Borysfen Intel

Problems and Achievements of the European Union in the Context of the Results of Its Summit in June 2018

July 5, 2018
<p>Problems and Achievements of the European Union in the Context of the Results of Its Summit in June 2018</p>

Things Ukraine Should Do

Successful realization of the European integration course of Ukraine as one of the main priorities of our country requires an adequate understanding of the key processes taking place in the EU and, in general, in Europe. This issue becomes of particular relevance in the context of the approaching EU-Ukraine summit in July 2018, which will be important for further deepening of cooperation between our state and the European Union.

Such prospects directly contradict the interests of the Russian Federation, which keeps trying to establish control over Ukraine, including by creating obstacles in its rapprochement with the EU. In view of this, Russia has already begun another informational campaign to undermine the Ukrainian society's positive perception of the EU, and to discredit the ideas of Ukraine's European choice.

In such a campaign, Russian mass media, politicians and experts deliberately silence successes in the EU's activity and mutually beneficial achievements in the development of Ukraine's relations with the European Union. At the same time, the idea is being imposed of ”critical aggravation of problems in the EU” and even “the beginning of the disintegration of the Organization”, which seem to make Ukraine's European aspirations absolutely pointless.

…Russia has already begun another informational campaign to undermine the Ukrainian society's positive perception of the EU, and to discredit the ideas of Ukraine's European choice…

Unfortunately, such thoughts are supported by a number of Ukrainian and Western media who work for Russia or are after a sensation and do not have sufficient competence to correctly assess the situation in the EU and the nature of the European Union-Ukraine relations. Well, let's take a closer look at these issues.

 

Yes, the situation in the EU is really rather complex, which is the result of the growing internal problems in the Organization under the influence of negative effects of the global economic crisis of 2008–2009. Crisis processes in the global economy have objectively led to a deterioration in the economic situation of the European Union countries and forced the EU leadership to take rigorous measures to prevent uncontrolled expenses (in particular, by limiting spending from European funds and reducing expenditures for social needs from national budgets.)

In turn, all this caused the spread of Euro-skeptic, left and nationalist sentiments among the population of European countries, especially Greece, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria — the most problematic members of the EU. Disagreements have grown between the leading members of the European Union (FRG, France and Great Britain) over the methods to overcome the crisis, including the direction of the European Union's fiscal policy.

Since 2010–2011, an additional factor in the negative impact on the situation in the EU has been the escalation of the refugee problem in Europe as a result of the outbreak of a series of armed conflicts in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The largest of them are in Libya and Syria. The influx of migrants to Europe made the EU countries face the need for settling the refugees, and has caused a number of new challenges (the rise of crime and interethnic, inter-religious and domestic clashes). All this has led to new disagreements between the EU members — now on issues of reception and redistribution of refugees, migration regimes and the crossing of borders within the Schengen zone.

…Moscow provokes tension in the EU in order to weaken and undermine the unity of the European Union, especially in prolonging sanctions against Russia…

Subsequently, since 2014, the catalyst for all these contradictions and problems has been Moscow's actions to provoke tension in the EU in order to weaken and undermine the unity of the European Union, especially in prolonging sanctions against Russia. As part of such actions, Moscow uses its pro-Russian lobby in political and economic circles of European countries, as well as the above-mentioned Euro-skeptic, left and nationalist movements.

At the same time, efforts are being made to discredit and undermine the positions of the European top leaders who are in favor of continuing a rigid course against Russia, first of all, the Federal Chancellor of Germany A. Merkel. A separate direction of Russia's efforts is also the escalation of the “migration” crisis in Europe by fomenting armed confrontation in conflict zones. In particular, according to the UN, only last week, as a result of B. Assad's troops' attack in the southern regions of the country with the support of the Armed Forces of Russia, the number of refugees from Syria amounted to about 270 thousand people.

To date, all this has led to a series of destructive tendencies in the development of events in the EU, which have a negative impact on Ukraine. In particular, in this regard, the loudest was the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union, the outbreak of separatism in Spanish Catalonia, and the left and right populists' coming to power in Italy, which had a significant impact on the reputation, positions and unity of the EU. A critical issue was the escalation of the refugee situation in Europe, which not only aggravated disagreements among EU members, but also caused a government crisis in Germany. In turn, it created a real threat to the stability of the political course of the Federal Republic of Germany as a leader of the European Union and the main initiator and supporter of the measures of pressure on Russia.

At the same time, Moscow's influence intensified the EU's disagreements over Russian and Ukrainian issues. For example, as already mentioned in “Borysfen Intel”'s previous publications, Austrian Chancellor S. Kurz, Prime Minister of Italy G. Conte, Prime Minister of Hungary V. Orban and a number of other politicians are for phasing out the sanctions against Russia. At this, due to the populist nature of the Hungarian ruling parties, they de facto are one of Moscow's main instruments in creating obstacles to the processes of Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Evidence of this is Budapest's attempts to block such processes, for which purpose it uses the Ukrainian Law “On Education”, which allegedly violates the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Trans-Carpathian region.

Moscow is also sided by a part of influential business circles in the European Union, who have own interests in cooperation with Russia. This was the reason for the FRG, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Sweden's supporting the Russian project “Nord Stream 2” under the pretext of the need to diversify gas supplies to Europe.

 

At the same time, all this is not fatal either for the European Union, or for Ukraine, as stated by Russian propaganda and repeated by Ukrainian and Western skeptics. At present, most of these problems are being successfully resolved by the EU leadership based on the common interests of European countries and their partners.

