President Victor Yushchenko is taking part in the first meeting of the National Commission on Strengthening Democracy and Asserting theRule of Law in Ukraine, the President’s press office reported.

Justice Minister Sergey Golovaty, First Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Buteyko, Ukraine’sRepresentativein the UNO Commission on Human Rights Vladimir Vasylenko, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Igor Drizhchany, the Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy Vasily Onopenko, the Adviser to the President Nikolay Poludiony, Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Fight Against Crime and Corruption Vladimir Stretovich, representatives of political parties, public organizations and private law offices are present at the meeting.

They discuss a number of necessary measureswhich must be assumed in order to reform the legal system and State institutions.

“We should complete these reformsin three or four years,” said the President.

In 1993, the so-called Copenhagen Criteria were formulated to define whetheranationwas eligible to join the European Union. The criteria require that we:

- achieve stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, and human rights;

- have a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union;

- bring our laws into line with the body of European law.

Although Ukraine has considerably advanced in the past years, it still cannot meet the political criteria to preserve democratic governance and the rule of law. The National Commission is faced with the double-faceted challenge to fulfill all obligations of Ukraine as a member of the Council of Europe and implement all relevant provisions of the Ukraine – EU Action Plan.



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