The European Commission (EC) welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s determination to fight the deeply rooted influence of vested oligarchic interests on the country’s life and expects the next steps in this direction.
The European Commission said this to the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Friday commenting the adoption of the law on de-oligarchisation by the Verkhovna Rada.
“We welcome President Zelensky’s determination to address the deeply rooted influence of vested oligarchic interests in the political and economic life of Ukraine,” the European Commission said.
The diplomats in Brussels underscored the adoption of the bill “On the prevention of threats to national security associated with the excessive influence of persons with significant economic or political heft in public life (oligarchs)” at the second reading in the Verkhovna Rada on 23 September. “This is a step forward. We expect the law to be implemented fully and with determination, in a legally sound manner. We believe that in addition to the implementation of the adopted law, more steps are needed, in particular to close Ukraine’s institutional gaps, to achieve the desired de-oligarchizing effect,” they noted.
At the same time the European Commission stressed that Ukraine “invested a lot of efforts into closing the space for corrupt practicing, by i.a. cleaning the banking sector and ensuring transparency of the public procurement.” “We encourage to continue these efforts in others sectors prone to corrupt practices,” the diplomats said.
They are convinced that “strengthening of planned and existing institutions (such as the rule of law authorities, including the court system; the Anti-Monopoly Committee; the public broadcaster; an independent press regulator among others) should stand at the heart of this fight to consolidate the rule of law, shore up the trust of Ukrainian citizens in public institutions and, not least, to unleash Ukraine’s economic potential for the benefit of all people of Ukraine.”
The European Commission has provided EUR 50 million in grants to support Ukrainian farmers for two years, Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement of the European Commission Katarína Mathernová has said.
She said at the Ukraine 30 Land forum on Monday that the European Commission has allocated EUR 50 million in grants, which will be distributed during two years, to support small farmers to help them acquire land.
The European Commission (EC) has approved the Council’s draft decision for the signing of the Agreement on the Common Aviation Space with Ukraine, said representative of Ukraine to the European Union, Ambassador Mykola Tochytsky.
“Long awaited good news: today EU Commission has re-approved the draft Council Decision on the signing of the Common Aviation Area Agreement. Looking forward to member-states’ support and swift conclusion of the Agreement,” the Ukrainian diplomat wrote on Twitter.
Next steps are the approvement by the Council of the EU and actual signing of the Agreement. The agreement will be signed between Ukraine, the EU and the member states.
The conclusion of the Agreement will contribute to the creation of a common aviation space between Ukraine and the EU based on common and reliable EU standards in the field of flight safety, air traffic control and consumer protection, the press service of the Mission of Ukraine to the EU reported on Facebook.
“It will also open new opportunities for our citizens and business as well as investments into Ukrainian aviation. Common Aviation Area will ensure the air operation in Ukraine in line with the EU standards on aviation safety, air traffic management and aviation consumer protection,” the Ukrainian diplomats said.
President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen recalled the difficulties with the launch of the production of vaccines against COVID-19.
“We all underestimated the difficulty for the industry of ramping up a complex mass vaccine production programme from nothing. I wish I had known that last autumn. I would still have been very pleased about the researchers coming up with the vaccine so much faster than predicted, but I would have warned that it could take several more months before it was available in large quantities,” she said in an interview with Die Zeit on Thursday.
Von der Leyen noted that delays in the terms of vaccinations are due to the EU’s careful approach to the vaccine registration process.
She stressed that at first, manufacturers could not fulfill large orders that were formed by different countries.
“Larger initial orders would have been impossible to honour – even if we had paid out billions extra for this. The current bottlenecks are due to the fact that producing a vaccine is extremely complicated and the start is often shaky. There is a limited supply of raw materials, supply chains for the completely new mRNA technology need to be established and, in addition, demand for these substances from all corners of the globe is extremely high,” Von der Leyen said.
She recalled that in early January, European countries faced a shortage of vaccines, so they increased their orders.
As reported, Minister of Health of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov left for to India to conduct direct negotiations with manufacturers on additional volumes of Oxford/AstraZeneca and NovaVax vaccines in 2021-2022 to the already contracted 12 million doses.
The European Commission intends to study and give its assessment to the law on the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, said Maya Kocijancic, spokeswoman for High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission Federica Mogherini.
We know that the Ukrainian parliament adopted a new law on language. Now we are waiting for the publication of the final version of this law in order to study its content, she stated at a briefing in Brussels on Friday.
At the same time, Kocijancic reminded that the EU constantly said that the Ukrainian authorities should send a law on language to be assessed by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe before it comes into force.
As reported, on April 25, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, passed as a whole a draft law on the Ukrainian language, which provides for the mandatory use of the national language by government agencies, local self-government and in other spheres of public life. Corresponding bill No. 5670-d on ensuring the use of Ukrainian as the national language passed its the second reading and was generally supported by 278 lawmakers at a plenary session of the parliament on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the European Commission has made a favorable decision on the provision of a first tranche of the fourth macrofinancial assistance of the European Union (EU) to Ukraine in the amount of EUR 500 million and thanked the European Commission for its decision. “Sincerely grateful to the European Commission for positive decision to disburse to Ukraine first tranche of the 4th EU macrofinancial assistance program in the amount of EUR 500 mln,” Poroshenko said on its Facebook page on Friday.