European Commission and European External Action Service published the report evaluating the implementation of reforms in Ukraine, saying there is a progress but noted need to accelerate implementation to reap full benefits. Progress in other areas has been less forthcoming, with accelerated implementation needed to bring about real change for the Ukrainian people. This was reported on the website of the European Commission in the 2nd Joint Association Implementation Report on Ukraine.
"Since last year's report, we have seen a number of long-awaited achievements. Our Association Agreement entered into force, and Ukrainian citizens were granted visa-free travel for short stay visits to the Schengen area. We now expect the implementation of reforms to be accelerated so that Ukrainian citizens can fully reap the benefits of our partnership. Ukraine can count on the European Union's continued support in order to make this possible,” said the High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini.
"We remain convinced of the fundamental commitment of the Ukrainian President, government and Rada to deep-seated reform of the country. Of course this has not been a straightforward process: corruption is deep-rooted and there are vested interests that need to be overcome; naturally there are setbacks along the way that we must contend with. We are at times critical, and we insist on certain conditions, yet we are aware of how much Ukraine has already changed, with much more having been achieved in the past three years than in the decades before that, and under very challenging circumstances. The European Union will stick with Ukraine," said the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.
The report outlines that Ukraine has pursued the implementation of structural reforms, generating positive trends in the economic and social spheres despite internal and external challenges. The year 2017 also witnessed important legislative developments in areas such as the electricity market, energy efficiency, environment, education and decentralisation. Furthermore, key reforms such as pensions, healthcare and food safety were initiated. Justice sector reform continued with the adoption of a new law on the Constitutional Court and the setting up of the new Supreme Court. The implementation of the Strategy on Public Administration Reform has advanced and the reforming of law enforcement bodies continues.
The report emphasises that Ukraine has continued to advance measures to tackle corruption, but that further steps need to be taken in order for these measures to have tangible benefits.
The report acknowledges the continued, resolute policy actions taken by the Ukrainian authorities, supported by international partners, which resulted in a consolidated stabilisation of the economy. As a result, in September 2017, after four years, Ukraine returned to the international capital markets raising over €2.5 billion ($3 billion) with a 15-year maturity. Thanks to the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, Ukrainian and EU businesses have received stable, preferential market access. Ukraine's overall trade with the EU increased by 28.4% in the period January–July 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
The European Union continues to fully support Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We condemn and do not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. The European Union also continues to support the diplomatic efforts to find a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine through the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
As it was reported earlier the Ambassadors of the G7 countries in Ukraine called renewal in 2017 of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) by filling all expired 13 seats, says the statement of the ambassadors.
The statement welcomes the adoption by Verkhovna Rada of the Electoral Code draft in the first reading.
"We congratulate the Verkhovna Rada for adopting the draft election code #3112-1 in the first reading. We agree that now is the time for electoral reform, allowing at least one year for implementation prior to the 2019 elections," the message says.