Euroscepticism is a usual state for many inhabitants of the Old World. Closer and closer relations of the European Union with Ukraine causes serious fears. I’ll try to disperse the main of them.
Geographically our country is the largest state in Europe with population of 45 million people. It is difficult to say that Ukrainians are very rich, but the majority of them have savings for a rainy day. Mistrust to the government and dramatic history of the Ukrainian people forced us to learn to hope for the best and get prepared for the worst. Ukrainians have got their own pride, and they aren’t going to become the all-European beggars.
I want to remind you that already millions of our fellow citizens came over to the EU countries for work even before signing of the Association Agreement. Yes, this way wasn’t always legal, but Ukrainians don’t give grounds to speak about themselves as about carriers of criminal culture. On the contrary – my compatriots have proved themselves as diligent and painstaking workers, ready to take on the work which inhabitants of Italy, Portugal, Spain refused from before crisis. It appeared that Ukrainians are quite able to get integrated into the European society. One of the priorities is to find an acceptable algorithm of legalization of our citizens working quasi-legally in the EU countries.
Obviously, Ukrainian officials will have to learn to protect national interests effectively. Entering the WTO at whatever the cost, pushed by Viktor Yuschenko during his presidency, cost much to Ukraine’s economy. But today Ukraine is ready to use advantages of the Free Trade Area. We realize that the 45-million consumer market looks a titbit for many European producers, but at the same time, we will look for ways of introducing Ukrainian goods into the EU markets. We have what to offer to the European consumer at a good ratio of price and quality.
A lot has been said about the unique geographical position of Ukraine. Recently those responsible for energy policy in the European Union have paid attention to our country, since the gas transport system of the country and underground gas storages can remove many problems of Europe in providing it with energy resources. There is also another factor – the Ukrainian labor force is not much more expensive than the Chinese one and not less qualified, but is located much more closer to consumers from the EU. Logistics suggests that placement of enterprises in Ukraine is a reasonable and profitable move. Our country counts on the inflow of investments and placement of modern manufacturing.
Today one of the main tasks for the EU is to learn not to be afraid of Ukraine. Our country is big, but not aggressive. Recall how Ukrainians met their guests during the Euro-2012, and you will understand – Ukraine is worth of being opened by you and you shouldn’t be afraid of it.