KYIV, 20 June 2018 – Which areas should be of a top-priority for the state authorities on the eve of the elections?
Experts from the Reanimation Package of Reforms, the largest coalition of NGOs all over Ukraine, have the answer, and it’s not a short list: anti-corruption, public administration and electoral reforms, decentralization, environmental protection, judiciary, economy, energy sector and civil society development.
The top reforms that need to be implemented before the start of the election campaign, and mechanisms for effective cooperation between the public and the authorities during this period were the main topics discussed at the "Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks: What Does the Pre-Election Year Hold for the Reform Agenda?" socio-political forum, held in Kyiv on June 14.
This forum is an opening event to the International Ukraine Reform Conference in Copenhagen, a major conference that will bring together key reform stakeholders both from Ukraine and from the international community.
It was organized by the Reanimation Package of Reforms in partnership with UNDP, with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
The forum was opened by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Denmark to Ukraine, Ruben Madsen, who pointed out the importance of civil society engagement in reforming the country.
"Civil society plays a decisive role in reforming Ukraine, insisting on the necessary, albeit sometimes painful reforms, controlling the government and proposing solutions for reforms,” Madsen said.
“A strong civil society in Ukraine is an indispensable participant in the reform process. You are working to change the country for the better not simply requiring action from the authorities, but also taking an active part in setting priorities and assisting in the implementation of reforms."
Ihor Koliushko, chairman of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform, stressed the key changes in the aspect of public administration: "Completion of the creation of a proper system of directorates, a new system of strategic planning in the government, a new structure of the ministries, changes to the legislation on the Cabinet of Ministers, the law on administrative procedures, a new model for the formation of a new Government – these are the priorities for public administration reform," he said.
Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director of TI Ukraine, spoke about the priorities for the authorities in the fight against corruption: "Completion of building an effective system of anti-corruption bodies through the establishment of an independent specialized High Anti-Corruption Court is a priority for anti-corruption reform," Yurchyshyn said.
Oleksandr Saienko, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, noted that in order to prevent abuse of processes, it is necessary to "remove the official" as much as possible by deregulating these processes and providing services electronically.
"In 2018, National Health Service, National Service for Education Quality, electronic system for the sale of privatization targets, corporatization process was launched,” Saienko said.
“However, for them to work efficiently, to produce results and to be properly perceived by the public, their activities should be transparent – it is only then that the public will become an ally of the authorities in advancing change."
Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli, stressed that Ukraine, while being in a difficult situation, had accomplished much. Nevertheless, he noted that the further implementation of reforms would be the best fight against populism. He stressed on the need to make High Anti-Corruption Court operational as soon as possible.
In total, 130 participants took part in the event, they included government officials, international partners of Ukraine, journalists, experts and activists from both Kyiv and the regions.
The Ukraine Reform Conference will be held on June 27, 2018 in Copenhagen. The inaugural conference was held in London last year.
The news is prepared based on the press release materials provided by the RPR.