Kiev needs to implement more reforms and make new institutions actually work, if it wants to progress towards EU membership, the top executive of the union has told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s MPs.
“The next steps are within your reach. But they will require hard work, determination and, above all else, unity of purpose,” Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission said on Friday, in a video address to a special session of the Ukrainian parliament.
The European official spared no compliments to Ukrainian lawmakers and to its leader, praising them for resisting Russia on the battlefield and for securing EU candidate status, which she said required Kiev “to showcase everything Ukraine has achieved” since the 2014 armed coup in Kiev, which she named a “Revolution of Dignity,” as the post-coup authorities also tend to call it.
She promised massive Western investments to help with the country’s eventual reconstruction, but said Ukraine had to implement “a new wave of reforms” to ensure that foreign aid is spent effectively.
The EU leader called on President Zelensky to appoint new heads of various anti-corruption bodies, which were created under Western pressure as soon as possible.
“You have created an impressive anti-corruption machine, but now these institutions need teeth and the right people in senior posts,” she said.