The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko met with the Director-General for Neighbourhood and Negotiations of the European Commission Gert Jan Koopman and Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas. The meeting was attended by leaders and representatives of parliamentary factions and groups.
The main issue of the conversation was the implementation by Ukraine, in particular by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, of the European Commission’s recommendations and the discussion of the next steps to implement each of them.
“We are continuing our European integration path and we are grateful to the European Commission for the oral assessment of the part already completed. It was timely and important for our understanding of how we need to accelerate and intensify our efforts and in which areas we still have outstanding tasks,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.
At the same time, he elaborated on the next steps in the implementation by the Parliament of Ukraine of its part of the European integration track.
In particular, they discussed the recommendation to reform the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The First Deputy Speaker assured that in the near future the Parliament of Ukraine should adopt the Law on the competitive selection of candidates for the position of a CCU judge in the second reading, in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. After the document is adopted and signed by the President, the process of selecting these judges will begin.
Regarding the next recommendation, which concerns anti-corruption legislation, Oleksandr Korniienko stressed that the European Commission’s oral report identified only a small progress.
“Here we have to talk about intensifying the restoration of electronic declaration. This issue is being actively discussed in the Parliament. With regard to the implementation of the state anti-corruption programme, the Parliament is actively working with all the documents submitted by the Government for its implementation. They cover point changes that are important to implement,” said the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
According to Oleksandr Korniienko, the third recommendation on the fight against money laundering and the strategy for reforming law enforcement agencies is closely linked to the adoption of the Law on the Return of the Risk-Based Approach for Politically Exposed Persons, which is ready to be submitted to the session hall for adoption in the first reading.
The First Deputy Speaker also touched upon anti-oligarchic issues. He expressed hope that a document on the Antimonopoly Committee would be adopted by the end of July, “which is a very important stage in the implementation of the recommendations on anti-oligarchic legislation”.
Regarding the last recommendation on legislation on national minorities, Oleksandr Korniienko noted that the Parliament continues to work on identifying ways to implement the recommendations of the Venice Commission into European legislation.
He also thanked the representatives of the European Commission for the new macro-financial programme.
“The Parliament will be one of the key implementers of this programme on the part of Ukraine. After all, most of the reforms that we have to implement will be in the area of reforming Ukrainian legislation. And we are actively working on a certain internal reorganisation of the Parliament, which would allow us to do this more effectively,” the First Vice Speaker said.
Finally, he added that Ukraine, and the Parliament in particular, has always been attentive to all the recommendations of the European Commission, especially to the comments on their implementation.
After all, these are the steps that, according to Oleksandr Korniienko, “will help our progress towards the European Union after the opening of negotiations. They will help us to become more economically and socially sustainable and stronger to meet the high level of these criteria.”
For his part, Gert Jan Koopman, the Director-General for Neighbourhood and Negotiations of the European Commission, on behalf of the President of the European Commission, assured his Ukrainian counterpart of the continued support for Ukraine on its European integration path.
“It is a great honour for me and my colleagues to be here. As in any democracy, the parliament is the heart of democracy, and you have made every effort to ensure that this democracy continues to develop despite very difficult circumstances. We want Ukraine to be a part of the European family as soon as possible,” said Gert Jan Koopman.
He also commented on Ukraine’s implementation of the European Commission’s recommendations for full membership in the EU. In particular, according to him, Ukraine is “on a very good path”.
“You have done the impossible in these terrible times. But now is the time for the last push. There are still a few elements that are missing, and they are largely in the hands of the Verkhovna Rada,” said Gert Jan Koopman.
He also expressed the full readiness of the European Commission to assist in the path to full implementation of all recommendations for EU membership: “We want you to succeed. Let’s do everything we can not to lose this historic opportunity. Let’s move simultaneously on both the enlargement process and the restoration of Ukraine. This is a huge responsibility for you as representatives of the people. And we are here to help you and continue our dialogue.”
The meeting was also attended by Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, the Chairperson of the Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the EU, Vadym Halaichuk, the First Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, Yuliia Tymoshenko, the Chairperson of the All-Ukrainian Union “Batkivshchyna” parliamentary faction, Hryhorii Nemyria, the First Deputy Chairperson of the Committee and Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation, Iryna Gerashchenko, the Co-Chairperson of the European Solidarity faction, Yurii Boyko, the Chairperson of the Platform for Life and Peace parliamentary group, Oleksandra Ustinova, the Head of the GOLOS parliamentary faction, Mykola Kucher, the member of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy, Antonina Slavytska, the member of the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, and Anna Skorokhod, the member of the Committee on Energy, Housing and Utilities.