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EU Membership Boosts Romania, While Ukraine Faces Challenges

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EU Membership: Romania's Success and Ukraine's Challenges

Romania's economy has experienced significant growth since joining the European Union (EU) in 2007, leading to improved living standards and increased foreign investment. The country's transformation serves as an example of the potential rewards of EU membership. However, neighboring Ukraine faces challenges on its path to EU membership, including the need for economic reforms, the fight against corruption, and alignment with EU norms.

Romania's Economic Success

Romania's EU membership has brought about positive changes, with the country implementing reforms to open up its centrally planned economy to the European market. This included privatizing state-owned firms, easing trade restrictions, and addressing corruption through judicial reforms. These efforts have propelled Romania's economic growth, attracting foreign investment and creating job opportunities.

Lessons for Ukraine

Romania's success story offers valuable lessons for Ukraine as it seeks EU membership. The Ukrainian government must prioritize economic reforms, combat corruption, and align its institutions with EU standards. Romania's support for Ukraine's accession talks demonstrates the potential benefits of EU membership for neighboring countries like Moldova.
Challenges Ahead
While Romania's progress is commendable, challenges remain. Populist governments in Hungary and Poland have jeopardized EU funding for political gain, highlighting the risks that could hinder Romania's continued progress. High-profile corruption cases and delays in the judicial system serve as reminders that vigilance against corruption is crucial for sustained development. Efforts led by former anti-graft prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, who now heads the EU's Public Prosecutors Office, have been instrumental in combating corruption in Romania. However, her actions have also faced opposition, leading to her dismissal in 2018. Romania's experience underscores the importance of continued commitment to the rule of law and the fight against corruption. Ukraine's journey towards EU membership will require an end to the ongoing conflict, major economic reforms, and alignment with EU norms. The EU has offered Ukraine a path to membership, but the process will be complex and time-consuming. By learning from Romania's experience, Ukraine can navigate the challenges and work towards achieving its European aspirations.

EU Membership: Implications for New Businesses in Romania and Ukraine

Romania's economic transformation since joining the EU in 2007 provides a compelling case study for new businesses looking to tap into emerging markets. The country's economic liberalization, characterized by the privatization of state-owned firms, easing of trade restrictions, and anti-corruption measures, has created a conducive environment for business growth and foreign investment.

Opportunities in Romania

Romania's success story presents numerous opportunities for new businesses. The country's economic growth, driven by its EU membership, has led to increased consumer spending power, making it an attractive market for businesses across various sectors. Furthermore, Romania's commitment to combating corruption and aligning its institutions with EU standards has improved its business environment, reducing risks for investors.

Challenges in Ukraine

However, the situation in Ukraine presents a different picture. The country's path to EU membership is fraught with challenges, including the need for economic reforms, combating corruption, and aligning with EU norms. These challenges could pose significant risks for new businesses looking to enter the Ukrainian market.
Lessons for New Businesses
Despite these challenges, Romania's experience offers valuable lessons for new businesses. It underscores the importance of a conducive business environment, characterized by economic liberalization and strong anti-corruption measures, in attracting investment and facilitating business growth. As Ukraine works towards achieving its European aspirations, businesses should monitor its progress closely to identify potential opportunities and risks.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/eu-membership-supercharged-romania-ukraine-faces-a-tougher-task
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