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“Ukraine is doing everything to strengthen the fight against corruption,” EU official says

Věra Jourová, EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency, acknowledges Ukraine’s headway in anti-graft for EU accession, but points to the essential task of passing a lobbying law as the next step.
Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency in Kyiv on 27 November. Credit: Ukraine Goverment Portal

Ukraine is building an effective anti-graft system as it seeks EU membership, Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, said at a briefing in Kyiv on 27 November. Jourová said she sees real improvement from 2017 when anti-corruption efforts appeared lacking.

“I did not feel the energy and strong intention. Now I am in a totally different state, compared with 2017,” Jourová stated. “I think that Ukrainians are fed up with old Ukraine, and they want a new system.”

Jourova believes Ukrainians now desire well-functioning institutions that prosecute corruption “at all levels.” Still, she acknowledged more work ahead, including passing a lobbying law. “Good laws, strong institutions, and the right people doing the jobs (are needed). I have a very strong feeling that now it’s in place,” Jourova commented.

The Vice-President also cautioned the EU must consider its “absorption capacity” when adding new members. Some adaptation of the system may be required, she said.

Jourová also met with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to discuss Ukraine’s EU membership negotiations, Russia’s accountability for war crimes in Ukraine, and joint efforts with the EU to establish a framework for confiscating frozen Russian assets.

Earlier, European Council President Charles Michel vowed to support Ukraine and Moldova in their efforts to start EU membership negotiations in December.

The upcoming EU summit on December 14-15, with a focus on the bloc’s expansion, is considered important for advancing negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

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