Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Measurement of the penetration of European integration processes in Ukrainian regions

On November 11, the results of the research “The European map of Ukraine. Rating of European Integration of Regions”, conducted by the New Europe Center analysts in cooperation with the Government Office for Coordination on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration were presented.  “For the first time, an attempt has been made to measure how deeply European integration has penetrated into the Ukrainian regions. We are interested in such a rating being compiled annually. We are ready for a strategic partnership with the New Europe Center and its acting as an independent tool for monitoring government efforts", Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba said. The rating is based on 34 indicators in 8 areas, which reflect the dynamics of rapprochement of individual regions of the state with the EU. The results of the research were presented by the Director of the New Europe Center, Alyona Getmanchuk, and the first Deputy Director of the Center, Serhiy Solodkiy.[1]

In order to obtain the most objective and comprehensive picture of the level of European integration in various regions, the experts developed 34 relevant indicators within the following eight areas: economic integration; infrastructure; local democracy and accountability; educational, scientific and cultural integration; energy and environmental policy; gender equality; communication of European integration; and wider partnership.

According to the results of the research, the three leaders included Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Vinnytsia. However, it is important to note that even they are far from the ideal state of affairs (reached a little more than half of all indicators). Southern and Eastern regions lead the ratings in a number of sectors – for example, Mykolaivshchyna has the highest indicators for increasing its export capacity to the EU market. Donetsk and Lugansk regions dominate in the number of projects under credit support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Kherson and Kharkiv – in terms of financing such projects. Among the regions that have the largest number of enterprises with capital from EU countries are Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv. Among the leaders of the sectoral rankings are the following regions:

Source:Євромапа України. Рейтинг європейської інтеграції областей. – К.: Центр «Нова Європа», 2019. – С.9.

According to preliminary researches of the expert group, for a significant part of Ukrainian society, updated roads is the indicator that Ukraine is moving to the EU. Lviv, Odessa, Cherkasy regions are the leaders in terms of mileage of repaired roads. From year to year it becomes easier for Ukrainians from different regions to get into the EU through the development of regional airports and the arrival of low-cost airlines. In the vast majority of regions of Ukraine investors from the European Union countries prevail investors from any other countries of the world. In seven regions, the share of direct investment from the EU of total foreign investment crossed 90% mark. It is important that among the leaders are not only the Western regions, but also Dnipropetrovsk (628 enterprises) and Kharkiv (400 enterprises) regions.

More and more Ukrainians are taking advantage of the educational, scientific and cultural opportunities offered by European Union programmes. Earlier, New Europe Center analysts found that from 2004 to 2013, only 329 students used the Erasmus Mundus (predecessor of Erasmus+) program to study in Europe, and from 2014 to 2018, this figure increased to 10,158 students. The share of renewable electricity in the vast majority of regions of Ukraine is up to 5% of the total amount of electricity generated in a given area. But in the EU, this share ranges from 5% (Luxembourg, Malta) to 60% (Sweden), on average in the EU – 17% in 2016. The EU experience shows that priority and a clear action plan with planned targets allows to double the share of renewable energy in 12 years (from 8.5% in 2004 to 17% in 2016). The average difference in salaries of women and men in Ukraine is 20.7%. In the EU member-states, the corresponding figure reaches on average of 16%.

If we consider specific examples of EU member-states, in some cases Ukraine shows even better results. New Europe Center also found that on average more than 70% of the staff of regional state administrations are women. At the same time, women lead only four Regional State Administration out of 24. Local authorities are mostly reluctant to introduce information campaigns on European integration. European integration is still perceived as something distant, unimportant for local development.  On the websites of regional administrations there are not enough complete information about the European integration course of Ukraine. Thus, the report on the implementation of the regional action plan for the implementation of the Association Agreement for the III quarter of 2019 contained the websites of only three regional administrations - Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Chernihiv.[2]

Thus, the experts presented an extremely important and relevant manual “The European map of Ukraine. Rating of European Integration of Regions” which demonstrated in detail the achievements of Ukraine on the way to European integration. Based on the results of the study, it can be said that despite the fact that the vast majority of regions of Ukraine have many achievements, some regions still have a lot of work to do.