Articles and Commentary

Ukraine’s most underreported reform

GroysmanUkraine’s decentralisation was one of the first, fastest and most comprehensive reforms initiated by the initial post-EuroMaidan government in March 2014, and its then vice-prime minister and today head of government Volodymyr Groysman. While amounting to a deep transformation of state-society relations in Ukraine, the underlying ideas and first successes of this large restructuring of Ukraine’s governmental system have so far been hardly noted outside Ukraine. Contrary to widespread Western belief, neither the concept nor the initiation of decentralisation had much to do, as some believe, with Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU signed in July 2014, or with the Minsk Agreements signed in September 2014 and February 2015. Now entering its third year, the ongoing reorganisation of Ukraine’s local public administration, instead, had already been hotly discussed, meticulously planned and unsuccessfully attempted for many years before the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity.

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Bringing Belarus back into line?

Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko BRICS summit 2015 03On April 3rd Russia and Belarus provisionally announced the resolution of their latest long-running energy dispute, signalling a reconciliation between neighbours who had fallen out over a range of issues during the past three years.  Key details remain to be worked out, but the settlement ostensibly reached on Monday more or less freezes the status quo in the bilateral relationship by pledging continued subsidies for Belarus.  This is an outcome Belarus longed for and Russia longed to change.

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Umland needs a more balanced approach

Photo from Taras Kuzio10In his text published on New Eastern Europe titled “The Ukrainian government’s Memory Institute against the West”, Andreas Umland brings up some important questions in his analysis of the Ukrainian government-funded Institute of National Remembrance. Nevertheless, he falls into pitfalls of his own choosing and three points need to be clarified.

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How will Tusk’s re-appointment affect Polish politics?

Donald Tusk 9304383733Poland’s right-wing government suffered its most high profile defeat to date when it failed to prevent the re-appointment of Donald Tusk, whom it accused of interfering in Polish domestic politics, as European Council president, raising concerns that the country was becoming isolated on the European Union’s periphery. Opinion polls show a slump in the ruling party’s lead and boost for the main opposition grouping but it is unclear whether this is a political turning point or short-term blip.

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Subcategories

  • The Road to Vilnius
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  • EuroMaidan

    New Eastern Europe's Continuing coverage of the Euromaidan Protests in Ukraine

    The Ukrainian government’s decision to put the country’s European integration on hold was met by a spontaneous protest of middle class and students. Three days later the rally organised by political parties attracted the biggest turnout since 2004 Orange revolution events.

     

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