EU Delegation statement on "the visa-free regime" day (8 October) in the Verkhovna Rada (08/10/2015)

The EU Delegation notices with great interest the decision by the Verkhovna Rada to dedicate its 8 October plenary session to the adoption of legislation addressing some of the outstanding benchmarks of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP). The EU continues to stand by Ukraine in this process, with visa liberalisation remaining an important common objective.

The progress of reforms in the area of the fight against corruption remains a key priority for achieving visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainian citizens. In this regard, valid concerns expressed by civil society and experts as to the composition of the Selection Committee for the Anti-corruption Prosecutor Office should be urgently addressed. The independence of the Office of Anti-corruption Prosecutor should be further safeguarded. Clear selection criteria for its staff as well as non-discretionary rules for the appointment and dismissal of its Head should be ensured.

In this context, it is also important that the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday adopts a number of other laws, which address outstanding recommendations in the framework of the visa liberalisation process. These include the establishment of an Assets Recovery Office, for which the draft submitted by government seems to be a good basis for further work, improving seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime, and the amendments on the Law on financing of political parties in line with Venice Commission recommendations.

In this context, it is also important that the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday adopts a number of other laws, which address outstanding recommendations in the framework of the visa liberalisation process. These include the establishment of an Assets Recovery Office, for which the draft submitted by government seems to be a good basis for further work, improving seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime, and the amendments on the Law on financing of political parties in line with Venice Commission recommendations.