Over more than 2.5 years of the Parliamentary Reform Project which was implemented by UN Development Programme with the support of the European Union, many changes have been proposed and implemented aimed at strengthening the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (VRU). The experts worked fruitfully to make Ukrainian parliament more efficient, accountable and transparent in the performance of its constitutional functions – law-making, oversight and representative. It is time to share the most significant accomplishments of the implemented initiative.
Ways to overcome “legislative spam”
Since today the Verkhovna Rada is overwhelmed by a large flow of low-quality draft laws, and the number of existing regulations exceeds 1 million, project experts worked to develop methods to overcome the so-called “legislative spam” through quality planning and evaluation of draft regulations. A methodology for assessing the effectiveness of regulations was developed and piloted in every third VRU committee. In particular, for this purpose the project experts analyzed 45 effective legal acts. All the experience gained is summarized in the Report on the results of cooperation with the pilot committees of the Verkhovna Rada.
Assistance in legal drafting
Experts of the Parliamentary Reform Office actively contributed to drafting Laws 5707 “On Legislative Activity” and 5178 “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine to Improve the Planning Process of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”. The recommendations were based on the best practices of the European Commission and individual EU Member States, the conclusions of the Venice Commission and the developed analytical materials. Support was provided, inter alia, on planning of draft laws, analysis and assessment of the impact of draft laws, monitoring of legislation, producing a White book on improving the legislative process in Ukraine.
Development of a new organizational culture and producing a development plan of the VRU Secretariat
To support the Verkhovna Rada in implementing the e-Parliament Strategy and paperless operation, as well as for the comfort of citizens, the project has developed a tool for online registration of visitors to the Parliament for guided tours, exhibitions, visits to the Education Centre or other open events.
Comprehensive parliamentary education programme
In the follow-up to studying the peculiarities of the work of the parliament, the EU-UNDP project has developed a Comprehensive parliamentary education programme. Designed for school children, students and adults, it aims to raise awareness of the work of the Verkhovna Rada, tools for interaction with citizens and participation in the legislative process. Based on the education programme, in May 2021, an All-Ukrainian parliamentary lesson was held, which was joined online by more than 35,000 school children. In addition, the programme launched new types of tours around the Verkhovna Rada in the format of quests, as well as developed a learning mobile game application Parliament GO (for iOS and Android) that can tell you more about the Verkhovna Rada, its functions and structure.
Analytics and recommendations for optimizing the legislative process
To improve the legislative process in Ukraine and introduce modern tools of parliamentary oversight, the project experts have produced a number of important analytical publications that assess the legislative process and offer effective solutions to improve the interaction of legislative and executive branches. Including:
Identifies the key problems of the current legislative process, provides an overview of current approaches to understanding the effectiveness of this process and defining criteria for its effectiveness. Includes conceptual proposals for changes in the legislative process in Ukraine.
Explains the essence and principles of parliamentary oversight in Ukraine, provides account of its advantages and systemic shortcomings. Contains suggestions on how to effectively use oversight tools, which are based on the results of an in-depth analysis of effective legal acts regulating the work of the parliament and its committees, as well as take into account international and national expertise.
In this guidelines, the project experts comprehensively consider the evaluation of the effectiveness of the application of legislation – from the prerequisites and conceptual and methodological principles to the evaluation process itself.
The publication describes problems of the examination of draft laws (budget, inclusiveness, gender, anti-corruption examination, as well as examination of compliance with EU legislation) and provides recommendations to overcome them. The study will help carry out an in-depth and objective analysis of the regulations and identify possible positive and negative consequences of its approval.
This publication considers different approaches to the organization of planning of legislative activity and analyzes international experience. Focus is made on to the plan of law-making activities of the Verkhovna Rada.
The publication describes key elements of a comprehensive tool for integrated regulatory impact assessment and its advantages compared to the regulatory impact analysis currently implemented in Ukraine. Provides account of the international experience of regulation and impact assessment and contains proposals for the introduction of such assessment in Ukraine.
About the project
The EU-UNDP Parliamentary Reform Project was implemented by United Nations Development Programme with the financial support of the European Union from February 2019 to October 2021.
Activities within the project were aimed at strengthening the work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and included 3 key components:
1) # Rada4Reforms – aimed to promote the role of the parliament in the overall reform process, with a special focus on improving the legislative process and parliamentary oversight.
2) #ProfessionalRada (#RadaPro) – provided support for professional modernization of the Verkhovna Rada.
3) #Transparent&Service-OrientedRada – focused on increasing transparency, accountability and communication between the parliament and citizens.