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Summary of the Address of the President of Ukraine L.Kuchma to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine European Choice Conceptual Grounds of the Strategy of Economic and Social Development of Ukraine for 2002-2011

Kyiv, May 31, 2002

On May 31, 2002 the President of Ukraine L.Kuchma presented to the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine of the Address European Choice (Conceptual Grounds of the Strategy of Economic and Social Development of Ukraine for 2002-2011).

The President of Ukraine has emphasized in his Address to the Verchovna Rada of Ukraine that "the last decade has turned out to be crucial in terms of its social/economic and political consequences. Ukraine has established itself as an independent state. However, the process of construction of our home has not come to an end yet." The task is to finally develop the constructed building in terms of new society economic, political and humanitarian spheres, overcome deep deformation that came to life at initial stage of transformation process.

We are speaking about practical realization of long-term strategy goals that should provide sound foundations of Ukraine as a highly developed, social, democratic and jural state, ensure its integration into the global economic process as a country with competitive economy, capable to solve most complicated tasks of its development. The next decade should become crucial in settlement of those very matters; otherwise, Ukraine may shift to the outskirts of global process.

The experience of states that undertook profound transformations shows that real success of transformation processes is possible only when reforms and their results meet the interests and expectations of wide circles of population and therefore obtain sufficient social support. Thus, during determination of the new strategy we need maximum political consensus, social consolidation and concord with regard to basic aims of this strategy and mechanisms of its realization.

It is extremely important to ensure consistency of new strategy, its organic connection to positive achievements of previous period, taking into account the fact that the course of European integration is a natural result of Ukraines state independence. It crystallizes from the history of our nation, its mentality and democratic traditions, aspiration of the present generation to see its state as an inalienable component of united Europe. Ukraines European choice is, at the same time, a movement to the standards of real democracy, information society, socially-oriented market economy based on supremacy of law and ensuring rights and freedoms of human and citizen.

We should also take into account the global tendency of transformation to multi-polar (polycentric) global community with interaction of states and their economies based on regional integration. In this regard, Ukraines clear and priority-driven orientation at the integration into the European Union, obtaining status of associated and later on full-ledged membership should be viewed as the basis of the strategy of economic and social development of our state for the next decade and further perspective. As shows the experience of almost all EU applicant countries, this aim may become additional powerful incentive and catalyst of relevant social/economic and political transformations.

Creation of real preconditions for solving of the main geopolitical task of our state Ukraine's accession to the European Union should become the foundation of strategy of economic and social development for the next decade.

Realization of tasks of economic integration depends on progress in the main sphere ensuring stable growth and accelerated overcoming of the gap in GDP volumes per capita among Ukraine and EU Member States on this basis.

In such a situation, we need to implement a strategy of advanced development that would ensure annual GDP growth figures in Ukraine that would be 1.5-2 times higher than those of EU states. Such growth should be accompanied by profound qualitative transformations, implementation of stable development tasks that are determined by the global community as a strategy of existence in the 21st century.

Ukraine will be able to take up a proper place in Europe and the world if it masters innovative way of development, foundations of which should be laid down during the structural transformation of economy. Only this way we will be able to change raw-material-oriented vector of economic processes that forms itself now spontaneously.

Thus, the foundation of strategic course, its basic principle should be implementation of state policy aimed at introduction of innovative model of structural reconstruction and economic growth, establishment of Ukraine as a high-technology state. The present intellectual and scientific/technical potential allows us to count on this. Together with the tasks of European integration, this goal could form a basis not only of state economic strategy, but of political consolidation of the nation as well.

In the social sphere, our main goal should be goal-oriented providing reliable perquisites for realization of rights and freedoms of citizens in all forms, establishment of middle class the basis of political stability and democratization of the society, considerable limitation of threatening differentiation of income of population and elimination of poverty.

Creation of socially oriented market economy of European type in Ukraine represents a decisive factor of increase of social attractiveness of reforms, ensuring broad public support of them and establishment of modern European standards of life quality.

Practical steps in European integration:

2002-2003 Ukraines acquiring WTO membership. It should be viewed as one of the main priorities of Ukraines foreign economic policy, systemic factor of national economy development, increasing its competitiveness, liberalization of foreign trade and creation of favorable environment for foreign investment attraction;

2003-2004 carrying out negotiation process and signature of Agreement on Association between Ukraine and the EU. Replacing the Partnership and Cooperation Treaty by a European Agreement on Association between Ukraine and the EU will define a new format of relations, which would correspond to Ukraines long-term interests, and its approaching the ultimate goal, it being creation of prerequisites for acquiring full-fledged EU membership;

2003-2004 carrying out negotiation process concerning creation of a free trade area between Ukraine and the EU;

2002-2007 bringing Ukrainian legislation in conformity with the EU requirements in priority spheres;

2004-2007 accomplishing procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Agreement on Association between Ukraine and the EU. Having acquired such associated status, Ukraine will be able to be better informed on internal transformations in the European Union, informally participate in negotiations concerning different issues of all-European scale and significance and get greater facilitated access to the EU financial resources;

2005-2007 carrying out negotiation process and creation of Customs Union between Ukraine and the EU;

2007-2011 complete implementation of the Agreement on Association between Ukraine and the EU and of Copenhagen criteria for the EU membership;

2011 creation of real prerequisites for Ukraines accession to the EU.

The essence of conceptual fundamentals of the strategy for economic and social development of Ukraine for 2002-2011 lies in determining clearly outlined tasks of launching the economy to the trajectory of stable growth by means reinforcing efficiency of the state and further deepening of market reforms and establishing socially oriented structural-innovation model of development. Realization of these tasks should create real prerequisites for Ukraines acquiring first the EU associated membership and then a full-fledged one.

For additional information, please contact:
Yurii Nykytiuk, Press Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400

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