19 June, 2013 10:00 ▪
Ukraine fails to meet any of the Füle list requirements
“There is some progress on the one hand, but the level of it would lead to a negative decision on the signing if it was taken today,” said Oleksandr Suchko, Research Director for the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kommersant Ukraine reports.
Experts note that, while the government has demonstrated progress on some points, it has shown regress on others. There is some progress on four provisions, minimum progress on five, and zero progress on two.
Elimination of election legislation consequences, the new Code of Criminal Proceedings, anti-corruption efforts and expanded powers for the Audit Chamber got the highest estimates. Among other things, experts marked four anti-corruption laws the legislature passed in the past few months that are listed in the action plan to liberalize visa regime with the EU. They noted, however, that the acts were “far from perfection as they were passed hastily.”
“Pardon to former government members, Yuriy Lutsenko and Heorhiy Filipchuk, is a positive aspect,” Ihor Zhdanov, President of the Open Politics think tank, explained. “Without the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, however, this is obviously not enough to tick this provision with a bald plus mark.”
The government made minimum progress in the improvement of investment climate, preparation for the introduction of the free trade area with the EU, constitutional reform, as well as the reform of the judiciary and the Prosecutor’s Office.
Experts noted zero progress in the reform of law enforcement authorities, election code and practice, and independence of the mass media.
The authors of the report expressed concern with the fact that MPs Oleksandr Dombrovskyi, Serhiy Vlasenko and Pavlo Baloha were stripped of their mandates by the Higher Administrative Court.
“The situation with the mayoral election in Vasylkiv is a big concern,” Zhdanov noted. “It revealed heavy use of administrative leverage which could affect the outcome of the voting.”
Also, the report claims that the draft law to reform the election legislation “has some ambiguous and even dangerous innovations”, such as limitations on election campaign funds and control of money inflow to the funds of candidates in parliamentary elections.
Experts noted that the government should make progress on some provisions by September to sign the Association Agreement with the EU. Among other things, it should find a way to release Yulia Tymoshenko, hold fair elections in the five disputed districts where the Central Election Committee failed to fix the vote outcome, solve the conflict regarding the mandates of Serhiy Vlasenko, Oleksandr Dombrovskyi and Pavlo Baloha, set Kyiv mayor and city council elections, reform the election code and abolish the Law On the All-Ukrainian Referendum.
The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who was present at the roundtable was not enthusiastic about the experts’ conclusions.
“The signing of the Association Agreement is important but it is not worth putting ourselves into the zeitnot of three months,” Vsevolod Chentsov, Director of the EU Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said. “We are already fulfilling the association agenda, so far in the one party regime, but the signing will allow us to receive assistance from the EU.”
The EU office agreed with the monitoring results. “You say that Ukraine will hardly meet all 11 provisions by the November Summit,” Maria Yurikova, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, commented. “But I recommend you to not consider this option and mobilize your efforts instead. Then, the EU will trust Ukraine and support the Agreement.”
In December 2012, the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on Ukraine where it claimed ready to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine by the Vilnius Summit in November provided that Ukraine makes progress in the following three areas: compliance of the October 2012 parliamentary election and further actions regarding their outcome with international standards; progress in overcoming selective justice and prevention thereof in the future; and implementation of reforms listed by the parties in the agenda of preparation for the association.
On May 23, a two-hour hearing on the political situation and reforms in Ukraine took place during the session of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs in Strasbourg chaired by Elmar Brok (Germany, EPP). Brok noted that the EU outlined the requirements Ukraine should meet to sign the Association Agreement and that Ukraine should deliver a visible result by October.
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