Ukraine reforms: roadmap for success

On the 26th of September, the Reanimation Package of Reforms, the European Endowment for Democracy, Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels and the Institute of World Policy held a panel discussion called “Ukraine Reforms: Roadmap for Success”.

The discussion was moderated by Dr. Svitlana Kobzar, Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

In her opening remark Dr. Olena Prystayko, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels, focused on the role of civil society in defining the reform agenda in Ukraine: a path of economic, institutional and judicial reforms that seems to be an ambitious but necessary challenge.

Peter Wagner, Head of the Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission, reaffirmed that this process, also business-related, is not only a legislative one but also requires the support of media and civil society.

Ukraine’s future may be a future of economic success but only if the rule of law and anti-corruption measures are guaranteed.

Olena Halushka, International Relations Manager of the Ukrainian civil platform “RPR-Reanimation Package of Reforms”, presented in Brussels the “Roadmap of Reforms for Ukraine 2016-2017” that concerns 25 different sectors. Reforms in seven areas – rule of law, judiciary, fight against corruption, electoral legislations, rule of law, law enforcement system and economics – will be priority areas for reforms for this period.

This is the first comprehensive plan of reforms that does not come from the government but from the civil society.

Anastasya Krasnosilska, Advocacy Manager at the Anti-Corruption Action Center in Kyiv and Expert on anticorruption at RPR, stressed the importance of anticorruption institutions and investigation and prosecution bodies and their essential “institutional independence”.

At the moment we have submitted 200 cases of corruption related to top politicians and officials. This number shows our efficiency but soon we will submit many other cases, even more impressive.

Maryna Tsapok, expert on prosecutor’s office reform for RPR and former adviser to Deputy Prosecutor General, highlighted the necessity of a reform in the sphere of law enforcement

The system needs to be less political and more service and people-oriented.

Additionally she pointed out the importance of a better selection of the personnel and the goal of reforming the public prosecution service.

Mykhailo Zhernakov, former judge and member of the RPR Board, emphasized the low trust in judges and the high people’s perception of corruption in Ukraine. This attitude must change through an effective reform of the judicial establishment that is part of a state-building process.

It will take years but we do not have to wait to fight corruption and establish anti-corruption institutions.  We have to detach ourselves from the old system, channeling our energy in something positive.

Frank Paul, Member of the Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission, pointed out the importance of new technology in this process and affirmed that a change is possible only prioritizing, being focused on the judicial reform, neither being too perfectionist nor distracted but keeping a clear plan in mind.

What is really important for civil society is to keep this reform flame burning