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Candidate Check-3: Where Ukraine is in the implementation of 7 EU recommendations regarding candidacy
1 February 2023, 08:50

More than seven months have passed since Ukraine received EU candidate status with a number of recommendations to be fulfilled for further promotion to membership.

The New Europe Center in partnership with a number of specialized Ukrainian think-tanks and NGOs carried out the third independent monitoring of Ukraine’s implementation of EU recommendations. Please find the results of the “Candidate Check-1” (as of August 17, 2022) here and “Candidate-Check-2” (as of November 8, 2022) here.

OVERALL SCORE: 5.8 points (was 4.7).

Experts’ scores (on a 10-point scale):

  • Reform of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine – 2 points (was 3).
  • Reform of High Council of Justice (HCJ) and the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine (HQCJ)  – 7 points (was 6).
  • Anti-corruption: SAP (Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecution) and NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine) – 7 points (was 6).
  • Combating money laundering – 6 points (was 5).
  • Anti oligarch reform – 2 points (the score has not changed)
  • Media legislation – 9 points (was 6).
  • Legislation on national minorities – 8 points (was 5).

A brief summary of 7 reforms implementation by the New Europe Center:

After 7 months of candidacy, Ukraine has demonstrated progress in implementing 7 Euroreforms. Experts gave high scores in most areas, and there has been significant progress in almost every reform compared to the previous monitoring period (November 2022).

The success story of this monitoring is the resumption of the work of the High Council of Justice (HCJ), which was made possible by the election of 11 new members to this important judicial body in June 2022. The HCJ, which has not been authorized for almost a year, will now be able to appoint and dismiss judges, consider disciplinary complaints against judges, etc. To fully implement the EU recommendation, however, Ukraine needs to appoint 6 more HCJ members and select candidates for the High Qualification Commission of Judges (HQCJ).

An important step was also the adoption of two laws recommended by the EU – on media and on national minorities (communities), which are generally positively assessed by specialized experts. To fully implement the recommendations in these areas, the Ukrainian side still needs to take a few additional steps (to amend the law on advertising, to develop bylaws for the law on national minorities).

Less tangible, but confident steps towards the implementation of 7 recommendations have been taken in the areas of anti-corruption and law enforcement sector reform: the competition for the head of the NABU is ongoing; the SAP, NABU, and HACC have intensified investigations into top-level corruption; and a draft Overarching Strategic Plan for Reforming the Law Enforcement Sector of Ukraine has been developed.

However, a downgrade was made to the reform of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, despite the Verkhovna Rada’s adoption of a law introducing a competitive procedure for selecting judges to the CCU. The mechanism for selecting judges does not meet the criterion, and the EU and the Venice Commission have repeatedly called for its change.

Due to the absence of the Venice Commission’s opinion, which Ukraine has been expecting since 2021, the status of the anti-oligarch reform (implementation of the anti-oligarchic law) remains unchanged. Since November 2022, there has been no progress in the fight against money laundering.


The New Europe Center would like to express gratitude to partners who participated in the second independent monitoring of EU reforms implementation:

  • National Interests Advocacy Network ‘ANTS’
  • Anticorruption Action Centre ‘ANTAC’
  • DEJURE Foundation
  • European Pravda
  • Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPLR)
  • Transperency International Ukraine
  • Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
  • Detector Media

Experts involved:

  • Mykhailo Zhernakov, Stepan Berko (DEJURE)
  • Oleksandr Marusiak, Roman Smaliuk, Eugene Krapyvin (CPLR)
  • Anton Marchuk (ANTAC)
  • Oleksandr Kalitenko (TI)
  • Vadym Miskyi (Detector Media)
  • Serhii Sydorenko (European Pravda)
  • Yulia Tyshchenko (UCIPR)
  • Hanna Hopko (ANTS)

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