UARU
Ukraine's Corruption, Explained By EU's Anti-Fraud Chief
19 April, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ The fight against corruption “is the real war to be won by Ukraine for its own survival and future;”

✓ Corruption prevents and affects economic growth, development and democracy in a country;

✓ Two challenges for Ukraine: one is cultural, the other is institutional;

✓ “Probably the best way is not to have political appointment of these high-level persons, judicial persons, because then it’s quite difficult to say that these appointed persons are free from political influence.”

According to Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud office, the fight against corruption in Ukraine “is the real war to be won by Ukraine for its own survival and future.” He stresses that corruption prevents and affects economic growth, development and democracy in a country.

Kessler says that in corrupt countries, decisions are often made in the dark, and people are not held accountable: “those who have more money are those who take the decisions, not those who are meant or elected to take decisions.”

He presents two major challenges facing Ukraine– one being cultural, the other institutional. In terms of cultural challenges, a change of habits is required not only by people working in institutions but also by Ukrainian citizens. “But there is also the challenge to have institutions in place – credible institutions, efficient institutions in place which are able to fight corruption, and are acting under the rule of law.”

When speaking of institutions, Kessler refers to the judiciary, in particular the prosecution office, which historically has had a political role and is used as a tool for political interests. To fight corruption, this institution must be reshuffled and given clear and transparent objectives and rules of action. Kessler also emphasizes that Ukraine must appoint prosecutors who fit the new objectives and will enforce the rule of law: “Probably the best way is not to have political appointment of these high-level persons, judicial persons, because then it’s quite difficult to say that these appointed persons are free from political influence.”

Hromadske's Josh Kovensky spoke to Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office on April 3rd, 2016 in Kyiv.