President of European Council: Fight against corruption, macro-financial aid, visa liberalization program conditioned on comprehensive judicial reform
Ukraine has committed to the fight against corruption and comprehensive judicial reform under the Association Agreement, and these are important conditions for a coordinated macro-financial assistance program and visa liberalization process, European Council President Charles Michel said.
"Important progress has been made under your leadership, President Zelensky. Much still needs to be done, especially on the rule of law, judicial reform and fight against corruption. Ukrainian citizens deserved a judicial system that respects and enforces the rule of law that is accountable and independent from vested interests and that demonstrates there is no immunity for corruption," he said during his online speech at the Ukraine 30. Progress of Justice forum at the Schastia checkpoint, where he is staying on a visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday.
Michel said that these are key conditions to ensure the Ukrainian people's trust in judicial institutions, and this is of paramount importance to improve the Ukrainian business climate and to attract foreign investments.
"Ukraine has committed to the fight against corruption and comprehensive judicial reform in the framework of the Association Agreement. These are important conditions under the recently agreed macro-financial assistance program and the visa liberalization process," the European Council President said.
Michel said that the recent decisions by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine only stressed the need to step up the judicial reform efforts.
"Comprehensive judicial reform is urgently needed to reboot the main judicial government bodies and to establish a new transparent and merit-based election procedure for judges at the High Council of Justice. These are complex, difficult reforms that require courage and strong leadership," he added.
The President of the European Council said that the EU has consistently supported Ukraine on this reform path, and is going to continue by providing advice and financial support.
"Dear President Zelensky, dear friends, the EU will support you at every step of the way in your courage and determination to progress towards the rule of law and a reformed judiciary system," Michel said.