Kyiv, September 18, 2014. The Ukrainian government has failed to pass long-lasting reforms that are essential in the making of a strong and modern Ukraine. Reforms to tax policy, public administration, the judicial system, property rights, and in other areas have not yet been accomplished. This was stated in Kyiv at Ukraine Crisis Media Center by pro-reform activists and experts from the group “Re-animation Package of Reforms” (RPR).
The group meets with members of parliament every week, and has contacts with every political faction in the Ukrainian parliament. Despite the group’s close work with politicians to advocate for reforms, RPR stresses that they are not a political group. “We are far away from all political forces and our ultimate goal is reforms in Ukraine,” said Maxim Latsyba. RPR is a networking expert group that brings together different activists, experts and working groups, and members of political parties, politicians, and other officials are forbidden from holding posts in RPR’s governing bodies. Specific working groups are tasked with research and making policy recommendations on specific reforms. All in all, the group has prepared a road map of 16 key reforms that the government and the new parliament is urged to undertake.
Despite the pressing need for reform and the demands of the Euromaidan movement, RPR says that the Ukrainian government has not implemented necessary reforms. Those reforms that have passed parliament are inadequate. For example, “tax reform which was developed in the Cabinet of Ministers is populist and doesn’t tackle the root of the problem,” said RPR member Oleg Matsekh. Besides the lustration bill passed on September 16, new reforms have not been adapted since April. RPR cites the lack of political will by members of parliament for the failure of the reform movement.
Even considering tough resistance to reform from Ukraine’s political class, RPR remains optimistic about its chances to affect change in Kyiv. The organization promises to stay engaged and continue to apply pressure to Ukrainian politicians, including fresh members of parliament. “No one will be able to avoid cooperation with RPR,” stated Latsyba.