"We now expect the implementation of reforms to be accelerated so that Ukrainian citizens can fully reap the benefits of our partnership. Ukraine can count on the European Union's continued support in order to make this possible," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said.
The report was published ahead of the EU-Ukraine Association Council on December 8, 2017.
The EU says in the document that in the course of 2017, mechanisms for policy coordination, steering and monitoring of the implementation of the Association Agreement were being set up by the government, which led to uneven progress of implementation in various sectoral areas. Therefore, the report stresses the urgent need to streamline various reform tracks in Ukraine and accelerate the pace of implementation in 2018.
The report outlines that Ukraine has pursued the implementation of structural reforms, generating positive trends in the economic and social spheres despite internal and external challenges.
The year 2017 also witnessed important legislative developments in areas such as the electricity market, energy efficiency, environment, education and decentralization. Furthermore, key reforms such as pensions, healthcare and food safety were initiated.
Justice sector reform continued with the adoption of a new law on the Constitutional Court and the setting up of the new Supreme Court.
The report emphasizes that Ukraine has continued to advance measures to tackle corruption, but that further steps need to be taken in order for these measures to have tangible benefits. The electronic declarations of assets submitted nearly a year ago by high-level public figures and officials, for example, have yet to be analyzed.
The number of convictions when it comes to high-profile cases of alleged corruption also remains low; the rapid establishment of an anti-corruption court, in line with the recommendation of the Venice Commission, would be essential in this regard.
The report acknowledges the continued, resolute policy actions taken by the Ukrainian authorities, supported by international partners, which resulted in a consolidated stabilization of the economy.
"The European Union continues to fully support Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We condemn and do not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. The European Union also continues to support the diplomatic efforts to find a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine through the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements," the EU said.