Quality of laws discussed at international high-level conference in Kyiv
September 18, 2018.
On September 17, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine jointly with the EU-funded projects EU4PAR and Association4U held a high-level international conference "Improving the Methodology, Practice and Quality of Legislative Process and Legal Drafting in Ukraine”. High-level speakers from the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers, the European Commission as well as international experts discussed ways of improving law making and regulation in Ukraine. Improving quality of laws and regulations and underlying policy making is critically important for Ukraine’s closer association with the EU, and it is one of the objectives of Public Administration Reform. Traditions and recognized practice of good legislative processes of some European states were also presented to inspire ideas about what could be improved in Ukraine.
The Conference was well-attended by Ukraine’s officials, which play key role in ensuring coherent legislative process at government and parliament levels. Oksana Syroid, Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine presented current efforts in ensuring efficient work of Parliament; the Government-Parliament Action Plan to efficiently implement the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was presented by Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine; Oleksandr Saienko, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, reported on the key achievements in improving decision-making process within Government as part of Public Administration Reform. Finally, Katarina Mathernova, Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission presented the EU views on key recommendation and immediate steps, which could significantly improve legislative process in Ukraine.
Addressing the audience with the opening speech, Katarina Mathernova stressed: “The European Union is supporting Ukraine in its objective of closer association with the EU. Implementation of our Association Agreement is key to ensure the greatest benefit for Ukraine economy and citizens. This is only possible with a good and sound legislative process that allows quality of laws. This should be done through a transparent and consultative process and based on solid analysis and evidences so as to ensure the sustainability and predictability of Ukraine legal system.”
As indicated by Gregor Virant, key expert of EU4PAR project during closing remarks: “Implementation of reforms and Ukraine’s European integration course should be based on sound laws and regulations. Unfortunately, currently almost half of laws end up being amended within the first year from adoption while 39% of businesses see the quality of laws and regulations as inadequate. Besides inadequate quality of laws, there is also tendency to over-regulate everything in the laws. This is an alarming obstacle to promoting economic growth and prosperity as well as European integration, which needs to be address by joint efforts of all stakeholders engaged in the process of preparing laws in Ukraine.”
As a follow-up, several reform initiatives and “actions to take” were identified by the participants, such as: improving cooperation between Parliament and Government, modernizing the Rules of Procedures, need to strengthen capacities to prepare draft laws of good quality as well as keep right and policy-based balance between laws and secondary legislation, to avoid unnecessary overregulation, burdensome for Ukrainian business and public administration.
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Background information: The Support to Comprehensive Reform of Public Administration in Ukraine - EU4PAR (European Union for Public Administration Reform) is an EU-funded project which supports the Government of Ukraine in implementing the Strategy of Public Administration Reform adopted in June 2016. It provides policy advice to the Government (the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the National Agency of Ukraine’s Civil Service), training to civil servants and other support.
Association4U, or "Support to the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement", is an EU-funded project to support Ukraine’s governmental institutions, mainly the Government Office for European Integration, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and the line ministries, in meeting their commitments arising from the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.