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Europe gets tired: EU becomes skeptical in respect of Ukrainian government

The delay in the work of the Ukrainian reformers is making the EU more and more skeptical, says the former prime minister of Estonia in an interview with the Ukrainian newspaper Yevropeyska Pravda.
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The former Estonian Prime Minister Juhan Parts believes that Ukraine needs to accelerate in conducting reforms noticeable to the public, and warns that the current actions of the Ukrainian authorities are creating more problems in the relationship with the EU, Joinfo.ua reports.

According to Parts, to solve the problem of acceleration of the reforms, the Ukrainian authorities should pay more attention to their “PR.” The politician states that “no society is able to carry out too many reforms at a period of time,” and advises “to change the logic of conducting the reforms – that is, to prioritize.”

Parts believes that given the mentality of the Ukrainians, Ukraine needs reforms that could “affect or change the way people think.” Despite the fact that the reforms themselves are complex, “it should be easier discussed what this work is needed for and what critical barriers these reforms can remove.” “People need to understand: “Here, it’s done,” the politician said.

He emphasizes that it is necessary to take into account “how long will the current window of opportunities be open”, and calls on the Ukrainians to “be patient”, based on the unique situation that “Ukraine really needs these changes,” but “they will not come soon.”

“On the other hand, the EU is becoming more and more skeptical about the new Ukrainian government,” says Parts that is why it should focus on such fundamental issues as “democracy, rule of law and development of civil society.” “If they are not realized, but only talked about, the situation will only get worse,” he said.

In his opinion, the main priority is “to overcome the cancer called corruption.” Parts emphasizes that “outside everyone is waiting for a powerful message which will coincide with the actions – the message that you will cure the cancer” and “if that message sounds, Ukraine will change and will flourish,” he concludes.

Answering the question of what can significantly change the situation in Ukraine, the politician mentions the reforms in public procurement, which would “ensure optimal competition for price and quality” and ensure the inflow of investments into the country, which has become “part of the globalized economy.”

He also stresses that “protection of intellectual property and equitable treatment for all” is the key to “the development of basic institutions and fight against corruption” and calls for the need to “collect taxes correctly.”

“If Ukraine is able to stop corruption and create professional tax and customs authorities, you will quickly solve your economic problems and be able to refuse the help of the IMF,” says Parts. And “for Ukraine it will mean to open for investments,” the politician sums up.

Answering the question of what Ukraine is still lacking, Parts notes that it is lacking mainstream parties: left-wing social democrats, right-wing conservatives and liberal parties.

“There are no such parties in Ukraine, but they are very important! It is wrong to create a new party for every election and vote for it,” the politician says.

According to him, the second step for the next 10 years is “to make the mainstream parties financed from the state budget.”

It will prohibit any private donations for election campaigns. Then the elections will be a fair competition – as in business. It is absolutely necessary step, and in Europe everyone knows it,” the politician says.

And finally, according to Parts, Ukraine needs a reform of the civil service, based on a clear distinction between professionalism and political component. “Civil servants should be independent of any political influence. Selection should be conducted on a competitive basis,” the politician explains.

Answering whether these reforms will give a quick economic benefit, or at least encourage the EU to increase aid to Ukraine, the politician says that “the problem is that everything is in words. Europe’s got tired.”

“We can not lead your country. So I’m talking about private investments, which should be the main source of your development.

All these facts – that you have a lot of engineers, good level of education, large domestic market, many natural resources – are a lot of factors that are important for the development of any country, but they just do not work because of corruption.

Use them and you will see the changes,” Parts sums.