The European Commission considers four of the seven criteria for granting Ukraine the status of candidate for accession to the European Union to be fully met.
At the same time, the other three criteria have received recommendations from the European Commission for further implementation.
Source: Report on Ukraine – an internal document of the European Commission, which Radio Liberty obtained.
The European Commission believes that Ukraine has fully met the following criteria:
- Implementation of legislation on the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine following the recommendations of the Venice Commission;
- completion of the integrity check of candidates to the High Council of Justice and establishment 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;
- reform of the media sector – bringing Ukrainian legislation in line with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
At the same time, the other three criteria got recommendations from the European Commission for further implementation.
In particular, the further strengthening of the fight against corruption still needs to be considered fully completed. As part of this step, the European Commission expected, in particular, the appointment of a new head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and a director of the NABU.
The European Commission’s document states that “Ukraine should still adopt a law to increase the NABU’s staffing and remove from the law on corruption prevention the provisions that limit the NACP’s powers to continue verification of assets that have already been verified and limit the NACP’s powers to verify property acquired by declarants before entering public service.”
As for limiting the excessive influence of oligarchs, which Brussels also expected from Kyiv, the report said that “Ukraine should still adopt a law on lobbying in line with European standards.”
Concerning the reform of legislation on national minorities, under the recommendations of the Venice Commission, it is recalled that not all of them have been implemented.
The European Commission emphasizes the need to implement the remaining observations mentioned “in the report of June 2023 and its subsequent report of October 2023, particularly by amending the laws on the state language, media and education”.
According to unofficial reports, the European Commission is preparing to publish on November 8 a positive assessment of Ukraine’s progress in reforms for further movement towards the EU, but this assessment may contain additional conditions, as reported by Reuters.
A final decision is awaited during a Dec.14-15 summit of EU leaders on whether to launch formal membership talks with Ukraine, a top priority for Kyiv as it fights the Russian war invasion.
Ukraine is expected to get a favorable recommendation, possibly under additional conditions related to fighting corruption and ensuring the rights of minorities (Hungary flagged this issue).
On Monday, 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.