Ukraine seriously lagging behind Moldova with EU Visa Free road map

November 7, 2013

Over a year ago, I wrote this regarding Moldova overtaking Ukraine with regards to a Visa-free regime with the EU, despite Ukraine having had a head start in the process.  I pondered whether national embarrassment would shame the Ukrainian political class into doing what was necessary, insofar as at least in beating Moldova to the Visa-free regime finish line.

Unfortunately the feckless political class of Ukraine  – and I use the word feckless quite deliberately, invoking the political science definition in its absolute – has allowed matters to stagnate so much that Moldova is likely to be Visa-free with the EU in 2014/15 whilst Ukraine – possibly, may be, who knows –  will have just about completed Stage 1 of the Visa-free road map and be limping into Stage 2 by that time.

However, I suppose we should not be surprised.  As I have written the political class is feckless in its entirety.  Many of them have dual nationality, yet more have permanent residency in various European nations, and the remainder have diplomatic passports – no EU Visas required for them!

The lack of progress, some may infer, would have something to do with the above and the below definition of a feckless political class:

“Countries whose political life is marked by feckless pluralism tend to have significant amounts of political freedom, regular elections, and alternation of power between genuinely different political groupings. Despite these positive features, however, democracy remains shallow and troubled. Political participation, though broad at election time, extends little beyond voting. Political elites from all the major parties or groupings are widely perceived as corrupt, self-interested, and ineffective. The alternation of power seems only to trade the country’s problems back and forth from one hapless side to the other. Political elites from all the major parties are widely perceived as corrupt, self-interested, dishonest, and not serious about working for their country. The public is seriously disaffected from politics, and while it may still cling to a belief in the ideal of democracy, it is extremely unhappy about the political life of the country.” – Thomas Carothers – End of the Transitional Paradigm, 2002

Though that definition so accurately describes the Ukrainian political class, it wasn’t specifically penned just for them, lest readers unfamiliar with Thomas Carothers work think otherwise.

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