Council of Europe welcomes Ukraine's progress against corruption

Council of Europe welcomes Ukraine's progress against corruption
Ukrainian Flag is raised at the EP building in Strasbourg. Credit: EP Photo

The Council of Europe on Friday hailed the progress made by parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors in Ukraine in the fight against corruption, which is central to Ukraine's EU accession hopes.

In a report published on Friday, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) welcomes the fact that the country has "satisfactorily implemented or addressed 15 of the 31 recommendations" addressed to it, "although there is still work to be done."

"GRECO would like to acknowledge Ukraine’s deep commitment to its work at an extremely difficult time for this member state, which is immersed in a war of aggression declared by the Russian Federation," a Council of Europe statement said.

"This period of conflict has forced the country to adopt martial law, declare a state of emergency and adjust its priorities. In such a context, it is remarkable that Ukraine has nevertheless continued its work on implementing GRECO’s recommendations," the Council of Europe continues.

GRECO states that the current level of compliance with the recommendations is no longer "generally insufficient" as it was after a previous report dated April 2022. It urges Ukraine to present the measures taken to implement the remaining recommendations by the end of March 2024.

Ukraine was rocked earlier this year by a major scandal involving alleged corruption in army procurement, which was followed by the sacking of politicians and many police searches of implicated officials.

As previously reported, the case was about inflated prices in the contracts for the supply of food to the army. It was disclosed by investigative journalists and led to actions by the authorities. Investigative journalism has become a line of defense against corruption in the middle of the war.

The Ukrainian authorities insist that the fight against corruption is a priority, in a context where the war effort is largely dependent on European and US support. The EU has made the fight against corruption a condition for Ukraine’s accession to the European bloc.

The Council of Europe is an international organisation founded in the wake of the Second World War to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

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