Kristian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, will visit Ukraine in the next two days, where he will announce that Denmark has been selected to lead EU’s fight against corruption in Ukraine through a new program of DKK 120 million euro.
"I am very pleased that Denmark has been chosen to lead EU's efforts to support the fight against corruption in Ukraine. Corruption is a substantial challenge in Ukraine – in the daily lives of both businesses and citizens. Corruption damages the growth potential in Ukraine and creates distrust in politicians and institutions. This must be changed which requires political will and courage from the Ukrainian leadership. It is encouraging that the fight against corruption is a high priority for the Government of Ukraine.
Yet, Ukraine still has a long way to go and needs international expertise - Denmark is no. 1 of the least corrupt countries, and we have an open trust-based society. Ukraine is no. 130 and the most corrupt country in Europe. We would like to help Ukraine in their efforts to improve their position in close cooperation with Ukraine and our European partners. Basically it is Ukraine's future that is at stake - will Ukraine develop into a Western-oriented, democratic market economy or fall back into a Russian-oriented corrupt economy?" Kristian Jensen says.
EU's anti-corruption program will be presented on Friday, September 16, by Kristian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and EU Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, at a joint press conference.
Another important message from Kristian Jensen during his visit is that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine must not develop into Europe’s forgotten war.
"Ukraine is still facing Russian aggression since Ukraine decided to work for closer cooperation with Europe. That must not be forgotten. We support Ukraine's right to choose its own future without any pressure from Russia. The strongest response to Russia's aggression is a reformed and prosperous Ukraine. We must stand together with our EU partners and maintain the pressure on Russia, both politically and with sanctions. I will continue to put Ukraine on the agenda among my European colleagues, "says Kristian Jensen.
The objective of EU’s new program is threefold: 1) To strengthen the ability of Ukraine to prevent and combat corruption; 2) to strengthen the parliamentary supervision of the area; 3) to increase the involvement of civil society and media into the efforts. The program has not been fully formulated, and the specific initiatives are expected to be rolled out from the start of 2017.
Denmark will lead the planning and implementation of the program which has a volume of around 16 million Euros, from which Denmark contributes around 1,4 million Euros.
During his visit to Ukraine, Kristian Jensen will among others meet with the Prime Minister, the Minister for European Affairs, the Minister of Energy, anti-corruption institutions, civil society organizations and Danish companies. The Minister will also speak at the big YES conference in Kiev.
For further information, please contact:
Special Adviser Peter Hoyer, telephone: +45 61979042.