The Foreign Policy Research Institute of the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine submits for consideration of readers the English edition “Transformations processes in the Visegrad Group countries and Ukraine: comparative analysis”. This study was made possible thanks to the International Visegrád Fund (IVF) and organizational support from the Eastern Partnership Fund (Poland).
It is certain that the book and the research itself would have failed to appear but for the hard work of the group of international authors consisting of leading Ukrainian, Polish, Slovak and Czech experts.
It elicits great interest from its readership, which encompasses both Ukrainian experts, diplomats, politicians and the broad international community – everyone who is keen to know more about the present and the future processes of the Visegrad countries and Ukraine.
The purpose of the edition is to Research trends and peculiarities of transformation processes in the Visegrad countries and identify EU and NATO potential to modernize Ukraine.
The end of the first decade of the 21st century was marked with the revolutionary changes in the international environment and domestic policies. Influenced with these changes, Ukraine faced the extremely difficult external and internal challenges.
Such sudden and dynamic change of the internal situation in Ukraine and the country's positions in the international environment requires not only studying experience of the Visegrad Group countries on the way toward NATO and the EU, but also deep scientific research by both Ukrainian specialists and EU experts of those transformation processes in Ukraine and Visegrad Group countries as well as other post-communist countries in their transitional periods. An important task is to predict the consequences of such transformations for Ukraine and for its neighbors, including the Slovak Republic and other Visegrad countries.
The first chapter of the edition analyses the models of the post-communist transformation in Ukraine and the Visegrad countries during the establishment of their independence. It focuses on such countries as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. As a conclusion, the last section of the chapter describes the general trends and differences in the transformation processes in Ukraine and the countries of the Visegrad Group.
The second chapter examines trends and vectors of foreign policy of the Visegrad countries and Ukraine. The authors define the main priorities of the Czech Republic during the post-communist transformation, research the internal factors of formation of the foreign policies of Slovakia and Ukraine, and describe one of the major problems of the foreign policy formation – the issue of choice and staying between Russia and Europe.
The third chapter of the monograph is devoted to the European security as a factor of the post-communist transformation in Ukraine and countries of the Central and Eastern Europe. This chapter explores the influence of such structures as the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on the present and future of the security situation in the abovementioned countries. It outlines the role that can be played by NATO and the EU in Ukraine under circumstances when it remains outside these organizations in future. These prognostic estimates and recommendations in the book could be interesting not only for a wide circle of readers, but also for professionals and politicians.
The last, fourth chapter of the book reveals for readers the perspectives of the European Union influence on the future modernization of Ukraine. This section describes the peculiarities of the impact of the European integration on the post-communist transit, as well as the impact of the European Union membership on this process in Slovakia. Furthermore, it researches the process of the Europeanization and Euro-Atlantic integration of the Czech Republic, and describes the prospects, motives and possible consequences of the European integration for Ukraine.
The most important aspect of this study was to determine the causes of a return to authoritarianism and rejection of democratic European trajectory of some post-communist countries, including Ukraine. The results showed that the essence of the problem is in the economic and social basis of society, which was formed as a result of nomenclature revolutions in the conditions of the transition from communist regimes to so-called "post-capitalism". The driving force behind its development was the transfer – class. So an important part of this project was to study the nature of the transfer-classes and the political regime, which they built on the ruins of communism.
A no less important task which the authors set themselves was to find ways of overcoming authoritarianism and identify the steps and measures necessary for the return or restoration of a stable democracy. But the main objective of this research project was to predict the consequences of such transformations for Ukraine and its neighboring countries and the European Community.
Therefore, the results made it possible to conclude that the Ukrainian transformation processes associated with transition from authoritarianism to democracy and a market economy are much more complex and controversial than those that took place in Central Europe.
Thus, the book “Transformations processes in the Visegrad Group countries and Ukraine: comparative analysis” presented a comprehensive analysis of the key aspects of transformation processes after the example of the Visegrad Group states which outlines the prospects and opportunities for the future development of Ukraine. It gives reasons to hope that the edition would be interesting for the domestic and foreign diplomats, scientists, domestic and foreign experts in the sphere of international relations and students.