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Media: EU believes Ukraine has implemented 4 of 7 steps needed for membership talks

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 7, 2023 1:55 PM 3 min read
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President Volodymyr Zelensky met in Kyiv on Nov. 4, 2023. (President's Office) 
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The European Commission believes Ukraine has fully implemented four of the seven steps required to start EU accession talks, according to an internal Commission document obtained by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

The EU's executive body is expected to issue its assessment of Ukraine's progress on Nov. 8, with several media outlets suggesting earlier that the report should be positive.

According to the internal document cited by RFE/RL, the European Commission sees the following criteria as fulfilled:

  • The adoption of legislation on a selection procedure of judges of the Constitutional Court in line with Venice Commission recommendations;
  • The completion of the integrity vetting of candidates for the High Council of Justice members and creation of the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine;
  • The alignment of anti-money laundering legislation with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and approval of a strategic plan for reforming the entire law enforcement sector;
  • The alignment of Ukraine's media legislation with the EU audio-visual media services directive.

The three remaining criteria — the fight against corruption, de-oligarchization, and the protection of national minorities — are not yet fully implemented, the European Commission wrote, according to the RFE/RL.

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The EU still reportedly expects Kyiv to appoint a new head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), adopt a law on increasing the staffing of the NABU and eliminate some restrictions for the National Agency on Corruption Prevention for inspections of assets and property.

Ukraine should also adopt a law on lobbying aligned with European standards to limit the influence of oligarchs and make some changes to the legislation on state language, media, and education, the media outlet wrote.

Ukraine officially applied for EU membership in late February 2022, just days after Russia began bombing Kyiv and other cities, starting an all-out war against the country.

Ukraine was granted candidacy status in June and presented with seven criteria it needs to fulfil in order to begin the talks. It often takes many years for candidate countries to have accession negotiations opened by the European Union.

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