Digest of reforms. November 21-27. Thorny path

Digest of reforms. November 21-27. Thorny path
November 28, 2015.

Decentralization

It has been declared for a long time that after decentralization, communities will get real tools for improving their inhabitants’ lives. Such statements gradually become meaningful. Parliament adopted a number of draft laws that empower local authorities to provide administrative services and secured funding sources for these innovations. First of all, they include registration of rights to real estate and state registration of businesses (draft laws On State registration of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, On State registration of proprietary rights to real estates and their encumbrances, On Amendments to Budget Code of Ukraine (concerning financial provision of administrative services by local governments).

These draft laws are only the beginning. In the near future, Parliament should resolve a number of issues concerning the financial capacity of communities and disposal of land resources. It is also time to build the legal basis for the implementation of united communities’ new powers that will be possible only after the state registration. The legislators must decide on the way to carry out registration. However, the draft law On Amendments to some laws of Ukraine on special features of state registration of local governments as legal entities (№3106) was adopted by Parliament in the first reading. The document will be prepared for second reading on an expedited procedure. Therefore, it is planned to vote for its approval next week.

Education reform

Parliament supported in the first reading the draft law On Scientific and technical activity.  All problem points have been agreed; so in the near future we expect its final approval. Therefore, Ukrainian science has very high chances to begin major changes that will bring it to the global trend of world development already in 2016. Among the innovations are radical changes in strategic approaches to planning and funding the scientific sphere.

Transparency of government

This week, MPs decided to abandon paper bureaucracy in Parliament and move to electronic documents and also implement a roll-call vote in local councils. However, the documents have been adopted only in the first reading. Therefore, activists will monitor the process until the draft law is fully adopted.

Public service reform

Attempts to reform the public service have not been successful. Parliament did not support the new draft law on public service. The expert community is convinced that the problem of the adoption of this document is exclusively in the political plane. Postponing public service reform negatively affects other reforms because of the inability to ensure new quality management. Besides, according to experts, financial assistance to Ukraine (800 mln. EUR) is at stake. Disbursement of the aid is directly related to the adoption of the new Law On civil service. Given these peculiarities, the draft law is scheduled once again for submission to deputies next week.

Privatization

Another defeat in the field of reforms last week was an attempt to change the regulations for the sale of state property. Parliament refused to engage professional advisers, to impose a ban on splitting share packages or on selling 5-10% of shares on the stock exchange. The corresponding draft law did not receive the minimum required 226 votes. Therefore, not only payments to the state budget are at risk, but implementation of the rest of the reforms as well. It is no secret that most innovations in reforms require additional financial resources. Thus proceeding with privatization would be useful. However, it seems that the explanatory conversations with parliamentarians have taken effect. Next week the draft law will be put to a vote again and advisers will be engaged only for the privatization of large strategic companies.

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