Ukraine Fully Fulfils 4 Out of 7 Candidate Criteria – European Commission

Tuesday, 7 November 2023

The European Commission has considered that four of the seven criteria that accompanied the obtaining of candidate status for European Union membership by Ukraine have been fully met. At the same time, the other three criteria are accompanied by recommendations from the European Commission regarding further implementation.

According to the European Commission internal report on Ukraine, received by Radio Svoboda (Liberty), Ukraine has fully met the following criteria:

  • implementation of legislation regarding the selection procedure of judges of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court, according to the recommendations of the Venice Commission;
  • completion of the integrity check of candidates for membership in the High Council of Justice and creation of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine;
  • compliance of anti-money laundering legislation with FATF standards and approval of a strategic plan for reforming the entire law enforcement sector;
  • media industry reform – bringing Ukrainian legislation into line with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

At the same time, the other three criteria are accompanied by recommendations from the European Commission regarding further implementation.

In particular, the further strengthening of the fight against corruption is not considered complete. As part of this criteria, the European Commission expected, in particular, the appointment of a new head of the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

The European Commission document stated that "Ukraine should still adopt a law on increasing the staffing of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and remove the norms from the law on corruption prevention limiting the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention to continue the inspection of assets that have passed the inspection process and limiting the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention to inspect property acquired by the declarants before joining the civil service".

"Ukraine should still approve the law on lobbying in accordance with European standards", the European Commission said regarding limiting the excessive influence of oligarchs, which Brussels also expected from Kyiv.

The European Commission noted that not all reforms of legislation on national minorities, in accordance with the Venice Commission recommendations, have been implemented. They emphasised the need to implement the rest of the comments mentioned "in the conclusion of June 2023 and its subsequent conclusion of October 2023, in particular by amending the laws on the state language, media, and education".

According to unofficial data, the European Commission intends to present a positive assessment of Ukraine's progress in applying for EU membership on 8 November, but this assessment may contain additional conditions.

Earlier, it was reported that the European Union is likely to support the start of accession negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova and grant Georgia the status of a candidate for membership, but with certain conditions.

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