The initiative constitutes the most comprehensive and robust international support effort in the fight against corruption in Ukraine. A programme office in Kyiv in charge of the implementation of the initiative has officially started working today.
On this occasion Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn:
"We know that for a vast majority of Ukrainian citizens corruption is perceived today as one of the most pressing concerns. Genuine progress in this area would also help to mobilise the support for reforms in other areas. Therefore, the EU has decided to launch this initiative together with Denmark. Next to this initiative, the EU is expecting that other important steps in the area of anti-corruption fight would be implemented as soon as possible: vigorous investigation and fair trials of high-level corruption cases, effective verification of e-declarations or the establishment of specialised anti-corruption courts – just to name few of these priorities."
The Danish Minister of foreign Affairs, Mr. Anders Samuelsen, who just returned from his first visit to Ukraine, said:
"Denmark strongly supports Ukraine and the Ukrainian reform process. Corruption impedes the progress and potential of Ukraine and is an obstacle for businesses and citizens. Therefore we are happy to lead this initiative and take on the responsibility. I believe the political will to take on the problem is there, and with the new programme office we take an important step in the fight against corruption in Ukraine.
Denmark brings experience to the table – we are no. 1 on Transparency International's list. That gives us legitimacy in this field. I recently met with the international staff selected to run the programme office in Kyiv and I am impressed. They are very competent and dedicated and bring with them important anti-corruption experience from Lithuania, Georgia and Ukraine.
Denmark invites all relevant partners to cooperate with us and make this initiative a success.”
The objective of the EU Anti- Corruption Initiative is to strengthen the capacity of the newly created anti-corruption institutions and to enhance external oversight over the reform process by the Verkhovna Rada, civil society and the media. The initiative has three elements:
1. The EU Anti-corruption initiative will boost the capacities of the newly created anti-corruption institutions to investigate, prosecute and sanction corruption. This concerns the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office, the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and the Asset Recovery and Management Agency. In addition, the new Anti-Corruption courts, once established, as well as the State Financial Monitoring Service will benefit from the initiative. The programme will make available a range of support adapted to the needs of the beneficiaries. It will include not only expertise and training but also substantial IT support.
2. The EU AC initiative will strengthen the capacity of the Verkhovna Rada's Anti-corruption committee to scrutinise corruption-related legislation and to monitor reform implementation. An Advisory Board of international experts will be created to help the Rada with this task.
3. The EU AC initiative will foster the involvement of civil society and the media in anti-corruption initiatives, in particular in the regions. It will support local authorities which back real change and are ready to cooperate with civil society organisations to put in place a full range of anti-corruption measures in the municipalities. The process of identifying these municipalities will take place during the initial months. Civil society will be supported through grants.
The initiative with a duration of three years is supported by the European Commission with €15 million and by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with €1,34 million.
The programme office will be led by Ms. Eka Tkeshelashvili and be co-located with the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Kyiv with which it will closely cooperate, notably through an embedded international expert.
For more information, contact:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Ms. Dorte Bryde, ph. +45 5077 8698
Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Mr David Stulik, ph. + 380 44 3908010 1503