Vertreter des EU-Abkommens Georgien-Moldavien-Ukraine

Benefits and Costs of the DCFTA

 What are benefits and costs of the free-trade agreements (DCFTA) between the EU and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine? And what has to happen so that their potential can be more beneficial?

In a joint working paper of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, the authors A. Adarov and P. Havlik analyse benefits and costs of the free-trade agreements between the EU and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and make recommendations for further action.  

The study provides an impact evaluation of the DCFTA implementation in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The authors analyse benefits and costs that have already materialised or are yet expected to manifest themselves in the longer run in the public and private sectors. While there is little doubt that in the long run the DCFTA will help the beneficiary economies to modernise and transform to a more competitive state, the analysis suggests that the net benefits are highly asymmetric along the time dimension (high costs in the short and medium run – benefits accruing mostly in the longer run), as well as across regions and economic sectors (less competitive sectors and regions will face particularly onerous adjustment costs). In the light of the macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges the DCFTA countries have been facing, this may jeopardise progress of reforms.

Based on the analysis Adarov and Havlik propose several policy recommendations, including careful sequencing of reforms along the approximation to the EU acquis prioritising competitiveness of export-oriented sectors and access to the EU market, attractiveness for FDI and integration into global value chains; focused ‘how-to’ training of businesses; higher financial support from the EU with strict conditionality along with both need-based and competitive performance-based elements, as well as programmes to alleviate social costs in the vulnerable sectors and regions.