Monitoring Ukraine's Accession into the EU

Supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

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Assessment of the state of integration into the EU for the "Month"
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Ukraine performed some harmonization of transport legislation before the full-scale war. However, the level of implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU in the transport sector was one of the lowest. Ukraine also showed little progress in the sphere during the past year. Among the important issues that remain to be resolved in transportation are implementation of EU rail and road acquis, establishment of a regulatory body in the rail transport, investigative bodies in rail and waterways transport, and enforcement of road safety measures.

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Ukraine has performed some preparation on enterprise and industrial policy, continuing its pre-war efforts regarding digitalization and deregulation. However, overall progress in the area has been limited in the last year. Looking ahead, Ukraine should specifically focus on outlining priorities for SME development and improving the business environment and investment climate in the coming year.

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Ukraine is currently in the initial stages of adapting rules and norms in the field of social policy and employment. Specifically, further steps are needed in building tripartite social dialogue. While some legislative changes have been previously adopted, their implementation has been delayed. Despite years of discussions on labor code liberalization, it has not been approved yet. Some changes have been incrementally introduced to enhance labor market flexibility during the full-scale war, and amendments to workplace safety regulations have been enacted. While there is increased talk about deconstitutionalization reform, corresponding steps have not been implemented yet. Crucial measures for initiating changes in this area need to be taken in the collection and disclosure of data, both regarding job vacancies and in the field of professional and technical education.

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Ukraine has made quite good progress in the field of digital transformation, given the wartime conditions of development. Due to military risks in Ukraine, access to open data has been limited. At the same time, the development of digital public services (DIIA Portal) is observed and the harmonization of cybersecurity legislation with EU standards is beginning.

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Ukraine is moderately prepared in free movement of goods and has a good level of reparation in the area of the customs union. Ukrainian legislation has been harmonized with EU legislation on quality infrastructure and several “new and global approaches” in relation to products that may be subject to a potential conformity assessment and acceptance agreement (ACAA). Despite the ongoing military aggression, Ukraine has made good progress in the customs union area in the reporting period, especially in alignment with the EU acquis. Ukraine is connected to the EU customs information system and uses the new computerized transit system (NCTS).
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Ukraine has successfully met two out of the seven conditions outlined by the European Commission for the judicial reform, a prerequisite for opening accession negotiations. However, the forthcoming steps need to address specific recommendations provided in its November report . These include finalizing the selection process for vacant positions in the Constitutional Court according to updated legislation, mitigating corruption risks in the Supreme Court by scrutinizing declarations of integrity and property, employing disciplinary measures, enhancing selection procedures with a focus on integrity and professional ethics, and establishing a new administrative court to handle cases involving central authorities. Achieving the rule of law in Ukraine hinges on their successful implementation.