According to the Ukrainian exporters, interviewed in the framework of the IER “Dialogue on Trade Facilitation” project, the inefficient and non-transparent mechanism for the refund of value added tax (VAT) and high levels of bureaucracy are the biggest obstacles for exports. The survey also revealed that the smaller the company is, the more likely they are to face such challenges as the complexity of customs procedures and non-transparency in the activities of tax authorities. In addition, the unpredictability of the trade policy of Ukraine is a considerable challenge rather for small and medium-sized companies than large ones.
For several weeks in a row the issue of changing the government has been debated. Now it is obvious to most experts and citizens that the Cabinet has exhausted its potential, and there is almost no hope left that it could do a better job. But not everyone understands that the old methods of its formation will not bring positive results.
Read the full text by Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Board of Centre of Policy and Legal Reform here (in Ukrainian).
On the event of the second anniversary of the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, the Democratic Initiatives conducted a survey among Ukrainian and EU experts and Ukrainian MPs about the benefits of European integration for Ukraine and the EU and the main obstacles on the way to it. Ukrainian and European experts unanimously agreed that corruption was the main obstacle on the way to Ukraine’s European integration. “Corruption in political and economic spheres is the main challenge to achieve the goal,” says Iryna Bekeshkina, Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.
Read more (in Ukrainian)
The policy paper “Limits of implementation of environmental acquis communautaire in Ukraine”, prepared by the experts of the “Society and Environment”, offers analysis of selected challenges and barriers emerging in the process of implementing EU environmental legislation, as well as ways to deal with them.
Implementing the acquis communautaire is very important for Ukraine – not only because of the need to implement the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, but also because of the urgent necessity to hold country’s progressive reforms and introduce European standards.
See the full text of the policy paper (available in Ukrainian only).
The Data Journalism Agency – TEKSTY presented their latest infographics about the work of the new anti-corruption system in Ukraine.
On the 15th of March 2016, Ukraine’s Parliament adopted a law on the changes of electronic declaration, which is the last law required for a visa-free regime. Moreover, it is one of the most important laws to build an anti-corruption system.
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The Centre of Policy and Legal Reform and Reanimation Package of Reforms issued an analytical brief with the detailed analysis of the constitutional reform in Ukraine (01-15 March 2016).
The constitutional reform is underway in Ukraine, involving constitutional amendments in three areas: human rights, decentralization and reform of the judiciary. Unfortunately, the amending process in terms of ensuring the balance of powers has not been initiated so far.
According to Anatoliy Oktysyuk, Senior Political Analyst of the International Centre for Policy Studies, the recent bids around the post of Prime Minister indicate to three possible scenarios of further developments in Ukraine.
The first scenario is forming a “private limited” government, searching for compromise and building a coalition with former members of the Party of Regions. The second scenario is forming a non-political government, the compromise with democratic factions in order to implement reforms and tackle corruption. The third scenario is freezing the situation around the government reshuffle, transforming a crisis of confidence in the government into parliamentary instability.
On 14 March 2016 representatives of the Reanimation Package of Reforms published the “Action Plan to Overcome Government-parliamentary Crisis”, prepared by the experts of Reanimation Package of Reforms, Strategic Advisory Groups, and the International Renaissance Foundation.
According to the reforms experts, solving Ukraine’s crisis through early parliamentary elections is risky in many ways. First, there is no relevant electoral legislation that could ensure that suitable candidates enter the Parliament. Secondly, early parliamentary elections will most likely slow down the reforms in the country. There is also a risk of financial and economic recession, default, and inflation. Finally, Ukraine might lose its face on the international arena.
On 8 – 11 March 2016 the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) conducted an expert poll: Who would make the best candidate for the post of Ukraine’s Prime Minister?
Nataliia Yaresko, Ukraine’s Minister of Finance, gains the lead with 31% of votes. Mikhail Saakashvili, Head of Odesa Regional State Administration, runs behind with 21% of expert votes.
“This survey confirms the current crisis of public trust in the former members of the party nomenclature,” said Anatoliy Oktysiuk, Senior Analyst at the ICPS. “It indicates there is a growing social need for establishing a new non-political government and appointing of a new, non-partisan prime minister, who is able to take leadership on reforms,” said Mr. Oktysiuk.
TEKSTY Data Journalism Agency tried to explore how the level of political violence in Ukraine was changing before and after Viktor Yanukovych won 2010 presidential elections. The first part is of retrospective nature tells about violent practices of “predecessors” from early 1990’s.
Read more (in Ukrainian)