The European Parliament (EP) has approved a resolution regarding Ukraine's implementation of the Association Agreement. Thus, 526 deputies voted "for", 79 against, and 71 abstained. The speaker on Ukraine was a deputy from the group of the European People's Party Michael Haller from Germany, reports the agency Interfax-Ukraine. has highlighted the main points.
Parliament recognized Ukraine's European aspirations, welcomed its European choice, also recognized the significant progress that Ukraine had made in the reform process, and welcomed the results that had already been achieved in the implementation of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
"Ukraine has a European perspective in accordance with Article 49 and can apply to join the Union, provided that it adheres to all Copenhagen criteria and principles of democracy, respects fundamental freedoms, human and minority rights and supports the rule of law," the resolution says.
EU resolution on Ukraine: corruption, courts, reforms, and oligarchs
The document contains a lot of criticism of Ukraine, as it concerns corruption that inhibits reforms, the lack of political will to ensure the independence of the courts, and so on.
The EP indicated that despite the success in fulfilling the obligations associated with the Union, the country needs to complete reforms in the field of the rule of law and the fight against corruption.
"Despite notable progress, widespread corruption continues to hamper the reform process in Ukraine, and the ongoing constitutional crisis poses a threat to the ability of the President and the Verkhovna Rada to carry out reforms," the spokesman said, adding that the oligarchs still have political influence and no action is taken in the country regarding this.
The resolution also states that the potential of the reforms being carried out is not being implemented, and that is due to the dynamics of the process and various institutional problems, as well as with internal institutional instability, lack of clear guidelines, weak potential, and the impact of the pandemic. Moreover, the lack of political resolve to accept and ensure the full independence of judicial and economic institutions and the non-admission of the justice selective use also affects the situation.
Haller also recalled the work of the Verkhovna Rada, saying that the pace of legislative activity, especially in the second half of 2019, for the rapid implementation of the reform, was especially continuous, and that sometimes caused damage to parliamentary control, transparency and the quality of legislation.
At the same time, the EP proposed to develop and introduce a monitoring mechanism for the implementation of reforms in Ukraine that will include clear benchmarks, recommendations and principles of conditions.
Local elections, war, security, and social services
The resolution also recalled local elections, pointing out that local party organizations, candidates and members of election commissions failed to properly prepare for the registration of candidates.
The EP also argues that in Ukraine there is no progress in criminal proceedings regarding serious human rights violations allegedly committed by members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as a delay in the investigation of crimes related to the Maidan.
The Parliament also once again recalled that it supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and the actual occupation of certain regions in the east by Russia. They also added that they will continue to apply restrictive measures against individuals and legal entities involved in this violation of international law.
At the same time, the overall security situation worsens the situation in the country (disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks and other hybrid threats). The resolution also reminds of the press freedom, where it is necessary to loosen the oligarchs' grip on the media, encourage editorial independence and fight impunity for crimes of violence against journalists.
"The EP regrets that the political climate in the country has deteriorated when intimidation, hate speech and political pressure are widely used for political purposes; urges the authorities to strongly condemn and ban the activities of extremist and hateful groups and websites, such as the Peacemaker (Mirotvorets), that create tension in society and misuse the personal data of hundreds of people, including journalists, politicians and members of minority groups," the resolution states.
It also mentions gender equality, LGBT, and Roma. The EP believes that Ukraine does not fulfill the tools in the social sphere, despite the undertaken obligations.
Authorities reaction to the resolution of the EU and Ukraine
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called the resolution adoption by the European Parliament as evidence of the high level of relations between Ukraine and the European Union. He wrote about this on his Twitter page.
«The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Michael Haller's report on Ukraine. 526 voted in favor. This is another evidence of the high level of relations between Ukraine and the European Union. We are grateful to the European Parliament for the positive assessment of Ukraine's fulfillment of its European integration obligations.»
The Prime Minister of Ukraine
The adopted resolution was also reacted on at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thus, it was reported that the Ministry would take into account the recommendations regarding the completion of the initiated reforms, in particular in the areas of the rule of law, proper governance and the fight against corruption.