Ukrainian Centre for European Policy: Ukraine and the Association Agreement: Implementation Monitoring 2014 – 2022

2023-05-22 | Expert publications, EU integration

As of 2022, the overall progress in fulfilling the obligations stipulated by the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is 55%.

This assessment includes both fully implemented commitments and achieved interim results. “Perfect” execution, i.e., when the tasks stipulated by the obligations are completely fulfilled, is 30.4%. 26.2% is “advanced” implementation, which means that the legislative work has been carried out, but not all the necessary implementing by-laws have been adopted, or certain actions for practical implementation have not been completed. 21% – “early” stage of implementation – when normative legal acts or measures for their implementation are at the stage of development. For another 20.8% of obligations, the implementation has not even started, and the implementation of 1.6% of obligations has a critical discrepancy with the relevant norms of EU law.

The period of the second half of 2021-2022 was not marked by significant progress in the implementation of the Association Agreement. Over a year and a half, the indicator of overall progress in the implementation of the Agreement increased by only 6%. Perfect performance, meaning when obligations were fulfilled in full, increased by 4.8%. The greatest progress (more than 10% growth over the analyzed period) was observed in the sectors Statistics, Financial cooperation and fight against fraud, Audiovisual policy, Sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

The tendency towards a slow growth of progress was determined not so much by the reluctance to implement reforms as by the situation in public administration, which was greatly complicated by the war. The war had a double negative impact on the implementation of reforms.

First of all, the resources of the state apparatus (especially in the first half of 2022) were aimed at solving those challenges that arose in the face of Russian aggression. Building a system of military protection, solving significant humanitarian problems, improving the work of the state apparatus, conducting negotiations on the provision of military and humanitarian support, etc.

Secondly, the war led to a high level of destruction in many sectors in which, starting from 2016, European integration reforms were carried out. Therefore, it was the preservation of the existing potential that was in focus, and not the implementation of further reforms. Significant destruction occurred in industry and the energy sector, the agricultural sector lost up to a third of its assets, infrastructure facilities were also destroyed. A separate problem was the departure of qualified personnel abroad or their involvement in military service.

How does Ukraine become European-integrated in the conditions of a full-scale war with Russia? Answers to all questions in our regular monitoring report on the implementation of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

The full study can be accessed here.