and economic collaboration and to achieve this Ukraine has joined the PCA which stands for Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (Bojcun 2001). The first time Ukraine signed this Agreement was in 1994 but it only came into force 4 years later in 1998 however it expired 2008. In 2011 the PCA was replaced by The Association Agreement which includes (http://eeas. europa. eu): (i. )Political dialogue and foreign and security policy; ii. )Justice, freedom and security issues; (iii. )Economic and sectorial cooperation and (iv. )The establishment of a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area. Ukraine is one of the members of The European Neighbourhood Policy also known as EPN. This was established to improve the Eastern countries relationship with the EU after World War2 (http://eeas. europa. eu). In the past years, Ukraine was able to make changes in its Human Rights and Environmental Policies. An example for the change in Environment is the EU’s financial help to recover the Chernobyl site.
Including changes in Migration and Asylum including free and fair elections. Within the years Ukraine has been working hard on its policies to much the EU requirements yet in 2011 Ukraine’s plans to join the EU has been put on hold because of the opposition leader Yulia who has been jailed for according to BBC News(http://www. bbc. co. uk). Viktor who has been re-elected on 28. October 2012 has been improving the situation in Ukraine, all that remains is the issue with free visa entry and as shown this summer during the football game, Ukraine is slowly approaching its aims with the help of the EU (http://www. bc. co. uk/). The EU’s relationship towards Belarus has been critical since 1995. European Union and Belarus was supposed to sign Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 1995 , the propose of this was to manage the political and economic relations however the contract was not authorised by European Union. European Union establish the European Neighbourhood Policy which is designed to create a ‘ring of friends’ however Belarus were not included in the policy.
Although the EU is trading with Belarus, the former USSR however does not show any interest to join the EU and because they do not make any changes to their Human Rights Policies it makes it harder for the EU to progress with their aim to include Belarus into the European Union. The authority has overlooked every step taken from the EU’s side. However, Belarus is keener on advancing its economic and political relation with Russia. After two years European Union finally decided to engage with Belarus as they felt that it was one of the most important countries of Eastern Partnership.
Furthermore, European Union used several methods to encourage a transformation and finally decided to sign Belarus on the European Neighbourhood Policy as a full member (http://www. belinstitute. eu). Cold War The Cold War began in 1947 (and ended in 1991) from uninterrupted military, political, economic and ideologicaltension between USA and the USSR following World War II. America had concerns about the Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s cruel rules of his country, whilst the Soviets hated the American’s rejection to treat the USSR as part of the lawful community (Taylor, 2001).
Both countries fought in a proxy war against the axis powers, which mean that all wars were fought between other countries however; both sides were receiving support from other superpower, for example the Soviet/Afghanistan War and Korean War. In addition, another reason of why the cold war began was power and technology because USA and Eastern Europe were competing on who has the best weapons and nuclear bombs (Arms Race) also by demonstrating who had the better scientist by completing the space mission first (Space Race) (Baylis, Smith & Owens, 2011). Aims & Objectives
The aims and objectives of Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union are to eventually become a member state, as this would benefit their economy. This is through the free cross-border trade that the European Union offers according to BBC (2008). It will also stimulate growth in Ukraine, as it will be much easier for other European businesses to invest and capitalise on the new market. The local business economy will also improve, as new products will be made available to the population. The Ukrainian people will also profit from higher standards of living, with strict food hygiene laws imposed.
Ukraine will also be able to benefit with their population able to study in other European countries a lot easier, hence giving their young people more opportunities and promoting further growth (Foundation for Effective Governance, n. d. ). Ultimately the goals of Ukraine to the European Union lay with giving the country more chance to prosper in the home, European and global market and giving its’ population a better standard of living. The aims and objectives of Belarus are to remain independent from European Union’s democratic control as they remain a totalitarian state.
The Office for Democratic Belarus (2012) has stated that it is impossible to change their constitutional systems because it is believed to be unfair to the Belarusian citizens according to Mr. Lukashenko. The president does not see that joining the European Union would benefit Belarus despite the heavy pressure caused by the European Union (Gaydazhieva, S. 2012). An example would be to maintain the same laws and regulations such as the death penalty. The European Union has condemned Belarus for having the death penalty (Harding, 2012).
