Postdoctoral Research Fellow
The EU-Ukraine deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) is marked by an impressive scope of regulatory approximation and market integration. Nonetheless, the performance of the DCFTA often tends to be assessed through the sole prism of changes in the volume of trade between the parties. This paper seeks to complement such an approach by an in-depth investigation of EU-DCFTA’s performance from the effectiveness and impact perspectives. It finds that the EU-Ukraine “deep” trade agenda is marked by medium effectiveness, with the strongest concerns, attributed to corruption, weak rule of law and strong oligarchic influence. At the same time, the DCFTA had been a strong engine for trade-related reforms (e.g. countering technical barriers to trade; public procurement; competition and state aid) in Ukraine over the period from 2014 to 2019. Yet, the reforms’ tempo slowed down after the most recent presidential elections, with numerous changes pending in the domains of transport and infrastructure, financial sector reform and customs reforms. Nonetheless, the EU-Ukraine DCFTA is found to exert a considerable impact on the interplay of the regulatory spaces and influences in the regions and the role of the EU as a trade power.