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26 Jul. 2023

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What does Ukraine's accession to the EU mean for business: prospects and risks

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What does Ukraine's accession to the EU mean for business: prospects and risks

Ukraine's European integration is the basis for significant changes, both at the legislative and economic levels, and for businesses and ordinary Ukrainians. Find out what awaits Ukrainian entrepreneurs after joining the EU and whether business is ready for these changes

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On June 23, 2022, Ukraine was granted the status of a candidate country for accession to the European Union. This status entails certain legislative changes and "fixes" the direction of the country's movement, but it does not guarantee that the state will become a full member of the EU. In order for this to become a reality, Ukraine will probably have to go a long and difficult way, which will involve significant changes in the regulatory framework that will affect every sector, without exception, including Ukrainian entrepreneurs. 

So, what are the prospects of joining the EU, what should businesses prepare for and what should they strive for so that the transition to European standards does not become an unpleasant surprise and does not force them to take drastic decisions.

Read more about how Ukrainian business is surviving the war here.


What are the benefits of joining the EU for Ukraine's economy and Ukrainian entrepreneurs?


Of course, joining the European Union opens up many prospects for both the country's macroeconomy and Ukrainian business. In particular, one of the most important advantages for business is the opportunity to enter the European market. It is worth noting that the borders are already beginning to open, because, as the researchers of the Center for Economic Strategy noted, by granting Ukraine candidate status, the European Union shared with the state the responsibility for the stability of the economy and its gradual integration with European countries. 

So, what are the benefits of EU membership for entrepreneurs and businesses:

- Increased confidence in Ukrainian business and, accordingly, the amount of investor funds;

- access to special funds and support programs designed for small and medium-sized businesses

- access to new lending programs;

- access to the European market under simplified conditions, including no customs or quantitative restrictions within the EU, and, accordingly, about 450 million new consumers.


In addition, Ukrainian goods will be certified according to a single standardized process and will be able to compete with European goods on equal terms, with strict adherence to competition policy and intellectual property rights, which is an undoubted advantage, but at the same time, it can also be a significant challenge for Ukrainian entrepreneurs.




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What are the risks of joining the EU for business?


Access to the European market is not only an advantage for Ukrainian entrepreneurs, but also a significant challenge, as it means that European businesses will start integrating into Ukraine just as easily, and thus Ukrainian companies risk losing their importance even in the domestic market in this competition.

Also, Ukrainian companies should be prepared for the fact that Ukraine may experience a significant outflow of skilled personnel and labor force after joining the EU, and those who have taken temporary protection abroad should return to Ukraine to stabilize the economy. Read more about why it is important to bring Ukrainian women home here.

At the same time, the fact that Ukrainians remain united and ready to build a new and strong country together offsets this threat. However, in order to maintain this morale, the country needs to make tangible changes at all legislative levels.

In addition, Ukrainian business should be included in the process of European integration, as the transition phase is key to the future of entrepreneurs. In particular, based on the experience of other countries, the EU allows for simplified requirements for certain sectors and products. For example, import quotas with reduced customs rates, or special permits for a softer transition from current production standards to European ones. However, in order for business interests to be taken into account, entrepreneurs should analyze possible changes and emphasize their position to government officials.


We remind you! Over the past two years, a large number of investors have become interested in Ukraine, but they are in no hurry to invest their own money. In our previous article, we talked about which industries are currently the most profitable and what scares foreign investors.


Photo: Freepik




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