Prioritizing reforms “merit of Ukraine’s government” – EU Commissioner for Natural Resources

Prioritizing reforms “merit of Ukraine’s government” – EU Commissioner for Natural Resources

Ukraine has moved forward in implementing reform in the environmental sector but prioritizing any reforms is the merit of the Ukrainian government, not the European Commission.

That’s according to the European Commissioner for Natural Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius, who spoke at a press conference in Vilnius as part of the Ukraine Green Recovery Conference on Tuesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“I'm happy that on that chapter (Chapter 27 of EU acquis – natural environment), Ukraine has moved a step forward. And now, our evaluation is two out of five, which shows that progress is already made in the past year. So it means that Ukraine has gained speed in that. And I hope that speed can be kept and the implementation of the reforms continue,” said the European Commissioner.

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“But again, prioritizations of certain chapters, it very much is the merit of Ukrainian government, where do they see they have resources, where they see that they have some of the legislation that is ready to be presented to Rada, and Rada is ready to adopt them. I think this is important to prioritize the chapters that can be quickly opened and closed in order to put them aside,” the European Commissioner believes.

Sinkevicius also admitted that completing Chapter 27 is seen as a “very complicated” endeavor.

In turn, Minister of Environmental Protection of Ukraine Ruslan Strilets, who also spoke at the same press conference, said, “It's very difficult to understand what we need to prioritize and what we can do not today, but tomorrow, but I'd like to make all our reforms as quickly as possible because I understand that our European integration depends on the speed of our reforms.”

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“And the speed of reforms is not only making some draft of the documents, draft of the legislation, and advocating this legislation in parliament or in governmental level. The reforms is a practical aspect which we need to feel when we go to the streets and when we understand that people feel these reforms. This is very important,” the minister stressed.

When Ukraine saw the report drawn by the European Commission, the points laid down included climate policy, continuing waste management reform, and completing the industrial pollution reform.

“This report is like a roadmap for the next year for Ukraine, what we need to do in Chapter 27 to move forward. And I'm convinced that we will do this way. We will move as quickly as possible with the support of local municipalities, with local governments, and with civil society,” concluded the minister.

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As Ukrinform reported earlier, the Ukraine Green Recovery Conference kicked off its work in Vilnius, Lithuania, on November 28.

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