What has European integration given to Ukrainians? This is an ambitious reform plan for the country, but how do Ukrainians feel about European integration? What has changed in these 6 years?
You buy chocolates. Now, you are sure that the label does not hide “soy product.” After all, only candies with a content of cocoa beans not less than the amount established (for example, 35% for chocolate) can be called chocolate. And food production is now controlled at every stage, according to the European principle “from field to table.” This makes the products safe for consumers.
As a consumer, you have the right to complete and truthful information about a product or service. The new legislation provides the possibility of obtaining such information, whether it’s food or financial services in the bank.
After the store, you go home and put the food in the fridge. It is energy efficient. This is evidenced by the European mark of energy consumption class, which is also found on other household appliances. Taking care of energy efficiency and protecting the environment is acting like a European. And at the same time, you pay less for electricity.
If you are a student, you can study for free at a European university, thanks to the ERASMUS+ program. You no longer need to stand in line to obtain a visa; it is enough to have a foreign biometric passport. You, like millions of Ukrainians, enjoy visa-free travel. And when the number of coronavirus cases decreases, travel to the EU will become unhindered again.
Do you have your own business and are you thinking about how to expand production? Enter the European market, because the EU has abolished import duties on the vast majority of goods from Ukraine. It has also become easier to obtain a certificate of origin for export to the EU. And it really works. In 2019, more than 14,000 companies exported their products to the single European market. The European Union has become our main trading partner. 41.5% of total exports of goods in 2019 were directed to EU countries.
And if your business is focused on the domestic market, then you can compete in an open competition for a government order in the Prozorro system. Why shouldn’t the state buy quality products from you? The Prozorro system has gained international recognition. Other countries are already adopting Ukraine’s experience in public procurement. For example, Prozorro is called the inspiration for the OpenProcurement project in Sweden. It is an online platform with interactive tools and open data about each stage of the procurement process.
Have you had a baby? Congratulations! Now you can simply draw up all the necessary documents from the maternity hospital via a smartphone. And more than 150 public services are available in convenient and new Administrative Service Centers (ADCs), created with the support of the EU and other international partners. This is no longer a quest for bureaucratic offices, but a modern service that can be used even through the mobile offices of the Government Offices. The latter, with the help of a specially equipped car, actually provides administrative services at home.
These are just some of the reforms we have achieved through European integration. There is still a long way to go, but millions of Ukrainians are already experiencing pro-European change.