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Media: EU considers Ukraine has implemented four of seven required criteria for membership talks

Ukraine has fulfilled four EU criteria by reforming its judicial selection process, aligning anti-money laundering laws, and improving media legislation to EU standards.
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Ukraine, EU flags on Kyiv’s central street Khreshchatyk. Credit: giz.de
Media: EU considers Ukraine has implemented four of seven required criteria for membership talks

According to an internal European Commission document obtained by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the EU considers Ukraine has fully met four of the seven criteria required to start EU accession talks.

According to the internal document cited by RFE/RL the fulfilled criteria are:

  • The adoption of legislation on a selection procedure of the Constitutional Court judges is in line with Venice Commission recommendations.
  • The completion of integrity vetting on candidates for the High Council of Justice and the establishment of the High Qualification Commission of Judges.
  • The alignment of anti-money laundering legislation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and the approval of a strategic plan to reform the entire law enforcement sector.
  • The alignment of Ukraine’s media sector legislation with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

However, the document says three other criteria come with further recommendations from the European Commission for continued implementation. In particular, further strengthening the fight against corruption is not yet considered fully complete. Here, the Commission expected the appointment of a new head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).

The document states that Ukraine should still adopt a law to increase NABU’s staff and remove legal provisions limiting the National Agency on Corruption Preventing (NACP) powers to extend verification of already verified assets.

Regarding limiting the excessive influence of oligarchs, also expected from Kyiv, it says that Ukraine should still adopt a lobbying law in line with European standards.

Ukraine’s Parliament approves immediate asset declaration disclosure

On reforming legislation on minorities per Venice Commission recommendations, it notes not all were implemented, and Ukraine should introduce the remainder mentioned in the June 2023 opinion and its subsequent October 2023 opinion, in particular by amending the laws on the state language, media, and education.

The European Commission is set to present its assessment of Ukraine’s progress in meeting EU membership criteria on 8 November, according to three officials who spoke to Reuters.

The evaluation will be included in the Commission’s annual report detailing candidate countries’ advancement in fulfilling necessary economic, legal, and other benchmarks.

A decision on whether to open formal accession talks with Ukraine is expected at an EU summit on 14-15 December.

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