Summary: Ukraine, one of the EU's most ardent suitors still on the outside of the EU enlargement process, now has a dual concern. Not only is it anxious because it is not part of the enlargement process; it is also concerned that enlargement could actually increase the distance in some ways between itself and the EU. But "provided there comprehensive interaction between Ukraine, the EU and the applicant countries, the enlargement process will not stand in the way for building a new common European home, and will meet the hopes of all European nations", according to a non-paper recently circulated by Ukraine diplomats.

Overall, Ukraine views EU enlargement as "a positive process" and "an important stage of European integration". But it will lead to change in the relations that new EU members have with their neighbours - and in the case of Ukraine, that directly means Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania, and indirectly the other applicants of Central and Eastern Europe too. So Ukraine has been exerting diplomatic pressure to avoid the emergence of "dividing lines" between itself and Europe. At recent meetings and seminars in Central Europe, Ukraine has been pushing for systematic examination of this question by experts from Ukraine, the European Commission, and the three largest "first-wave" candidates, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The ideas Ukraine is floating include: - a so-called "joint plan for liberalisation of the visa regime between Ukraine and the EU" (this would abolish Ukrainian visa and registration requirements for EU nationals from June 1999, and...

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