13:04 29.10.2020

EU considers Constitutional Court's decision as basis for suspension of visa-free travel – media

2 min read
EU considers Constitutional Court's decision as basis for suspension of visa-free travel – media

The European Union has disabled the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on the activities of anti-corruption agencies, the Yevropeiska Pravda (European Truth) newspaper said, citing a letter from representative of Ukraine to the EU, Ambassador Mykola Tochytsky to Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna.

"As our contacts unofficially note so far, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine decision No. 13-r/2020, which abolished the key anti-corruption powers of the NACP [National Agency for Corruption Prevention], criminal liability for inaccurate declaration, is a sufficient reason for the European Commission to start a mechanism for suspending the visa-free travel regime," the ambassador said in the letter.

It is noted that one of the official triggers for the launch of the mechanism for suspending the "visa-free" is avoiding of the third state the criteria, as a result of which a visa-free regime was introduced.

As stated in the letter, the independence, institutional capacity and sustainability of infrastructure, especially anti-corruption, is a criterion for achieving a number of short-term and strategic goals in relations with the EU, including: maintaining a visa-free travel regime for Ukrainian citizens to the EU; cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, which is a prerequisite for Ukraine's receiving macro-financial assistance from the EU in the amount of EUR 1.2 billion to ensure financial and economic stabilization in the country; integration into the EU energy market (it is about the independence of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Regulation); the spread of the internal market regime in the field of telecommunications in Ukraine, the conclusion of an agreement on mutual recognition of electronic trust services; integration into a single digital market (independence of the Ukrainian Intellectual Property Institute), etc.

"Taking into account the above, and in order to prevent the development of an unfavorable scenario, we would suggest in a short time to create a high-level working group to develop amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, which would also include representatives of the Verkhovna Rada, the Presidential Administration of Ukraine [President's Office], judicial government, academia and civil society," the ambassador said in the letter.

Thus, the key task of the working group is to determine the processing of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, which would provide for the powers of the Verkhovna Rada to create government agency with a special status.

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