EC report flags slow pace of Ukrainian reform

12 Nov 18

Ukraine needs to do more to fight corruption and maintain reform momentum, the European Commission has said in a report.

Ukraine made an agreement with the European Commission last year, which triggered reforms of the country’s legal framework to align it with EU rules.

This includes improving transparency and accountability of the authorities as well as an anti-corruption programme, which supports governance, oversight, skills and independent media to contribute to the fight against corruption.

But in the report, which monitored implementations under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement over the past year, the EU highlighted that reforms of the judiciary and anti-corruption measures in Ukraine had been moving at a slow pace.

Johannes Hahn, commissioner for European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, said: “Now, in Ukraine's pre-election period, it is crucial to maintain the reform momentum and to make these changes irreversible.

“There cannot be roll-back on issues such as anti-corruption efforts. Continued reforms in the economic and justice sectors will send a strong signal not only to the citizens but also to domestic and international investors, and help boost the creation of jobs in Ukraine.”

The presidential elections are expected to be held on 31 March 2019.

The report noted that there have been “few convictions in high-level corruption cases” so far. Whether the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine will be established before the end of the year remains “a test case”, it added.

Last week, however, the selection process to appoint judges for the court began, which was an “encouraging sign”, the commission said.

The report also highlighted some positive progress in the energy sector, public procurement and environmental protection.

Federica Mogherini, vice president of the European Commission and high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “The Ukrainian authorities are carrying out difficult but rewarding reforms in very challenging circumstances. The results of these reforms are bringing clear benefits to the Ukrainian people.

“The European Union will continue to accompany and support the Ukrainian authorities to deliver the reforms demanded by the Ukrainian people, whilst fully supporting Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty."

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