Less than three months after the European Commission first presented its proposal for cash-strapped Ukraine, the European Parliament agrees on a €1 billion loan to cover an external financing gap for Kyiv in 2018-2019.
According to the proposal, the funds will be disbursed in two tranches over 36 months, but only if the Ukrainian government follows through on certain key policy measures, which the Petro Poroshenko-led government has been reluctant to do up to this point
The Parliament insists that Ukraine must take a tough stance on enforcing anti-corruption measures, including setting up of and full implementation of an independent anti-corruption court before the disbursement of the macro-financial assistance loan – an emergency resource for EU neighbourhood countries who are struggling to pay their bills.
The European Parliamentarians have insisted that all three EU institutions – the Parliament, Council, and the Commission – issue a joint statement on policy conditions that Ukraine must fulfill after pace of reforms in the country of 45 million people has ground to a halt in the last two years and the fight against corruption has been stymied by both the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, and the office of the president.
The statement stresses that Kyiv must respect Europe’s democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system, the rule of law, and human rights as non-negotiable preconditions for the loan. In addition, the statement writes that the use of EU aid must help reduce poverty and create jobs in Ukraine, as well as help promote the rule-of-law.
“The purpose of this aid is to make the country more economically stable, and there are firm conditions in place to ensure that the money will serve this goal,” said Polish MEP and European People’s Party rapporteur Jaroslaw Walesa, adding that Ukraine has to take drastic measures to address corruption before the funds are delivered.
“I welcome with great satisfaction last week’s adoption of the law on the High Anticorruption Court in Ukraine…it means that Ukrainians take their commitment seriously,” said Walesa.
The European Affairs ministers and the General Affairs Council will discuss the matter further at a meeting on June 26.