Conquering Corruption: An Evaluation of the European Union's Efforts in Ukraine
AbstractEven after the Revolution of 2014, reducing the level of corruption within Ukraine has remained a challenging goal. Ukraine’s border conflict makes adequately addressing the roots of its corruption without unduly undermining state capacity especially challenging. Despite this delicate situation, the establishment of a stable, lawful, and democratic Ukraine is of vital importance to the European Union given its geopolitical significance. Certain arguments in the literature provide a possible solution to both reducing levels of corruption by expanding civil society and thus improving levels of generalized social trust and social accountability. Accordingly, this paper explores the extent and effect of the EU’s support for civil society and anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine. It also examines any counterproductive results from this assistance, such as fueling public cynicism and distrust. With the limited data available, the preliminary findings of this paper suggest that while the factors influencing corruption are complex and interrelated, civil society and anti-corruption efforts may increase aid effectiveness. For more conclusive findings in the future, it will be necessary for more comprehensive and consistent data collection by the European Union and civil society organizations in Ukraine.
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