Ukraine has some work to do to pass judicial reforms to get EU’s next 1.5 billion euro aid package

The European Commission pointed out to Ukraine the unfulfilled conditions for reforms in 2023
The European Commission pointed out to Ukraine the unfulfilled conditions for reforms in 2023

The European Commission is concluding its assessment of unfulfilled conditions Ukraine must meet by the end of the EU’s Macro-Financial Assistance+ program in 2023.

Successful compliance with these conditions will pave the way for the disbursement of the final tranche of 1.5 billion euros in December, said Alberto Fernandez-Diez, Head of the Trade and Economic Department at the EU Representation in Ukraine.

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Many of these conditions deal with rule of law, including strengthening the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) and changes in the selection of judges in Ukraine.

The selection of judges for both SAPO and the judiciary involves the approval of bills passed on Nov. 21 in the first reading: draft laws No. 10140-d amending the law on the judicial system and the status of judges, and some legislative acts aimed at improving judicial career procedures; and No. 10060 on enhancing the institutional independence of SAPO.

"We view macro-financial assistance not only as a tool to help Ukraine overcome balance of payment difficulties but also as a way to encourage and stimulate reforms, which have become more pressing since Ukraine became a (EU) candidate country last year,” said Fernandez-Diez.

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The Ukraine Facility program, totaling 50 billion euros for 2024-2027, is currently in preparation and will also link funding to reform. Specific conditions will be outlined in the so-called Ukraine Plan.

"The conditions reflected in the Plan, in essence and content, will not differ from what we already have in the macro-financial assistance field... This will mark the beginning of a new era, a new epoch, so to speak, of Ukraine's 'conditionality,' closely linked to the country's path to EU accession.”

Ukraine and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2023, providing Macro-Financial Assistance amounting to 18 billion euros disbursed in tranches.

The European Commission disbursed the tenth tranche on Nov. 22.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine