Archive for May 11th, 2017

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Visa-free – Educating the constituency

May 11, 2017

The 11th May witnessing the successful and penultimate round of required signatures from the EU Member States regarding Visa-free travel for Ukrainians.

Thus 18th May is scheduled to witness the final two signatures (from Malta holding the rotating EU presidency and European Council Donald Tusk) that subsequently allow the publication of the agreement that in turn, 20 days later, will bring Visa-free into force.  Ergo on or about 8th June the Visa-free regime will come into effect.

A symbolic event.

However such a significant bureaucratic change requires educating the Ukrainian constituency as to what exactly Visa-free means.  What is covered by Visa-free and as importantly, what is not.

It should necessarily be explained –  repeatedly – over the coming weeks, and indeed months, across all channels of the domestic information space.

Every effort should be made to reduce, as far as is practicable, misunderstandings or ignorance within the Ukrainian constituency.

The EU has launched a Visa-free education programme effective immediately, to enlighten the Ukrainian constituency.

Very good – and perhaps the EU does indeed have a role to play in such education – however it is not the responsibility of the EU to educate Ukrainians about the Visa-free regime (and its limitations) that their government has entered into.

Unquestionably the  primary responsibility for informing the Ukrainian constituency about the new rules and regulations falls squarely upon the Ukrainian government.

So where is the education/information programme of the Ukrainian government?

Why is it not being repeatedly ground into the public subconscious on TV, radio, the Internet and printed media (to the point of weary submission) – for at least the month prior to, and following, the introduction of Visa-free?

Perhaps the two greatest failures associated with Ukrainian government policy are consistently poor communication with/education of the public, and yet worse policy implementation.

Will they manage to deal with both these issues effectively this time?

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