Two years after the Maidan, most Ukrainians see little progress in fighting corruption.
Achieving progress on reforming Ukraine’s economy would send the strongest possible message to critics who doubt the country’s ability to operate as a modern state.
The severe political crisis in Kyiv has raised fundamental questions in recent weeks about the fate of Ukrainian reform.
Ukraine is in danger of repeating its experience after the 2004 Orange Revolution, when reformers won the vote in national elections but failed to govern effectively.
Ukraine has new institutions and a vibrant civil society, but a culture of corruption erodes state legitimacy. The state has been captured by enemies within.
To make progress on stamping out corruption, Ukraine requires targeted reform of the powerful institutions that perpetuate corrupt practices, particularly the justice system.
Ukraine’s reformers have largely ignored the key issue of the separation of powers. The EU should help put this important priority back on the agenda.
The EU needs to step up its support for Ukraine’s still-fragile democracy, focusing on the three areas of conditionality, decentralization, and engagement with civil society.
Extensive reform efforts are under way across Ukraine. Yet the country will not stabilize its finances until it addresses what both investors and ordinary citizens care about most—corruption.
The biggest challenges facing Ukraine are its long-standing, systemic failures—a corrupt government and a political system dominated by big business.