Widespread corruption continues to hamper Ukraine's reform process – speech on behalf of Borrell
The European Union believes that the reform process in Ukraine, despite the notable progress, continues to be hampered by widespread corruption.
This is stated in the speech of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, which was presented by Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis on Borrell's behalf on Tuesday in the European Parliament, during the discussion of the report on Ukraine's implementation of the Association Agreement.
"I share your [speaker Michael Gahler] assessment that, 'despite notable progress, widespread corruption continues to hamper Ukraine’s reform process'. Its key institutions must have strong and independent leadership and the chance to do their work free of political, economic or other interference," Dombrovskis said on behalf of Borrell.
He also noted that the report said that "smuggling only benefits criminals and oligarchs."
"It must be stopped - and for this, it is vital that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau be fully independent. Over the years, the Bureau has demonstrated its effectiveness and produced tangible results. The fight against corruption is a key condition for the EU's macro-financial support," the Vice-President of the European Commission said.
In addition, the EU expressed its conviction that "recent developments in the rule of law and anti-corruption show that a comprehensive judiciary reform is long overdue."
"The Venice Commission and G7's roadmap, complementing the EU Delegation's constant advice to authorities and politicians, gives clear guidance on what has to be done," Dombrovskis said.
At the same time, the EU "recognizes the complexity of the task." "From the start, Russian interference was designed to destabilize, divide and weaken Ukraine. So the best response is to stay united, and keep working toward the prosperity and stability that come from sound economic policies," the EU is confident.
At the same time, Dombrovskis assured that the EU is ready to support Ukraine in doing this.
"We urge all reform-oriented political factions to come together and give a clear signal of Ukraine's determination to make its reform path irreversible. This will be one of the main messages that I will convey to Prime Minister Shmyhal. The EU is helping Ukraine to create the right conditions for prosperity and peace. Ukraine has our support: political, financial and technical," he said.