The International Roundtable on “EU Global Strategy: Place, Role and Contribution of Ukraine”

On 24 April 2017, an international roundtable on “EU Global Strategy: Place, Role and Contribution of Ukraine” was held at the Hotel “Rus”, Kyiv, Ukraine. The event was organized with the support of the Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Office in Ukraine and in cooperation with the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research and the Slovak Foreign Policy Association.
The roundtable participants discussed the implications of the EU Global Strategy for Ukraine, the role and place of Ukraine in the EU Foreign and Security Policy, and developed proposals and recommendations for the EU and Ukrainian leadership on further cooperation in the security sphere.

Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Kęstutis Lančinskas, Head of the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine, Andrii Nadzhos, Department Head at the Directorate General for the European Union in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mykhailo Gonchar, President of the Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI, Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Yulia Tyshchenko, Head of the Democratic Processes Support Program of the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research, other Ukrainian and foreign experts took part in the action.

Hugues Mingarelli gave a general idea of the EU Global Strategy and highlighted some aspects of its implementation in Ukraine. He said that Ukraine is the main partner of the EU in the economic and security spheres, whereas Russia is the main strategic challenge and threat to the Black Sea Region. The Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine stressed that the European Union should be guided by basic values and introduce long-term sanctions against the Russian Federation to curb its military aggression. At the same time, according to Mr. Mingarelli, the EU should conduct a dialogue with Russia and use diplomatic channels to reach compromises.

Kęstutis Lančinskas noted that the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine is a practical demonstration of how the EU Global Strategy towards Ukraine is being implemented. He outlined key objectives and projects carried out by the Mission.

Ukrainian experts were more focused on Ukraine’s role, the opportunities offered to Ukraine by the EU Global Strategy, and prospects of further cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union. Oleksandr Sushko emphasized that under the Association Agreement, Ukraine could build its relations with the EU on the model of Switzerland and Norway.

Speaking at a roundtable panel, Yulia Tyshchenko, the UCIPR Head of the Democratic Processes Support Program, said: “The countries located on the perimeter of the European Union expect the EU to take a global lead. And it is obviously clear that the security problems in Europe will not be resolved without closing the “Pandora’s box” of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.”

She claimed that the Strategy clearly says that the European Union does not recognize the annexation of Crimea and the aggression of the Russian Federation in the Donbas. Meanwhile, in the opinion of the UCIPR expert, the document does not pay enough attention to Ukraine. There are only two mentions of the country in the EU Global Strategy. Unlike Syria and Libya, Ukraine is not referred to in the context of an integrated approach to conflict management. Yulia Tyshchenko noted that Crimea and the Black Sea Region in general were not reflected in the Strategy at all.

According to the results of an expert survey, conducted a few days before the roundtable and presented during the event, 56% of respondents said that the EU is not a global security provider, able to counter current threats. About half of those polled or 48% pointed out that Ukraine’s integration into the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy is at the minimum sufficient level. 70% of survey participants saw no prospects of Ukraine’s accession to the EU and noted that implementation of the EU Global Strategy is possible for our country only through cooperation. In the viewpoint of respondents, energy (56%) and security sector reform (41%) are the most promising directions of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the security sphere.

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