For those of you who happen to be in Brussels on Wednesday 10th April, the Ukrainian Mission to the EU is holding a DCFTA workshop for business at the Press Club Brussels, 95 Rue Froissart, 1040 from 1500 – 1630.
Key speakers are the two main negotiators of the DCFTA Messrs V Piatnytskyi and P Cuisson.
Some may consider this somewhat hopeful given there are doubts the AA and DCFTA will be signed in Vilnius in November – however with the impending seemingly immediate release of Yuri Lutsenko, perhaps not. His release will go a long way towards the “substantial progress” the EU has demanded over the issue of “selective justice”. Possibly just far enough, as nobody really expects Tymoshenko to be released prior to 2016 and equally nobody expects much in the way of ratification before that date either due to German, French and EU parliamentary elections in 2013, 2014 and then Ukrainian presidential elections in 2015.
Who knows? As is so often the case in Ukraine, it just manages to do enough by the eleventh hour – by hook or by crook – be it delivering a good Euro 2012 tournament on an international scale, or the tradesmen finishing and leaving a new shopping centre two hours before it is due to open domestically.
Whether the same time and effort will be spend within Ukraine making the same explanations to business and entrepreneurs remains to be seen. Perhaps it is felt better to leave that until any signing actually happens? That said, signed or not signed, I fully anticipate mutually beneficial parts of the DCFTA to be implemented anyway – as is always the case with what is considered politically expedient to all concerned. After all the framework is already agreed and initialed, sealing the framework.
I have to say, that despite my invitation to this event, I will not be traveling to Brussels for the sake of a 90 minute workshop – particularly one that is more focused towards the Europeans looking at the opportunities the DCFTA offers in Ukraine, rather than one aimed at Ukrainians and the opportunities it offers looking west.
If a traveling roadshow passes through Odessa attempting to educate on the specifics of the DCFTA and opportunities it offers Ukrainians looking west – then I will surely attend – just to let you know what was said!