Five advantages of association with the EU

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What are the advantages of Association between Ukraine and EU? In this article we try to look at the main ones.

When in 1991 Poland signed an Association Agreement with the European Community, its annual gross domestic product (GDP) was 90 billion dollars. Ukrainian GDP was the same at that time.

In 2013, after 22 years, Poland’s GDP has reached 500 billion. Ukrainian decreased by quarter.

Of course, it is possible to find many reasons for the Polish success and Ukrainian lagging. But there is one major difference between the countries: Poland implemented reforms, while Ukraine imitated them.

The Polish economy has become effective and movable, oriented at the large European market.

In spite of pessimistic predictions, now Poland is a powerful industry player and not the raw material appendage.  One third of Polish exports is the mechanical engineering (33%), another third part is auto-, aircraft- and shipbuilding products (29%).

The story is with the others countries of the former Soviet bloc. Slovakia became one of the largest car manufacturers in the EU. 5 million of Slovaks are producing about one million cars per year. When French automotive companies were closing factories in France, due to the crisis, they did not close French branch in Slovakia: they continued being profitable. Romanian Dacia, which in Soviet times was a mini car, became a part of French “Reno”, and nowadays it is the most successful brands among the economy class cars.

The city Székesfehérvár in Hungary, which was famous by producing bus “Icarus”, changed its economical orientation to others markets.  A lot of multinational companies are now located in the city.

All these processes of modernization started long before the abovementioned countries joined the EU. This process started 1990th, when the countries signed the Association Agreement with European communities. It was the so-called “European agreement”, which was less bulky and less ambitious than the current Ukrainian. But even these agreements did their part.

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