A test for Europeanness was held in three directions: survey of experts (on the whole, 80 Ukrainian and foreign analysts were involved), express analysis, conducted by ISP according to the background of the candidates: biography, analysis of parliamentary voting, declaration of some or other standpoints, keeping to promises – and, actually, the questioning of the participants of the race. Only half of selected candidates agreed to work with the civic initiative. Namely they, taking into account other criteria, are among the leading four candidates. The initiators of the survey noted that not only it reflects the rating of the candidates before the elections, but will help to watch how declared promises are fulfilled after the voting.
The Head of the Ilko Kucheriv Foundation “Democratic Initiatives” Iryna Bekeshkina noted that this election has lost symmetry which used to be traditional for presidential race. “The candidates in 2004 and 2010 won with a small advantage. In fact, the one who managed to better mobilize his voters won. Now we can see a clear leader,” she explained. The sentiments of Ukrainians regarding the choice of foreign policy vector have undergone clear changes. According to the sociologist, the economic union with Russia enjoyed the biggest support in 2009. Two years later, unions with Europe and with Russia enjoyed almost proportional support. And now the most part of the society inclines to choosing the European vector. “The motivation of those who choose the European Union or the Customs Union is the same: everyone wants economic indices to boost and life standards to grow,” Bekeshkina concluded.
Deputy General Director of Razumkov Center for International Issues Valerii Chaly noted that there have been certain positive changes in the election process. “There is no doubt, it is good that the candidates speak European languages, some of them have worked in this direction, but still we have questions to parliament and government,” he said. “Today the window of possibilities is closing, so we need to make use of it the sooner the better. We have many developments for implementing EU integration, which have waited for years and can be realized now,” the expert added.
Representative of the VR Committee on EU Integration Iryna Herashchenko supported the need to create a new government and elect a new parliament. The MP said that the UDAR faction supports holding of early parliamentary elections as soon as this autumn. “We need to work with the politicians, so that they became European mentally and ideologically. The new government should not just declare certain European values and approve corresponding acts, but also be able to fill them with content – and there are some problems with this. Apart from that, I must note that the coalition in parliament is neither ideological, nor programmatic, it is situational,” Herashchenko resumed.
Larysa Ivshyna, the editor-in-chief of Den/The Day took part in the expert survey. “The presidential candidates need to be programmed in advance,” she commented on the initiative on conducting of a corresponding survey. “Modern reality not always envisages that everyone will use European ways in European field, but we must set such super task and talk about it. We also need to note the importance of new humanitarian policy which has not been shaped. A range of talks need to be held before the elections or later to insert pressure on the new president and his/her team, so that they clearly defined their vision of this policy, in particular, one of its actual aspects today, the informational aspect.”
“The time of informational wars was approaching. We saw that the preliminary preparation for intervention and annexation of the Crimea was done with the help of Ukrainian channels,” Ivshyna emphasized. “We cannot ignore this and we must make corresponding conclusions for the future. I cannot say whether it was done purposefully or through inadvertence, but, for example, Kornilov who brainwashed the population with the idea of Donetsk-Kryvy Rih Republic spent much time on the channels. And now these ‘dragon teeth’ which were sown are sprouting. This is a question of national security, infantilism of many structures which become European only when there is a bright political demand. But they must be constantly guided by this idea in their lives.”