Tag Archives: corruption

Little interest in EU-Ukraine Summit amid Brexit crisis in UK

At the 20th summit between the European Union and Ukraine, leaders discussed next steps in the implementation of the Association Agreement and the EU’s support for Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda.

Following the summit, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, issued the following statement, with the major accent on reform programme and anti-corruption measures:

“…We agreed on the importance of continuing and accelerating reform efforts, in particular in  the fight against corruption, which is a concern for Ukraine’s citizens and businesses. While noting the establishment of new legislative and institutional anti-corruption framework in Ukraine and the work already done in the fight against corruption, in particular by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), we agreed on the need for continued efforts in the reform of the judiciary and prosecution to strengthen the rule of law in Ukraine..” – the text of the statement says.

“In this context, we welcomed the adoption of the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court as an important step forward in the fight against corruption. We looked forward to the swift adoption of the necessary amendments ensuring its jurisdiction on appeals of relevant first instance court decisions. We welcomed the intention to make the court fully operational by the end of the year…” – the statement continues.

Dutch Parliament blocks Albania EU accession talks

The Netherlands is blocking the opening of negotiations with Albania on joining the European Union. A majority of the House of Representatives gave a clear opinion to the upcoming meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels on June, 25.

The decision did not come as a surprise, because Dutch lawmakers have already expressed serious concerns with organised crime and corruption in Balkan country.

“We have serious concerns about the fight against corruption and organized crime,” said Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok. “More progress needs to be made on these points first.” However Blok does not close the door for Albania to join the EU in the future.

The parliamentary factions of VVD, CDA, CU, PVV, SP and 50Plus are “forbidding” the government to agree on negotiations with Albania on accession, The Telegraaf newspaper reports.

Three of the four government parties, including liberal-conservative VVD, the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well three opposition parties, have indicated that the progress of the Albanian government has not been sufficient to discuss the opening of negotiations. Subsequently Rutte has no mandate to accept the talks opening during upcoming European Council the end of this month, as it was previously planned by the EU officials.

The situation with Northern Macedonia (Severna Makedonia) is complex due to the name change, but there is no similar block imposed to restrict Rutte movements.

However there is a word in Brussels, that contrary to the EU officials plans, Austrian government will block the accession talks with N.Macedonia.

Albania occupies 91 place among 180 countries in corruption index of Transparency International.




Juncker trades barbs with Rome

The first step of newly appointed Italian government started with criticism of the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker remarks on management of the poorest regions of Apennine peninsula.. “More work, less corruption” – is the top EU executive piece of advice to Rome new strategists for regional cohesion. However the concept  of the president was met with indignation by Matteo Salvini, the head of  the Eurosceptic Lega party, and newly appointed deputy prime minister, pushing Juncker to present his “deep regrets” for presuming Italians in the south are corrupt and lazy.

On Friday, EU Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva said that president Juncker’s words had been interpreted in “a misleading way, because President Juncker loves Italy.” However the struggle in defence of the image of southern Italians was not limited to reactions from Rome – the president of another EU institution, the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani demanded the president of the Commission to withdraw his comments on Italy.


MEPs scrutiny of corruption allegations in Malta

On Thursday, January 25, MEPs from the Civil liberties committee and the Panama Papers special committee, which concluded its work by the end of 2017, will discuss the outcome of their recent visit to Malta to investigate the rule of law issues in the country as well as allegations of corruption and money laundering. The MEPs’ delegation led by Portuguese Socialist Ana Gomes (pictured) would now present its report and recommendations to the Committee of Civil Liberties and pursue “continued dialogue with the European commission in the run-up to an article 7 procedure”, a formal audit of the rule of law in an EU member state.

MEP Ana GOMES (S&D, Portugal) who led the delegation to Malta to draw the report, ahead of the hearing said:

From Strasbourg plenary



Saakashvili march to impeach Poroshenko

More than 1,000 supporters of the Odessa Region’s former Governor Mikheil Saakashvili, who is also the leader of the Movement of New Forces, participate in a “march for impeachment” in central Kiev on Sunday.

The protesters gathered at about 13:00 Moscow time in a park to head for the central European Square, according to TASS News agency.

The opposing politician leads the protesters along the boulevard, which the police had blocked from traffic. The people are chanting: “Impeachment,” “No to corruption, No to Poroshenko,” “Impeachment instead of revolution,” “Kiev, stand up!”

“December 3 will be the beginning of ‘popular impeachment’”  – two weeks earlier Saakashvili saidBefore December 3, we promised to continue to do what we have started to do.”

“December 3 is Day X for all of us. Let us get organized. I will be travelling across the country to raise people peacefully” – Saakashvili announced. Apart from that, Saakashvili said he is ready to come at the head of Ukraine’s new government, if need.

“Ukraine urgently needs new authorities, a new government. We must form that government together. I am ready to do it together with you,” he said. “I am ready to take the leadership of this process with you, I am ready to come at the head of this government, if need be.”


Anti-corruption protestors jailed in Russia

A Russian court has sentenced opposition leader, and anti-corruption fighter Aleksei Navalny (pictured) to 30 days in jail for staging unsanctioned rallies at which an estimated 1 500 anticorruption protesters were detained.

The judge at the Simonovsky district court ruled early on June 13 that Navalny, who was detained outside his home in an outlying Moscow neighborhood on June 12 before the rallies started, repeatedly violated the law against unauthorized public gatherings.

Navalny supporters were detained by Russian riot police at rallies in Moscow, St. Petersburg (the majority of arrests), Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk, and Kazan on the Day of National holiday the 12th of June.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International issued a statement on the crackdown “demonstrates the authorities’ utter contempt for fundamental human rights,” while the United States called on Russia to release the demonstrators, saying their detention was “an affront to core democratic values.”

EU on Azerbaijan’s abduction of a journalist

“The alleged abduction and illegal arbitrary detention of Azerbaijani nationals, including human rights defenders, residing in Georgia followed by their arrest and prosecution in Azerbaijan, demands swift, thorough and transparent investigation.” – says the statement of the European External Actions Service.

“We welcome the launch of such an investigation in Georgia as announced by its leadership.” – continues the statement.

“A review by Azerbaijan of any and all cases of incarceration related to the exercise of fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression, and immediate release all of those concerned is urgent, in line with Azerbaijan’s international commitments.”

“We expect that the due process of law is respected, as well as the civil and political rights of citizens and those residing legally in states other than their own.”

‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”.

‘The European Union will continue to follow these cases closely.’

Afqan Muxtarli with his family fled to Georgia in 2015, fearing for their safety over his investigations into Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s  (pictured) alleged links to corruption.

Elcin Sadyqov, attorney of Muxtarli family,  claims his client was abducted in Tbilisi on May 29, tied up in a car, beaten by men in civilian clothing, and brought across the border into Azerbaijan.

Sadyqov said he saw bruises on Muxtarli’s face and forehead, his client complained of “severe pain” in the chest, suggesting that his ribs are broken.  Kidnapped journalist is sentenced to 3 months pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan.

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