The EU’s Rule of Law Promotion in Ukraine: External Leverage and Domestic Circumstances

The EU wants to promote the rule of law in Ukraine, but what external measures are needed to achieve this and what are the Ukrainian realities? This is analyzed by Maryna Rabi­novych in the LibMod policy paper.

This policy paper examines EU and member state efforts to promote the rule of law in Ukraine, focusing on three key areas-anti-corrup­tion, judicial reform, and law enforce­ment reform. The paper concludes that of the many instru­ments the EU has resorted to, condi­tion­ality has played a central role in incen­tivizing change. It shows that regular and intensive political dialogue with the EU, coor­di­na­tion with other inter­na­tional partners (G7, U.S.), and adap­ta­tion to the political cycle in Ukraine, combined with political and financial incen­tives, are the key factors that make condi­tion­ality effective.

This policy paper was prepared for the project that LibMod imple­mented in coop­er­a­tion with the Foreign Office Planning Staff in 2021–22. The project brought together high-level experts from think tanks in the EU, Ukraine, and North America to discuss the EU’s long-term policy toward Ukraine in key areas and develop policy recommendations.

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