So what's going on in the Ukraine anyways?
The Ukraine is caught between Putin and Russia wanting to get their hands on it and the EU seeing it as a valuable place to offload a lot of consumer goods while not really making it a member state.
The country is in a rough place. The people are fighting over who will get to exploit the heck out of them next. Neither side looks especially promising.
E.U. association agreements with Ukraine are also thought an opportunity for West European finance. Such banks in the last decade turned the former Warsaw Pact states and Baltics into huge profit centers through loading down previously debt-free properties with big mortgages. This inflated real estate bubbles. The pattern might repeat with Ukraine, and likely to ill effect for all concerned.
Lastly, the possible damage to Ukrainian markets from poorly executed trade liberalization and non-visa regimes could flood the E.U. with cheap labor. This would constitute a veritable "precariat" of low-wage workers introducing public health risks, such as multidrug resistant tuberculosis, into West Europe. Moreover, it could widen existing paths of human trafficking and attendant criminal activity.
Collectively, these outcomes would work to erode Europe’s historically unique (and largely successful) "Social Market." Europe’s postwar economy thrived on a diet of elevated wages and benefits whose "costs" continually pushed industry toward ever-higher levels of efficiency. The result was a high productivity, socially stable system.
Trade pacts can be beneficial. Yet, they must not be simplistically parroted as policy catechisms assuming favorable outcomes. The E.U. and Ukraine alike would be wise to move cautiously. Developing Ukraine’s economy should be the priority, not facilitating the exit of its people.