Legal framework for launch of E-democracy in Ukraine to be created by 2020

The Government adopted the Concept of E-Democracy in Ukraine. According to the document, the legislative framework for practical implementation of E-democracy shall be created by 2020. The concept includes the aim, the main objectives and planned achievements, represented in 53 comprehensive measures. “E-democracy for ordinary people means a possibility to influence national policy making and policy implementation directly from their homes. There is no need to go somewhere and struggle to make your voice heard. You simply enter an online-platform and vote for a decision,” explained Dmytro Makovsky, Director of the Department of Electronic Governance and Information Society Development of the State Agency for E-Governance of Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The concept encompasses national, regional and local levels. On the national level, it prescribes creation of the Fund for Development of E-Democracy, improvement of the mechanism for submission and processing of e-petitions, large-scale launch of participatory budgeting etc. “Moreover, a special control map will be launched to track the situation with implementation of all these measures. This tool will encourage public authorities to implement these programs properly,” noted Anna Barikova, Expert of the Center for Political and Legal Reforms on Information Law.

The Concept on E-Democracy is the only governmental concept with clearly defined implementation plan and detailed stepping stones, said Anna Aseeva, Co-founder of NGO “Electronic Democracy”. She noted that as of today already 5 nationwide online-votes were held in Ukraine. Among them – elections to the Supervisory Board of Ukrainian Cultural Fund. “In was the first e-vote, with the use of e-signature and blockchain technology,” Aseeva noted. In order to spread e-democracy throughout the country, the Concept includes a large-scrale information campaign to raise awareness on e-democracy and e-governance, as well as computer literacy.

According to UN rating, over the last years Ukraine rose by 45 positions in the ratings related to e-democracy development; now the country is 32nd in the rating. “This inspires and unites the reformist wing of the civil society and officials, and for this reason development of the Concept was very innovative,” emphasized Serhii Loboyko, head of the Center for Innovative Development of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. “It was developed not only by the experts. The Concept passed multiple stages of public discussion, including e-discussion as well,” he added. Loboyko noted that every citizen could participate in the discussion. All proposals were analysed by the expert taskforce.

“We try to explain people that through this mechanism everybody can influence state policy and his own future already today,” added Sofia Sakalosh, head of the Laboratory of Electronic Democracy at NGO “PARD”.