UARU
Dynamic Behind Ukraine's Incomplete Reforms, Explained
19 April, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ The West should not pay too much attention to personalities in the Ukrainian politics;

✓ One of the biggest obstacles for Ukrainian reforms is undeveloped political culture, especially when it comes to political parties;

✓ The new ministers should be given a leap of faith: “Let’s measure them on the indicators which are performance and results, not personality.”

✓ “We have to unpack these big issues and bring people together around concrete ideas. Either how they see the state solving it or how they see themselves solving it. Not everything will be solved by the state.”

Ukraine is experiencing one of the biggest transitions since the Maidan revolution, and with a new Prime Minister and cabinet, the country is facing many complications, including incomplete reforms. Orysia Lutsevych, Manager at Chatham House Ukraine, which recently published a special report explaining Ukrainian reformist process, says that Ukraine developed differently than other post-Soviet countries, and there are high expectations from the West for Ukraine to deliver given the country’s potential.

One of the biggest obstacles for Ukrainian reforms is undeveloped political culture, especially when it come to political parties: “They don’t have a real membership where you can explain what kind of principles these people are standing by… More has to be done around building membership-base, ideological base, making the difference between the liberal the left, who is protecting workers’ interests, who is protecting the middle class, entrepreneurial class,” says Lutsevych.

While there is much skepticism about Ukraine’s newly appointed government, Lutsevych believes the new ministers should be given a leap of faith: “Let’s measure them on the indicators which are performance and results, not personality.” However, she adds that in times of transition, leadership does matter: “Even if you have good leaders, they have to translate this vision into policy, and this is what we should focus on in Ukraine, policies and institutions.”

The report also sheds light on Ukrainian civil society as an important contributor to the reform process and how organizations should be doing more to mobilize citizens around particular issues: “We have to unpack these big issues and bring people together around concrete ideas. Either how they see the state solving it or how they see themselves solving it. Not everything will be solved by the state.”

Hromadske’s Maxim Eristavi spoke to Orysia Lutsevych, Chatham House Ukraine Forum Manager on April 16th, 2016 in Kyiv.