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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Visa-free regime for Ukraine contains a hidden trap

The EU, seem to be ready to grant Ukraine visa-free regime. However, the conditions that Europe has led to the introduction bezveza contain some potentially treacherous for Kiev paragraphs. The main question will be how long Europe will be able to endure millions jerked on its territory Ukrainian “tourists”.

The visa-free regime with Europe have moved to Ukraine even one step. Representatives of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union reached an “informal agreement” on the issue. In addition, it is expected that on March 2 to approve the transition of Ukraine to a visa-free regime maybe another European body, the Committee of permanent representatives of the 28 member States of the European Union (COREPER).

“Recent developments give reason to think that Ukraine can reach the desired goal and to obtain a visa-free regime with the EU”

Ukrainian visa Saga is a Prime example of two phenomena of European realities. On the one hand, this illustrates the extremely complicated decision-making system in the EU, which allows, if necessary, to close any question indefinitely. On the other hand, the processes show a rather sad role of modern Ukraine in the current historical process.

Formally speaking, to the coveted visa-free regime for Ukraine remains very little. Expected next steps of the procedure:

1. To obtain the approval of the European Parliament Committee on civil liberties.

2. To pass a vote of MEPs.

3. To pass the approval of the Council of the European Union.

4. To be published in the official journal of the EU.

5. And 20 days after the publication of the decision will come into force.

Apropriatory convenient for the EU that these steps can be completed in the shortest possible time (say, several weeks), and can be postponed indefinitely and not to be finished ever.

The last three years, the dominant opinion in the Russian expert and media community was that which assumed the second option is that Ukraine has no chance in the foreseeable future to a visa-free regime with Europe.

This opinion has to this day under a very good reason. The reality is that for the vast majority of citizens of Ukraine visa-free regime with Europe is extremely desirable is because it opens the door for the highly paid (by the standards of Ukraine) working in the West. It does not matter that the alleged regime formally provides the citizens of Ukraine the right to work in Europe (in fact, this mode involves only the right to short term tourist trip), the market of illegal workforce large enough.

Over the past two and a half decades, illegal work in the West has become familiar to millions of Ukrainians. Visa-free regime will seriously facilitate this process, and can also become a loophole for legalization in Europe. That is the main appeal of a visa-free regime for Ukrainian companies.

Do not underestimate the insight of the European institutions. These realities are obvious to them.

This is what gave iron assurance to skeptics that a visa-free regime for Ukraine will not be approved. The main problem – the scale and population of the country. Europe without much difficulty provides a visa-free regime a great number of countries, including tend to the same with the Ukraine problems, for example, neighboring Moldova. However, the problems of illegal immigrants, which creates a Europe of 3.5 million people in Moldova are not even close to the hypothetical problems that might create in this area a 42-million-strong Ukraine.

Exactly hence the rise jokes the Russian leadership, which not only welcomes the granting of visa-free regime for Ukraine, but, in fact, very sarcastically joking, saying that Europe needs to provide its citizens the right to work.

However, recent developments give reason to think that Ukraine can reach the desired goal.

Thing is, on the one hand, to do the accelerated procedures of the decision through the European courts (three solutions for the current week). And the rhetoric of European officials, it suggests, for example, the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has promised Ukraine visa liberalization by the end of spring 2017. And on the other hand – and this is much more important – on February 27 the EU Council approved the new regulations on the introduction of a mechanism to suspend visa-free regime with third countries in the event of violations. This document was created specifically as a necessary condition for introduction of visa-free regime with Ukraine and Georgia.

In totality of the facts seems a high probability that within a few months, Ukraine can indeed get a visa-free regime with Europe. However, this inevitably raises questions about the purpose of this step, since in the altruism of the EU is a little hard to believe, and even less likely to see the European “bow” in the form of opening a multi-million dollar market of illegal immigrants.

Perhaps European officials consider suspending the visa-free regime more effective control of outbound tourist flow from Ukraine, which, if necessary, just to block it entirely.

For all its inconveniences visa gives people the opportunity to plan for the future. A visa-free regime with the regime instant suspension looks a Jesuit tool that puts people in a state of limbo. At any time a visa-free regime can be suspended for an unknown time, and people who wanted to travel, find ourselves in a situation when they do not understand how to obtain permission to travel to Europe.

Of course, will create certain new algorithms, but there is no doubt that they will be much more difficult for people due to the ceasing of many visa application centres (because they are not necessary for visa-free regime) and reducing the consular departments.

Given the attitude to Ukraine from the West (suffice it to recall how methodically stalling of the IMF for each tranche), there is no doubt that the instrument of suspension of the visa-free regime Europe will use regularly. As a result, the Ukrainians in visa-free regime may be in a situation where they are trapped in their country as in a jar, the lid of which from time to time offer, but to predict how often and for how long, would be impossible. And this, in turn, will put an end to any plans related to travel to Europe, because to plan travel will become nearly impossible.

In such a situation another very interesting question is, does Russia plan to introduce a visa regime with Ukraine. Moreover, some recent actions of the Kremlin (for example, recognition of documents of the DNI and LC) do not exclude such development of events.

As a result, instead the execution of a long-standing dream in the form of a visa-free regime (and with all the neighbors), the Ukrainian society can be in a very unpleasant trap – trapped in the Ukraine, is in deep economic collapse, and no options to leave the “sinking ship”.


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