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13 December 2018, 22:00

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Top news

06 March 2018, 11:52

UA Parliament’s changes: A brisky wind

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy expressed his sincere gratitude for the outstanding assistance and support the European Parliament rendered Ukraine in setting up activities of the Ukrainian Parliament.

He has said so while delivering his address at the conference “Parliamentary Reform:  Retrospectives/Perspectives” which is taking place on March 6 at Hyatt Regency Kyiv Hotel.

The politician has also reminded that two years ago there was presented the Report and Road Map on Internal Reform and Capacity-Building for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine elaborated by the Needs Assessment Mission led by Mr Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament.

The roadmap’s recommendations were backed and approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine setting the stage for further reforming the parliament in the light of integrating Ukraine into the European Union and sustained commitment to the European values.

The recommendations and possible follow-up activities outlined in this Report are not binding – it is up to the VRU (the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) to decide whether and to what extent it will implement them. Should they be followed up by the leadership of the VRU, however, it would be important for the European Parliament and other international partners to support the Verkhovna Rada in undertaking this transformational reform process.

The above roadmap's recommendations touch the whole spectrum of the parliamentary functions – lawmaking process, approximation of Ukrainian legislation to the European Union acquis, parliamentary watch on the Cabinet’s activities, transparency of legislature to name a few.

After the Maidan ‘Revolution of Dignity’ Ukraine has faced a combination of simultaneous and profound challenges:
· The national trauma of Russian revanchism in the annexation of Crimea and the additional threat to territorial integrity posed by the separatist war in the Donbas;
· Coping with the war’s dead, injured and displaced;
· Addressing the sensitive consequences of the tense Minsk Protocol process;
· Ramping up the nation’s security and defence capacity;
· Dealing with the accompanying macroeconomic deep shock and its associated microeconomic spillovers - and as if all of this was not enough;
· Beginning a process of fundamental reform to address the high societal and political aspirations and expectations of a citizenship and public opinion thoroughly fed up with the rent seeking and profiteering hidden hands and vested interests that corrupted and diminished the public interest and the common good for too long.

As per A.Parubiy, there was concerted a working team tailored specifically for collating legislative groundwork of the  reforms for the Verkhovna Rada according to the European Parliament’s norms.     

It was mentioned that a series of the above recommendations had already been accomplished without even any changes to the laws, and namely: a free access to public information of the Parliament, first ‘no paper’ committee meetings took place, an open promulgation of parliamentary inquiries, citizens being entitled to partake in debates on draft bills etc.

“Everything above taken together do make the Parliament more transparent and democratic,” said the politician, having added the body had been hard at work on elaboration of the IT strategy.

The Parliament’s Chairman also noted there under way was the work on making a self-supporting parliamentary service, and for the first time in five years the Parliament’s estimate was approved that year. The Jean Monnet Dialogue was said to become a potent footing for the collaboration among the parliamentary factions.

A.Parubiy emphasized the importance of the European partners in organizing and reforming the Parliament’s activities in accordance with the European model.

Elmar P.Brok, Member of the European Parliament, the Commissioner for Ukraine’s affairs stressed that the reform of the Parliament should go faster and smoother, and that clear and precise regulations and rules of procedure would give a shot to a fair and sincere debate between the parliamentary majority and the official opposition.

In turn, Mr Pat Cox, the Leader of the European Parliament’s Needs Assessment Mission to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, ex-President of the European Parliament, underlined that much work had been done, but yet more still remained to be accomplished.