Conference: “Ukraine after the presidential and parliament elections: New government – new opportunities?”

This year’s elections marked a turning point in Ukrainian politics. For the first time, the president and his parlia­mentary base managed to win a strong majority among voters, and thus providing a strong mandate for pursuing necessary steps to fulfill campaign promises. A thorough economic dereg­u­lation was initiated, ministries were merged, new ones – such as the Ministry of Digital Trans­for­mation – estab­lished, and the land reform announced.

However, parts of the civil society remain skeptical of the administration’s first political steps and criticize the “turbo regime” of the Ukrainian parliament and the insuf­fi­cient fight against corruption. Latest polls indicated a decline of the support both for the Ukrainian president and government and the recent announcement to resume the Donbas peace talks under adoption of the so called “Stein­meier Formula” incited protests on the streets of Kyiv.

The conference “Ukraine after the presi­dential and parliament elections: New government – new oppor­tu­nities?” was conducted on 20 November 2019 between 9.00 AM and 4.00 PM at Kalkscheune Berlin (Johan­nis­straße 2, 10117 Berlin) by the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) in close cooper­ation with the Razumkov Centre (Kyiv). The detailed program is available here.

How does the domestic political climate in Ukraine look like, what are the foreign policy prior­ities of the Ukrainian government and what are possible steps to solve the conflict in Donbas?

Together with our guests from Ukraine, Germany and the EU, we addressed these questions and also analysed the devel­op­ments in Ukraine and inter­na­tional cooper­ation from the perspective of Germany and the EU.

The conference was opened by the presen­tation of a new study of the Razumkov Center about the main achieve­ments and failures of the new government and about general trends in the Ukrainian political sphere.

The first panel discussion revolved around the economic devel­opment in Ukraine and first measures taken by the Ukrainian government in this regard. The Ukrainian land reform, which envisages to lift the ban on the sale of farmland, was discussed and questions about the possi­bil­ities of attracting foreign investment were raised.

The second panel discussion dealt with Ukrainian foreign policy. The discussion focused on chances and diffi­culties for Ukrainian politics in the context of EU associ­ation and NATO cooper­ation. Furthermore, the panel analysed German-Ukrainian relations and identified prior­ities for the bilateral cooper­ation.

The third discussion focused on the current situation in Donbas and the role of inter­na­tional actors in conflict resolution. How likely is a success of the Minsk process? Which steps will the president take to improve the situation on the ground? And what does the Ukrainian government expect from the Normandy partners and the European Union?

This conference took place in the framework of the project “German Ukrainian Researchers Network” (GURN). GURN aims at estab­lishing a German-Ukrainian network for senior and junior researchers and their organ­i­sa­tions, strength­ening country expertise and promoting joint cooper­ation projects. GURN is conducted by the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP, Berlin) in close cooper­ation with the Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation (DIF, Kyiv), the think tanks devel­opment and research initiative think twice UA (Kyiv), the New Europe Center (NEC, Kyiv) and is kindly supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

A detailed report will follow soon.