December 9, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
– ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), translated from German by Tom Winter –
|“Court of Accounts” [Latin seal of Eu Court of Auditors]|
EU Court of Auditors Criticizes Help for Ukraine
The European Court of Auditors has called the enormous EU financial aid to Ukraine into question. In a report released today, the auditors criticize the support programs launched by the EU since 2007 as so far showing limited impact. As a result of the “inadequate success” in relation to corruption, the entire aid program could ultimately be put at risk.
“Government not sufficiently independent”
“Experts point out that the fight against corruption in Ukraine has been stymied because law enforcement agencies are not sufficiently independent of the government, and the oligarchs influence political parties,” it said.
By the year 2014 the limited rzeal for reform of the then Ukrainian government had been the cause. After the so-called Maidan revolution, progress had indeed taken place. However, the results of the new aid package of over € 11.2 billion remained fragile.
Crisis with Eastern Ukraine harms economy
The auditors, in addition to the excessive influence of oligarchs name the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine as one of the greatest difficulties. Because of it, the economic and financial challenges have dramatically intensified, it says. After a drop in economic output by 6.6 percent in 2014 and by 9.9 percent in 2015, 2016 is expected to be the first year with growth.
The Court calls for more pressure
As a consequence of the audit, the Court proposes to increase the pressure on Ukraine. For instance, “in cases where this is justified by a failure to make satisfactory progress in the reforms, the competent EU Commission should make use of the suspension of budgetary aid payments.” It is also recommended making the effective implementation of key reforms in the area of public financial management and the fight against corruption a condition for further EU aid.
In the audit period from 2007 to 2015, according to the auditors, the EU financial assistance included grants of EUR 1.6 billion and macro-financial assistance loans of EUR 3.4 billion. It includes the first payments from the € 11.2 billion package, which was announced in 2014 for the period up to 2020.