…Due to the EU's effective policy, in 2018, negative effects of the global economic crisis on the European economy as a whole have been overcome in general…

Thus, due to the EU's effective policy, in 2018, negative effects of the global economic crisis on the European economy as a whole have been overcome in general as the main basis of all other problems in the European Union. In this regard, it was crucial to restore the positive dynamics in Greece's economy as the most problematic country in the EU. In particular, in 2017, Greece's GDP grew by 1.4 %, which was the first major increase since 2007. This trend continues in the current year. In the first quarter of this year the economic growth of the country was 0.8 %, and in the annual figure it was 2.3 %. In August 2018 the EU is going to allocate to Athens the last tranche of 15 billion euros in financial assistance, which will consolidate positive developments in the recovery of the Greek economy and will enable it to begin the recovery of external debt.

Economic recovery is also observed in other countries of the European Union. In 2017, the total growth of the economies of the EU member states was by 2.5 %, which is the highest figure in the last 10 years. In the first place, by the GDP growth, is the Federal Republic of Germany (2.2 %), while in the second is France (1.9 %). In turn, this has led to a reduction in the number of the unemployed in Europe to a minimum level since December 2008.

…The main result of the EU summit of June 28–29, 2018, was the agreement reached on the settlement of the “migration” crisis in Europe…

The decision of the EU summit of June 28–29, 2018, was also illustrative. The main result of the meeting of the leaders of the European Union member states was the agreement reached on the settlement of the “migration” crisis in Europe as the second most important issue in the EU. According to the adopted decisions: opening of centers for migrants in the countries that voluntarily agree to this; introduction of a procedure for the mandatory determination of the need for asylum for each particular person (political persecution, economic and security problems, etc.) or their return to places of permanent residence; ensuring the effective control of the EU's external borders, in particular by strengthening the Frontex (European Border and Coast Guard Agency); creation of so-called “regional disembarkation platforms” outside the EU aimed at combating smugglers who traffic migrants through the Mediterranean; allocation of additional funds to Turkey for the implementation of the agreement with the EU on the containment of refugee flows to Europe; providing 500 million Euros to North African countries for settling migrants; the use by the countries of the European Union of all possible measures to prevent “secondary migration”, namely the movement of asylum seekers registered in one EU country to another.

As part of the implementation of these plans, July 2, 2018, the European Council adopted the proposal of the European Commission for the deployment of 10,000 European border guards at the external borders of the EU by 2020 (previously planned by 2027). At this, they will also have the right to act in the territory of third countries where refugee camps will be deployed.

Achieving compromises between EU member states on these issues also allowed to overcome the political crisis in the Federal Republic of Germany. For example, on July 2, 2018, the leaders of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union in the ruling coalition of the German Parliament — Federal Chancellor A. Merkel and Minister of Interior H. Seehofer agreed on the country's migration policy. The essence of the agreement reached is to create transit centers for the reception of refugees on the border of Germany and Austria. They will accommodate migrants already registered in other EU countries, with subsequent return to the countries of original registration. People without documents will be banned from entering the Federal Republic of Germany.

…The EU summit participants demonstrated their common position on Russia and Ukraine…

At the same time, the EU summit participants demonstrated their common position on Russia and Ukraine. Thus, in fact, without discussion, it was decided to prolong for another six months the sanctions against the Russian Federation, which were imposed for its provoking the conflict in the Donbas. In addition, the leaders of the European Union confirmed their full support for UNSC Resolution 2166 about flight MH17, which was shot down in the sky over the Donbas in July 2014, and called on Russia to admit its responsibility for the downing of the aircraft and to cooperate fully with the world community to establish truth and justice. A positive assessment was also given to the decision of the Council of the European Union of June 26, 2018, to allocate 1 billion Euros of new loans to Ukraine to cover its financial needs, as well as to stabilize the Ukrainian economy and the implementation of structural reforms.

We cant help pointing out the demonstration by the leaders of the EU member states of the unity of their attitude to the protection of European economic interests. In particular, the participants of the summit issued a joint statement condemning the USA's protectionist actions, and the facts of unfair competition and violation of intellectual property rights by other countries. It expresses the EU's resolute intentions to take measures in response, including by strengthening control over foreign investments and supporting the leading industries of the European economy.

 

…Ukraine's integration into the European Union involves not only obtaining benefits from the EU, but also making its own contribution to improving common security and development…

In general, all the above-mentioned shows that there are wide opportunities and potential for the EU to further develop and strengthen the Organization, and to deepen its relations with partner countries, including Ukraine, on a mutually beneficial basis. However, this does not mean unconditional solution to all problems of the European Union, which continue to have a negative impact on the situation in the Organization. In particular, this concerns economic problems in the EU countries and disagreements over implementation of the agreements on the settlement of the “migration” crisis, as well as strengthening of the pro-Russian lobby in Europe. All these problems will continue to be used by Russia for its favour, first of all to weaken and undermine the unity of the European Union.

In turn, this situation requires a change in Ukraine's attitude towards cooperation with the EU in terms of giving up consumer moods and “playing” on our state's being an object of the RF's aggression and turning to a concrete participation in the realization of mutual interests with the European Union and resolving problems of the Organization. Like for other countries, Ukraine's integration into the European Union involves not only obtaining benefits from the EU, but also making its own contribution to improving common security and development.

 

free web hit counters

Page URL: http://bintel.com.ua/en/article/print/blog07_05/