Borys Kushniruk

The preparation for the EU Association Agreement is approaching the homestretch; and the confidence is growing that this most significant event over several years in the European space will take place indeed. But everyday life will go on after a certain euphoria reigning after that. The Ukrainian government, like the governments of most European countries, will have to continue searching for ways out of the economic crisis.

The difference only lies in the fact that Ukraine will have to prove with real actions its European ambitions, reform the Ukrainian legislation in accordance with the European one. Ukraine will need to make thousands of amendments in the current legislative acts for that; and also a continuous rule-making activity is under way.

In this connection I would like to focus on the issues which need practical solutions. The thing is that the Ukrainian government, I cannot judge how efficient and qualitative, but still, it has adjusted the procedure of the accordance of its new regulatory acts, both legislative and by-laws, with the European norms. The Ministry of Justice has a department in its structure which is responsible for that. But in this case the matter is only the governmental documents.

At the same time the Ukrainian parliament deputies tenfold more often register their legislative initiatives. Then these draft laws are discussed in the parliamentary committees, considered at plenary sessions and a considerable part of them are passed. But no one verifies their conformity with the European legislation.

Undoubtedly, the President of Ukraine, having received from the Ministry of Justice observations as for the inconformity with the European legislation of those draft laws approved of by deputies, can veto them. But a very frequent application of the veto, for many reasons, may be undesirable for the Ukrainian President. That is why it would be more productive and to the point to use the filtration of those draft laws at the level of the parliament. However, this requires making changes to the regulations in the activity of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The procedure of the third reading needs to be specified which would exclusively consider comments and recommendations of the Main Scientific and Expert Administration of the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus as regards the matching of draft laws to the European requirements.

At the same time, there is a purely financial side of the issue. In order for the apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada to perform undertake this function; it has to be ready for it. It means having a considerable number of highly-professional employees who know one of the European languages fluently and have a good knowledge of certain areas of the European legislation. There are not so many such specialists in Ukraine; besides, they are in good demand among Ukrainian companies entering the European market. That is why their salaries are much higher than what the Verkhovna Rada Apparatus could afford to pay. So the problem arises with the annual additional financing of several tens of millions of hryvnias for the payment of higher salaries to the lawyers supervising the matching of draft laws to the European requirements at the Ministry of Justice and the Verkhovna Rada. Moreover, there is a need to create and constantly update a database of the European legislation in the Ukrainian language.

And the assistance on the part of the EU was suitable and useful here. As it is known, the countries preparing for the entry to the EU received financial assistance from the European Commission’s exactly for the purposes of the matching their legislation to the European one. Ukraine will now need such financial and technical assistance. And it would be great if this problem could be solved in short terms. The deeper the cooperation and coordination of Ukraine and the EU become and the more procedures will be in action to encourage them, the more inevitable Ukraine’s definitive way of European development will be.

 

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