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Ukraine and the European Union: a perennial neighbour?

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As ten new states are integrated into a family of democratic European nations, Ukraine, the second largest post-Soviet state, is dismayed with the lack of progress in its own movement toward EU membership. While Kiev clamours to join the EU for both security and economic reasons, the Ukrainian government shies away from real reform at home. The paper examines dilemmas of Ukraine's 'European choice', focusing on the history of EU-Ukraine relations, Kiev's strategy, mass perceptions, and the reasons behind the EU's unwillingness to start pre-accession negotiations with the country. It concludes that the key obstacles in the way of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration are of Ukraine's own making and have to be addressed domestically. Ukraine's application for EU membership will not be favourably received until the country proves itself a democracy and reaches a higher level of economic development.
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Keywords: European Union; Partnership and Cooperation Agreement; Ukraine; bilateral relations; public opinion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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