Several leading MEPs made a statement on the consequences of the ruling of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court with regard to several provisions on the prevention of corruption and of the Ukrainian criminal code. They expressed their great concern about the decision. The statement was signed by the following European deputies: Michael Gahler (Germany, EPP), EP standing rapporteur on Ukraine; Andrius Kubilius (Lithuania, EPP), Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly; Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (Poland, S&D), European Parliament’s shadow standing rapporteur on Ukraine; Petras Auštrevičius (Lithuania, Renew Europe), European Parliament’s shadow standing rapporteur on Ukraine; Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (Germany, The Greens/EFA), European Parliament’s shadow standing rapporteur on Ukraine; and Sandra Kalniete (Latvia, EPP).
According to a press release of the European Parliament, these deputies learned with great concern about the 27 October ruling of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court, which declared several provisions of Law No 1700-VII of 14 October 2014 on the prevention of corruption and of the Ukrainian criminal code to be unconstitutional.
“Considering that Law No 1700 is one of the cornerstones of Ukrainian anti-corruption policy, we are extremely worried by the legal void that the ruling has created. We therefore call on the Ukrainian government and legislator to act as soon as possible to fill the legal gap left by the Constitutional Court’s ruling and swiftly reinstate a fully operational, effective and comprehensive institutional architecture to fight corruption, including in the judiciary, while fully preserving the latter’s independence from the executive and legislative power. In such a context, we underscore that a fully empowered National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption plays a crucial role and the Constitutional Court’s ruling should not be used as a pretext to weaken or sideline it.
We do not need to remind the Ukrainian authorities that delivering tangible results in the fight against corruption is essential in order to maintain a high level of support for the reform process among citizens as well as to improve the business environment and attract foreign direct investments. Furthermore, more decisive action in the prevention of and the fight against corruption is among the essential preconditions for the EU support to Ukraine and reflects precise and concrete commitments made by Ukraine in the context of the Association Agreement, the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation and the loan agreement for the provision of Macro Financial Assistance. Among others, Ukraine specifically undertook to put in place a fully operational system for the verification of assets and potential conflicts of interests of public officials in areas and positions most vulnerable to corruption. We now expect Ukraine to fulfil such obligations as rapidly as possible.
We welcome Ukraine’s aspiration to deepen its cooperation and integration with the EU, but we also need to remind Ukraine that EU assistance and any advancement in the cooperation with the EU are subject to strict conditionality. In order to benefit from a more ambitious set of measures, Ukraine needs to show a continued commitment to reform and adherence to the Union’s principles. Any backsliding, particularly in an area as sensitive and important as the fight against corruption, is to be avoided. We therefore welcome initial reactions by President Zelenskyy who initiated legislation in this regard. We also trust our colleagues in the Verkhovna Rada who have on numerous occasions demonstrated their will to stay firm on the implementation of the anti-corruption reform agenda.”