2018 became the first year of full-fledged implementation of the EU- Ukraine Association Agreement which requires monumental and hard work that will gradually bring concrete positive results for citizens. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze during the presentation of the Report on the Implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in 2018. According to her, today it can be said confidently that the results of the implementation of the Association Agreement are tangible, and the benefits are noticeable.
"As compared with 2017, the progress in the implementation of planned tasks in 2018 increased by 11% and amounted to 52%. The tasks of the Agreement are gradually fulfilled, which were not implemented in previous years. As a result, the overall result of the Agreement is substantially increasing and is currently 42% of the planned tasks since the beginning of its implementation," the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.
According to the report, the most progress has been achieved in in such areas as entrepreneurship, agriculture, reduction of technical barriers to trade, social policy and labor relations, financial sector and energy. Moreover, over the past year, Ukraine has additionally fulfilled 10% of the commitments for 2017.
In 2018, Ukraine fulfilled almost 90% of its commitments on approximation to EU norms and practices in the field of entrepreneurship. In particular, in October, the Parliament adopted the Bankruptcy Code. The document not only increased the efficiency of bankruptcy procedures and the level of protection of the rights of creditors, but also regulated the procedure for restoring the solvency of individuals who were in a difficult financial situation. In addition, the system of monitoring and control of state aid to enterprises was established, and criteria for assessing state aid in various sectors of the economy were developed and approved. The official website of the Antimonopoly Committee, that became the first source of information about the purposes, form, volume and budget of state aid, kicked off work.
Last year, Ukraine continued the shift to international technical regulations, which would reduce non-tariff barriers to trade and improve the access of domestic industrial products to world markets. Also, important steps have been taken to develop and approve technical regulations, standardization and metrology, which are needed to sign the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA).From January 1, 2019, almost 11,000 obsolete standards developed before 1992 were abolished. Work is underway to bring Ukrainian legislation in line with European law and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade – World Trade Organization.
A lot has also been done in the area of social policy and labor relations, where the progress of the implementation of the Association Agreement is 70%. Changes in this area encapsulate the development of professional standards, the introduction of new approaches in the work of the State Employment Service and the introduction of uniform pension provision principles. Significant steps have been taken to ensure the protection of the rights of children and change the institutional care system, in particular the transition to bringing up children in the family or in the family environment. In 2018, Ukraine continued its work on the implementation of the principles of gender equality. Thus, the State Social Program for Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men for the Period up to 2021 and the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women were approved.
The greatest achievements in the field of justice, freedom and human rights were the adoption of the Law "On the High Anti-Corruption Court", which triggered the creation of a specialized court. In November 2018, the State Bureau of Investigations began its activities. On a competitive basis, the central unit was formed and the first criminal proceedings were opened.
In 2018, Ukraine significantly strengthened its institutional capacity to implement and monitor the Association Agreement. In order to accelerate the adoption of European integration bills, the Road Map of legislative support for the implementation of the Association Agreement wasapproved. As a result, 11 bills, 10 draft laws were approved in the first reading. In order to consolidate the irreversible course towards full membership in the European Union and NATO, last year striking amendments, that have recently approved by the Verkhovna Rada were made to the Constitution. In order to reform the security sector in accordance with EU and NATO standards and to introduce civilian control in this area, the Law of Ukraine "On National Security" was elaborated with the support of European experts. Ukraine received positive assessment of the work done during the year at the Ukraine-EU Summit in July and the Association Council in December.
At the same time, according to Deputy Prime Minister, not all results of the agreement implementation in 2018 were positive. "The insufficient institutional capacity of ministries prevents the fulfillment of the objectives of the Association Agreement on time. The presence of significant resistance of certain groups of interests reduces the effectiveness of the passage of European integration bills in Parliament. There is also an irresponsible attitude of the lawmakers concerning the European aspiration that have been claimed before", she said.
The least successful transformations are being carried out in the fields of transport infrastructure, postal and courier services (15%), public procurement (16%), the environment, education, training and youth (only 13% of the planned ones) and civil defense (22%).
"Ukraine's progress has enabled us to launch a real sectoral integration enshrined in the decision of the Ukraine-EU summit and the Association Council," Olga Stefanyshyna, General Director of the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration emphasized.
More information concerning report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in 2018 here.
This Report was prepared by the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and the Office of Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and experts of the European Union Project Association4U.