The European Union (EU) demanded today an official explanation from Ukraine on the postponement, until 2017, of the already approved Finance Act of the electronic filing of public officials” income.
Jurgis Vilchinkas, head of press of the EU mission in Kiev, said that knowing from open sources that the law of the 2016 State Budget introduced changes to the law “On Prevention of Corruption’ caused displeasure in that embassy.
Quoted by the publication European Truth, Vilchinkas recalled that an essential requirement for the EU to grant a visa-free regime to Ukraine is the implementation of this measure during the present year.
The spokesman deplored that the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian unicameral parliament) postponed until 2017 the implementation of the anti-corruption measure.
‘We are studying the situation and we will be in contact with the authorities in Kiev on this issue’, he said, ‘warning that it the near future the official EU reaction to these changes in relation to the obligations of Ukraine in the near future will be made public.
Vilchinkas regretted that the budgetary legislation made a change and forced the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) to postpone the startup of the system of presentation and the publication of electronic statements from state officials and the local self-government until no earlier than January 1st, 2017.
European Truth reminded that in late December Kiev pledged to start the work of the NAPC and implement the electronic filing of civil servants in the first quarter of 2016.
Based on this commitment, it adds, the European Commission considered the report to be positive for Ukraine on December 18th.
A week later, however, the Parliament approved the budget, in which it postponed those statements at least until 2017, a measure that did not appear in the budget bill presented by the government, and was only made public in January, adds the publication.
Referring to this mess, the press service of the president Petro Poroshenko said that the president signed the document because the strengthening national defense, social benefits and cooperation with the International Monetary Fund depended on it.
‘Aware of the limitations of the state budget adopted by the Verkhovna Rada for 2016, the President signed the corresponding Law of Ukraine’, recognizes the note circulated to the media.
For his part, the president of the legislature, Volodymyr Groisman, said on Facebook that the amendment postponing for a year the start of the new financial control system was introduced in the Budget Committee of Parliament.