The aims and objectives of the European Union’s relationship with the Ukraine is to get Ukraine to be a member state. Firstly the European Union will continue to put strict measures in place to ensure Ukraine is qualified to be a member state. Once all this is achieved Ukraine will be permitted to join, in which the European Union will benefit from more trade opportunities, and the new market for its member states to invest in. The main opportunity for European states to exploit is the Ukraine’s steel industry (CIA, 2012).
With European states already having many steel producers, bringing the Ukraine’s industry in to the mix will promote competition all across Europe. EU’s aims and objectives are to have deeper relationship with the democratically elected government in Belarus. Key actors in EU relationship to non-EU Eastern European countries, Belarus and Ukraine The relations between the EU and the Soviet Successor states were developing from early 1990s corresponding to the advancement to the common foreign and Security policy in the outcome of the breakup of the USSR.
EU is aiming to have better political ties with Belarus and Ukraine to integrate them into a bigger picture of a greater united Europe by keeping all the political differences aside which played a big role in the world wars. EU is mainly concerned with the little progress made by the NIS (Newly independent states) in the economic and political revolution and some security threats originating from the future direct neighbours such as nuclear safety, organized crime drug trafficking and illegal immigration, the spread of diseases and environmental pollution (Zagorski 2005).
There have been a number of EU delegations to Belarus and Ukraine. The objective of these delegations was to promote democratic system, economic restructuring, to review the political environment and paving a path for both the states to join EU. These EU delegations came up with a number of cooperation and development programs for social and economic integration with Belarus and Ukraine. For example, EU delegations are supporting a large number of projects inside these countries mainly in the areas of energy, environment, infrastructure, communications, transport food safety, regional nd local development, higher education, as well as on civil society, media and the social domain. Part of its assistance focuses on the areas of Belarus and Ukraine which were affected by the Chernobyl disaster and on measures of nuclear safety. Recently council of the EU has published its report on the conclusion of Belarus and Ukraine which gives the future prospect of a long term relationship (Europa, Delegation to Belarus and Ukraine) A significant progress has been noticed in the EU’s relationship with Belarus which has also seen some political challenges.
Some agreements and projects commissioned by EU played a big role in the bridge building process between the Western Europe and eastern state. These projects include Eastern Partnership which was initialised by Poland and a subsequent proposal was made in collaboration with Sweden which was presented at the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on 26 May 2008.
The aim of Eastern Partnership was to improve the political and economic trade relationships with Belarus because the events which take place in Eastern Europe affect the European Union as well (Europa, Eastern Partnership) The political engagement between the EU and Ukraine started by signing the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The main focus of this agreement was to develop resources to face the economic and social concerns as well as on the need of progress public government and assuring free media and civil rights.
The structure set for political talks was reserved which involved yearly meeting between Ukrainian leadership and EU delegates with some inter ministerial discussions. In 2008 the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement expired in 2008. The reserved EU approach towards Ukraine is still being practised even after all the top level meetings because the leaders were mainly focusing on economic shift, human rights records and problems linked to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and its control.
PCA was followed by another agreement EU-Ukraine Association in 2008 at the Paris summit, the agenda for which was implemented in November 2009 (Europa, European external action service) At present the relationship between Ukraine and the European Union is governed by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which is a foreign policy agreement of the EU developed for its bordering countries. The European Union is aiming for a greater relationship with Ukraine which will not be limited to regional cooperation and will cater for gradual economic incorporation and deepening of political ooperation. One of the mile stone was that Ukraine acquired the membership of World Trade Organisation in 2008 which meant Ukraine and EU would have to adhere to WTO regulations. The purpose of struggle by EU to get Ukraine a member of WTO was that this membership can play a big role in restructuring Ukraine’s economy. By joining the WTO, Ukraine has gained a secure access to the markets of all WTO members and agrees to provide steady trade and investment atmosphere that will attract further trade and investment. WTO, Ukraine and WTO) In addition to acquisition of international trade associations, important role should have been played by Belarusian and Ukrainian politicians but they have not been proactive in improving relationship with EU over the last two decades.
