The European Commission noted that Ukraine continues to fulfill the criteria of the visa liberalization process; however, it also paid attention to the holding of the anti-corruption reform. It is stated in the report on the fulfilling of the demands of the visa liberalization by the countries of Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership.
According to the document, the stability of the reform remains to be a problem, particularly, the efficiency of the functioning of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP).
‘Maintaining and strengthening the independence as well as the effective functioning of NABU, SAP and the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) should be key priorities. Recent developments such as the introduction of tight time limits for pre-trial investigations, as well as the public disclosure of NABU's undercover investigations at the end of November by the General Prosecutors Office seriously undermine NABU's capacity to effectively conduct investigations and public trust in the anti-corruption institutions’, the document said.
Moreover, the absence of the court’s decisions on the cases that fall under the competence of the NABU and SAP also raises the concern. The European Commission thinks that the creation of the Anti-corruption court according to the criteria of the Venice Commission will eliminate these disadvantages.
Also, the diplomats noted that the recent incident with the search of Natalia Korchak disrupts the authority of the establishment and its ability to provide the results.
The European Commission gives a few recommendations to Ukraine due to this. Particularly, it is offered to provide the independence, efficiency, and stability of the fight against corruption by the creation of the Anti-corruption court, the provision and strengthening of the stability of the NABU and SAP, restore the confidence to the NAPK and create the efficient system of the check of the declaration.
Moreover, the recommendations concern other spheres. It is offered to Ukraine to activate the efforts in the fight against the organized crimes, including the allocation of the resources for the National Police of Ukraine; to strengthen the cooperation with the EU institutes to prevent the risks of the irregular migration and strengthen the information campaigns that aims to explain the commitments and rights of the Ukrainian citizens within the visa-free regime.
The draft law 'On anti-corruption courts' was registered in the Verkhovna Rada in February 2017. The MPs attempted to remove it from the hearing many times to register a new initiative but they failed to do this. The existing versions of the draft bill weren’t supported by the Venice Commission as some of the provisions appear to be unconstitutional.