Ukraine's Parliament Adopts Range of European Integration Laws Related to Combating Corruption

Friday, 8 December 2023

Pursuant to the European Commission's criteria for opening negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU, the Ukrainian parliament on Friday approved draft laws on increasing the ranks of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, strengthening the autonomy and independence of the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO), and expanding the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention.

As Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak wrote on Telegram, the Law on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine envisages extending the maximum number of staff of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine from 700 to 1,000. Particularly, the number of senior personnel is to increase from 500 to 750.

Under the law on the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, the SAPO is to be removed from the structure of the Prosecutor General's Office and reorganised into a separate prosecutorial body within the general system of prosecutorial bodies with the status of a separate legal entity under public law.

Changes are also envisaged for the competitive selection procedure for the positions of the SAPO Head, his deputies and prosecutors.

The Law on the National Agency on Corruption Prevention stipulates that the Agency may inspect property acquired before public service and property acquired by applicants for public service positions without affecting the rules related to national security during martial law.

Moreover, on Friday, the Ukrainian parliament approved draft law No. 10288-1, amending specific laws on minority rights to consider the Council of Europe's expert assessment and meet the European Commission's criteria for opening EU accession negotiations.

On Tuesday, Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, said the draft law would contain additional safeguards to prevent the infiltration of Russian narratives and propaganda.

Earlier, the government official stated that the new draft law aimed at protecting national minorities does not envisage expanding opportunities for the Russian language.

In a report released on 8 November, the European Commission recommended that Kyiv start accession talks with the EU after taking four more steps. These included adopting amendments to the rights of national minorities, increasing the size of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and expanding the powers of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention.

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