The president of Belarus Lukashenko’s relationship with the EU has got tense with time, partly by choice and partly by his policies towards internal political opponents. Lukashenko’s treatment towards his opponents has earned him the name “Europe’s last dictator”. BBC, 2001. Profile: Europe’s last dictator? ) To keep close relations with Russia, Lukashenka tried to create a union by signing the treaty of union state in 1997. The Union State treaty is also known as Union State of Russia and Belarus and is seen as a tool for shared governance of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. Russia is still using this policy to pull the strings in the Belarusian politics as a result the engaging process between EU and Belarus has been very slow. Rontoyanni, 2000) However, the key person involved in the betterment of EU and Ukraine relationship, Yulia Tymoshenko was keener to bring Ukraine closer to Europe. She signed off a number of agreements with EU taking Ukraine a step closer to its EU membership. There have been recent changes in the Ukrainian politics caused by imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko which is also having an impact on the EU relationships since the sentence of Yulia Tymoshenko under corruption charges by her political rivals. The Economist, Yulia Tymoshenko’s trials) Belarusian civil society has played a big role in bringing the Belarus a lot closer to EU in collaboration with UN and raising voice over the worsening situation of human rights in Belarus. The European Union supports civil society and democratic ambitions of the Belarusian people. There are various programmes such as European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) from which NGOs and other civil society organisations are taking benefit.
In 2010 the EU assistance to civil society gained more strength following the post electoral crisis. (Europa, Belarus civil society) Amnesty international in corporation with EU has been trying to bring the human right issues being faced by the Belarusians under the oppression of a Russian biased political regime. EU and Amnesty international are backing the activists in Belarus to break free from the political repression and promote freedom of speech and human rights.
Amnesty International is also against political executions and has issued fact finding reports over the last couple of years highlighting the challenges faced by the people of Belarus. (Amnesty International, 2011) Whereas Ukraine’s civil society started an ‘Orange Revolution’ which included a skilled political opposition group together with justice seeking middle class that came together to stop the ruling corrupted elite from election fraud, hijack Ukraine’s parliament and bring Ukraine closer to EU. Karatnycky, 2005) Apart from politics and trade, tourism has played a big role in bringing EU closer to Ukraine because of its geographical position (bordering seven countries), beauty of black sea and mild summers with average temperatures of 24°C which is the reason it is ranked 8th in Europe by the number of tourists visiting. (Ukraine tourism report) To sum up, the prime objectives of EU collaboration with Belarus and Ukraine are to sustain the needs of the people, to promote democratisation, and to reduce the effects of the self-segregation of both countries society which all the above organisations and agreements a playing vital role.
The EU support to both countries especially to Belarus at this time is restricted because the policies followed by President Alexander Lukashenka’s Ukraine’s government regime prevent the EU from offering on a full involvement in the neighbourhood policy but critics believe EU should speed up the negotiations for quicker and firm growth of EU. Perceptions of organisation and evidence of results The relationships between EU/Belarus and EU/Ukraine cannot be more opposite. Ukraine has shown intentions of joining the EU whereas Belarus refuses to have any form of partnerships with EU.
Ukraine is one of the EaP countries with the best relationship with the EU (PASOS, 2012). LGI further states that they are liberalizing the visa relationships with the EU. Belarus was banned from the PCA in 1997 due to the “deteriorating political situations in Belarus” according to the European Union (http://eeas. europa. eu/delegations/belarus/eu_belarus/political_relations/index_en. htm). The relationship further deteriorates as Belarusian kicked out Swedish diplomats in Belarus due to the political stunt of parachuting hundreds of teddy bears with democratic messages throughout the country (BBC, 2012).
