European Commission Marks Kyiv's Moderate Progress in Eurointegration

Mar 21, 2013, 05:25 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Ukraine increased its efforts to implement the priorities of the Association Agenda - a list of requirements the country needs to fulfill prior to signing the Association Agreement with the EU. Among the achievements, Ukraine started reforming its legal and judicial systems: the new Criminal Procedure Code and other important legislation entered into force, reads ENP [European Neighborhood Policy] Country Progress Report 2012.

The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published today the annual "neighborhood package", including the country report on Ukraine. The report mentions the 2012 developments and provides a set of recommendations for the future.

Among the main accomplishments European Commission names EU and Ukraine initialing the Association Agreement text, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, in March 2012. Moreover, Ukraine adopted a law on asylum and refugee status. The implementation of the legislation is described as poor, nonetheless. The country was also combating money laundering, organized crime, drugs, and trafficking in human beings. A number of Ukrainian students and researchers who benefit from different European education programs increased, points out the report.

"However, these steps were largely overshadowed by instances of selective justice and the conduct of the October 2012 parliamentary elections, which showed deterioration in some areas compared to standards previously achieved," reads the ENP report.

Among the other issues that deserve special attention, the report calls upon Ukraine to establish a reliable electoral system based on an Election Code. Moreover, Kyiv is invited to go back to the public procurement and budget transparency, which is thought to have been backsliding since 2012. While the progress was duly noted, stepping up efforts towards implementing the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization was also on the list of recommendations.

Ukraine actively fulfills the plan of priority actions for European integration, previously approved by the government, commented today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. "This plan includes 71 requirements, and to date the deadline for implementing six different steps approached, and those steps have already been fulfilled," stated the Acting Director of the MFA Information Policy Yevhen Perebyinis. In addition to these six steps, there are a number of requirements Kyiv implemented ahead of schedule, he added.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine