EU official: Ukraines progress in EU integration depends on existence of impartial judiciary
In order to succeed on its path towards obtaining the membership in the European Union, Ukraine needs to conduct comprehensive reforms of the judicial system, European Commissioner Günther Herrmann Oettinger has said.
During the debate on Ukraine, in particular on the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the former government, in Strasbourg on Thursday, the European commissioner said that if Ukraine wants to reach a political association and economic integration with the European Union, the EU, in turn, wants to see an independent judicial system in Ukraine.
"This is one of the conditions that will allow making progress in other areas. We expect that Ukraine will change their [judicial] system, and will have impartial justice, which is guaranteed by the Constitution. And I believe that Ukraine's further progress on the path to the EU will depend on this. It (the further progress) will depend on the respect for human rights, principles of democracy and rule of law, " he said.
Oettinger noted that this position is also part of the European Neighborhood Policy.
According to the European Commissioner, a meeting of the Cooperation Council will take place soon, which will put a number of important questions to Ukraine.
"And there will be a clear message about what we expect to see in the reform in this (judicial) area. We welcome the fact that Ukraine wants to complete the talks on an association agreement by the end of the year. However, Ukraine should take the necessary steps to reform the judicial system and fight corruption, " he stressed.
Oettinger also assured that Ukraine will not be left alone in this matter and that the EU will render its assistance.