There has been progressed shown by Ukraine in several areas in line with EU’s requirements such as, public order, security, organized crime, human trafficking, corruption, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism (European Commission, 2012). Ukraine’s progress with joining the European Union has improved for the past few years. Nevertheless, there have been limitations such as, the human rights abuse of arrested opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. This led to the boycotting of European leaders in the European football games in Ukraine (Harding, L. 2012). Belarus on the other hand shows a recession in the relationships between the EU.
Just as EU condemns the idea of execution, recently, Belarus executed two men accused for the Minsk metro bombing even when their only admission came following torture. Moreover, they pleaded innocence apart from when they were brutally tortured (Harding, L. 2012). Despite their political instability, European Union is the 2nd largest trade partner of Belarus (http://www. mfa. gov. by/en/foreign_trade/). Ukraine is progressing slowly to achieve democracy in the country; nonetheless, their human right records are still very poor to be qualified for EU’s standards.
Ukraine can go the extra mile and achieve better democracy in their country by highly emphasizing the improvement of human rights to achieve friendlier ties with EU. Belarus on the other hand, has very poor records with EU, and in order to promote their country to the EU, they have to strengthen their human rights record, and other political and social records. Electing a new governmental body who supports democracy would be a solid start in building a strong foundation to be qualified for a member of the EU. SLEPT Analysis: Belarus and Ukraine
Social ?? The mortality rates among the Belarusian population already exceeds their birth rates, which will have a huge impact on demographics. ?? Ukraine’s population has decreased since they have joined the EU, this increased migration has become an issue for Ukraine ?? Poverty is very low, which has had a greater effect on the women in Ukraine as it has resulted in them doing prostitution to live a better lifestyle, therefore trafficking on a rise as approximately 64 percent of women have resulted in doing this. Legal ??
In early 2012, Minsk forced the Polish and EU ambassadors to leave Belarus after the EU prolonged sanctions on the country for suspected human rights abuses; this weakened Belarusian-EU relations. ?? On 15 October 2012, due to the absence of legality, failure to adhere to democratic principles and ongoing human rights exploitations, the EU Foreign Affairs Council extended sanctions on Belarus by one year. ?? The EU criticized Belarus’ parliamentary elections, which took place in September 2012, as they apparently failed to abide by international democratic standards. Economical ??
It is estimated that by 2015, the outcome from the Chernobyl disaster will have cost Belarus $235 billion, or the equivalent of 32 annual budgets. The disaster has also destroyed agricultural land and mineral resources which will have a negative effect on Belarusian economy. ?? On 25 September 2012, a €23 million support package to improve security, increase trade and the freedom of movement was granted by The European Commission for the EU’s Eastern region. This will reinforce relations between the EU and Eastern European countries. ?? The main export of Belarus is oil and majority is sold to the EU despite poor diplomatic relations.
This shows that there is a mutual need for each other’s services. ?? The EU has funded €100 million euros worth of projects with the main priorities of: 1) moral governance and people-to-people relations; and 2) economic development. ?? Ukraine has maintained its currency rate since 2010 ?? The world bank announced a 2 percent decrease in Ukraine’s economic growth in 2012 ?? A new agreement was put in place between EU and Ukraine called “association agreement” which also included a “deep and comprehensive free trade area” of which was later added after Ukraine became part of the WTO. Objectives of the association agreement: ? to create a deeper economic and political bond between Ukraine and EU ?? maximize opportunities for economic growth ?? re-construct Ukraine’s program towards legislation of EU norms Political ?? At present, EU-Belarus relations are governed by sequential decisions of the Foreign Affairs Council who notes that, despite some improvements, Belarus failed to meet the democratic criteria of the OSCE and more progress is required towards democracy and human rights. ?? As a consequent of the electoral standards violations in the December 2010 Presidential elections, the EU restored the restrictive measures against Belarus. ??
Mr Lukashenka’s poor governance led the EU to inflict a travel ban, and freeze all assets belonging to Mr Lukashenka and 175 officials. ?? Elections in the Ukraine have caused a crisis as the campaign does not meet the standards expected due to the voting system being miss-used in terms of fraud and not being democratic ?? leaders of the opposite party Yuriv Yanukovych and Yulia Tmoshenko were jailed also causing doubts upon the Ukraine’s elective system ?? Human rights have been questioned as journalist say the government intimidates them to publish otherwise. This highlights corruption within the Ukrainian government. Technological ? In June 2011, the EU enforced a restriction on arms and equipment, which also forbids the supply of certain types of body armour, helmets and shields.
