понеділок, 22 квітня 2013 р.
Ukraine moves towards association with the EU, but the progress is insufficient
Today, there are certain threats in Ukraine that may prevent signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union. This statement the experts from the leading analytical centers, - they monitor fulfillment by Ukraine of the EU’s benchmarks for signing the Association Agreement - made on 22 April at the press conference in Kyiv. The event was held under support of the European Programme of the International Renaissance Foundation.
“The government started making certain steps to meet all 11 conditions laid down by the EU. However, it is early to speak of tangible results. We can see controversial trends, in particular, in the sphere of selective justice. Yuri Lutsenko’s release is a progressive step, but new cases have been initiated against Yulia Tymoshenko and there is no evidence of political will to resolve this issue,” said Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director of the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation.
“There are threats that could reduce to zero the positive trends. In particular, the attempts to amend the Constitution via referendum under the actual law in force, the attempts to transform the system of presidential election into a one-round system, or to open new criminal cases against representatives of the opposition – they can shoot down the Agreement,” said Valeriy Chalyi, Deputy Director General of Razumkov Centre. He calls to cancel the law on all-Ukrainian referendum or harmonize it with the Constitution of Ukraine and the European standards.
“In contrast to the publicly expressed EU expectations, the government drafts not the Electoral Code, but only a new law on election of people’s deputies. The law on election in five “problematic” single mandate constituencies should be passed soon. These elections must take place within the periods optimum for expression of citizens’ will – not during summer vacations”, said Ihor Kogut, Board Chairman of the Laboratory of Legislative Initiatives.
“Instead of drafting new bills on the Prosecutor’s Office and on the Judicial System and the Status of Judges till October we call the government to return to the bills drafted in 2011 by the National Commission on Strengthening Democracy and the Rule of Law that have already received very positive conclusions of the Venice Commission,” declared Mykola Khavroniuk, Director for Research from the Centre for Policy and Legal Reform.
“Besides adoption, laws should be implemented, inter alia, with proper funding from the state budget. At present, no funds are allocated from the budget for the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture, half of the needed funds are allocated for the system of the free legal aid,” mentioned Dmytro Shulga, Director of the European Programme, International Renaissance Foundation.
As it is known, Ukraine may sign the EU Association Agreement at Vilnius Summit in November, and that would provide for a potent push for reforms, economic development and welfare of the citizens. Signing of the document depends on Ukraine’s fulfillment of the requirements made by the European Union.