Spanish experience

Outcomes of the conference “A model of success: Spanish experience – a way from isolation towards EU integration”

A conference “A model of success: Spanish experience – a way from isolation towards European integration” took place July, 15 in Kyiv in hotel Hilton. It was organized by Ernst&Young in cooperation with the newspaper “Legal practice” and was dedicated to the recently signed Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

Prominent Spanish statesmen participated in the conference: Jorge Intriago, partner of tax and legal practice of Ernst&Young in Ukraine and Belarus, Luis Fraga, founder of the Parliamentary working group between the parliaments of Ukraine and the Kingdom of Spain, the president of the Latin American Commission of the Senate of the Kingdom of Spain, Joaquin Ramirez, president of the legal committee of the Senate Kingdom of Spain and Antonio Gutierez, Senator of the province of Seville. In addition, the conference was attended by representatives of the government of Ukraine: judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine Igor Samsin and Alexander Potylchak and the head of the legal department of the State Service for Financial Monitoring of Ukraine Igor Gaiewski.

The idea of the conference was to share the experience of Spain, that once stated in severe difficulties, with Ukraine as the latter, firstly, is interesting for Spain as a potential recipient of foreign investment and, secondly, Ukraine is extremely congenial to Spain, as empathized Spanish guests themselves.

Every participant’s speech was marked by its depth, informative character and useful advice. Spanish guests answered the questions directly, preferring to speak the truth that sometimes could sound not so pleasant. For example, the question, why do foreign investors have no desire to come to invest in Ukraine, Mr. Fraga said that despite he had warm feelings towards Ukraine and its people, he had to admit that the main problem – the lack of legal security and stability (seguridad jurídica) – still had not been solved in Ukraine. “The rule of law – that is the key that opens all doors”, said Mr. Fraga.

It was remarkable to listen to the “recipe” for success voiced by Mr. Gutierrez: respect for the previous achievements; belief in a better future; a well-developed industrial base; quality education, which forms the most valuable resource that one country can possess – human capital; mutual cooperation between States in order to achieve common goals; creation of an effective bureaucracy, performing its functions regularly under any head of state. According to Mr. Gutierrez, Ukraine has all prerequisites for a successful state.

“Ukraine should not be afraid to privatize “public” sector (i.e. state-owned enterprises). The state will never be as effective as a private owner and foreign investors while developing their business create jobs that ultimately make economy to grow,” said Mr. Fraga. Spain is the 6th country in the world to export cars, and none of the leading companies is Spanish. Spain meanwhile is actively investing in Latin America – Uruguay, Chile, Mexico, Colombia.

When Mr. Gutierrez was asked what the key success factor for any State was, he said unequivocally – the effectiveness of institutions (parliament, the judicial system, education system, etc.). “What is needed to create it? First of all, the political will, it is impossible to implement any reform without it. Whether it exists or not depends on the maturity of the political elite,” said Mr. Gutierrez.

From the Ukrainian part of the conference a speech of Mr. Gajewski was the one to stand out. Mr. Gajewski presented the results of the governmental work aimed at combating money laundering and briefly formulated the basic challenges facing Ukraine nowadays in this issue: the problem of identifying the beneficial owner, monitoring public figures (high officials), in particular the sources of their income, as well as the development of risk assessment in the field of money laundering in the different sectors of the economy.

Tsirat Kateryna, one of the lawyers of Jurvneshservice visited the conference as well and joined the general discussion after the conference. Such events are extremely important, that is why Jurvneshservice expresses its appreciation for the organization of the conference.

If interested, additional material connected with the conference can be found on website of the newspaper “Legal practice”.