This also applies to specific technologies for Belarus to develop, assemble or use the items (see appendix). ?? Ukraine has an innovation policy, that focuses on gaining technological improvements to help economic growth ?? Ukraine improved its national telecommunication organization to help its image for their bid to enter the EU SWOT Analysis STRENGTH?? EU delegations have a number of cooperation and development programs for social and economic integration with Belarus and Ukraine. ? EU-Ukraine Association Agreement ?? Strong export opportunities mainly from Belarus?? Belarus’s opportunities to join the EU are enhanced through cross border cooperation|WEAKNESS ?? Poor human rights record due to lack of EU laws and regulations?? Corrupt government, especially in Ukraine and their voting system?? High poverty due to lack of economic support from weak EU relations?? Low rate of foreign investors?? Opposition leaders – Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko were jailed in Ukraine inevitably having a negative impact on the relationship between the EU| OPPORTUNITY ??
Stability in terms of democracy and well-being of the country and its people?? Visa restrictions lifted?? Job opportunities and better education facilities?? Major steel industry in Ukraine, which will help economic growth through trade?? Belarus plays a key role in the transit of gas and oil that comes from Russia and benefits of duty free oil which the EU can also benefit from?? Free trade zone for products and services|THREATS ?? EU membership brings restrictions on individual control in terms of laws and government policies which gives either Ukraine or Belarus’s presidents less power??
Spread of disease, human trafficking and drug distribution could become a major issue for the EU?? Economic problems can have a negative impact on member countries ?? Further corruption in the elective system| Overview of Group PowerPoint Presentation Slides Conclusion In summary, the focus has been on the relationship of the EU with both Belarus and Ukraine, from researching dozens of sources it has been established that Belarus has an inefficient relationship with the EU due to their stance on matters such as human rights and their lack of progressive vision under their dictator leader Alexander Lukashenko.
Many of the EU’s member states have given up relations with Belarus, however with Belarus having the natural mineral pipes coming through their country from Russia it is difficult to impose any strict sanctions, instead the EU just dropped the preferential trade agreement with took away the discounted import tariffs (http://ec. europa. eu/trade/). On the other end of the spectrum Ukraine is progressing well towards becoming a member state, they have actively made progress with legislation and crackdowns on organised crime, human trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, corruption and human rights (European Commission, 2012).
They are also on the verge of getting visa-free travel for people going into Ukraine and residents leaving Ukraine across Europe (Pasos, 2012). It has also been established that Ukraine’s steel industry would be beneficial for the European economy as not only would it allow new investment opportunities but it would also make a more competitive market. Overall Belarus’ relationship with the EU is for from productive whereas Ukraine’s relationship with the EU is blossoming.
After going through all the data and texts made available, it is strongly advised that Belarus stop oppressing it’s population and look to become a part of the not just the European stage but also the global. Belarus is often referred to as Europe’s last dictatorship and with evidence of them going back to old Soviet ways, in terms of them not allowing members of the oppositions political party leave it’s country, they are not going to get many allies on any political stage.
Alexander Lukashenko is their main problem, after the last elections many European states boycotted relations with them. Belarus needs to become a democracy for many reasons; to improve human rights issues, to allow sanctions to be lifted from the EU, to open the door to new trading agreements which will help boost it’s dwindling economy. For Ukraine they must keep the momentum and keep moving forwards in conjunction with the European Union’s requirements.
They are making excellent progress with new legislation tackling organised crime, public order and security, human trafficking and the financing of terrorism(European Commission, 2012). Although Ukraine is making progress with human rights they are still poor in comparison to the standards set before them in the EU, therefore they should focus on trying to achieve a better democracy and human rights legislation that is enforced, this will show the international community that they are truly making progress to becoming a part of the European Union.