A Public Address to the EU Officials Calling to Establish Joint EU-Ukraine Body with Criminal Investigation Powers Over the EU Funds

It came to our attention that the EU Commission might be finalizing an official proposal for Ukraine to set up joint EU-Ukraine investigative agency to control the EU funds in Ukraine.

We, the undersigned organizations, commend this endeavor and welcome the EU initiative to deploy European detectives to Ukraine mandated to prevent and tackle potential misuse of the EU financial assistance.

In this regard, we think that these detectives should be vested with powers to conduct criminal investigations under Ukrainian law. In addition, the EU institutions should exercise financial and operational control over this investigative group.

The key to success of this body will be its independence from Ukrainian political establishment, which the current Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are lacking.

The National Anti-corruption Bureau (NAB) and Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecution Office are both at their early stages of establishment; it will take some time until those organizations are fully operational and start delivering results.

Ukraine is in the situation when the old post-Soviet law enforcement bodies are incapable to address the endemic corruption and for the upcoming institutions it will take a while until they are capable to perform.

Consequently Ukraine needs a temporary assistance from the EU supporting it during the transitional period.

We ask to help us jointly monitor the EU money invested into Ukraine and investigate through criminal procedure tools occasions of its possible misuse. We are grateful to the EU for its financial assistance to the fragile economy of Ukraine, however, we stress that there are no effective mechanisms on the ground to control and prevent possible abuses of the EU financial assistance.

The joint EU-Ukraine investigative team could become such effective mechanism to prevent potential abuses through impartial criminal investigations conducted jointly with the newly established anti-corruption agencies of Ukraine.

The joint EU-Ukraine investigative body will:

  • Establish a functional mechanism of control over the spending of the EU financial assistance by the state bodies of Ukraine, including funds disbursed by the EIB and EBRD;
  • Contribute to the process of building trust in society to the law enforcement agencies by exercising high standards of integrity, professionalism and impartiality and leading by example the other state bodies;
  • Serve as a mentoring scheme for the Ukrainian law enforcement bodies, such as NABU and specialized anti-corruption prosecutors, as the Ukrainian financial investigators will work with the EU investigators and embrace their practices;
  • Allow the leadership of Ukraine to prove by deeds their commitment to the rule of law state, effectiveness of use of the EU financial assistance as well as to disprove the recent corruption allegations.

We ask you for support for this initiative.

We, Ukrainians, are working daily towards transparent and the rule of law state, which is currently challenged by the endemic corruption and Soviet-style practices within law enforcement agencies.

Comparing to the financial assistance that the EU has disbursed for Ukraine, the joint-investigative body would probably require minor financial contribution.

However, we strongly believe that this body will make a tangible contribution into the establishment of the rule of law Ukraine and safeguard the most effective use of the EU financial assistance.

Thank you for all your support to Ukraine,

Yours sincerely,

  • Transparency International Ukraine, Oleksiy Khmara, Executive Director, ti-ukraine.org
  • Reanimation Package of Reforms, Horizontal network of over 150 civil society organizations and experts, platforma-reform.org
  • Media Law Institute, Taras Shevchenko, Director, medialaw.org.ua
  • Anti-corruption Action Centre, Daryna Kalenyuk, Executive Director, antac.org.ua
  • Centre UA, Inna Borzylo, Executive Director, centreua.org
  • Centre for Political Studies and Analysis, Viktor Taran, Director, cpsa.org.ua
  • Nashi Groshi, Oleksa Shalayskiy, Chief Editor, nashigroshi.org

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