Ukraine: Strategic priorities for civil participation in decision-making endorsed

At a high-level-roundtable organized by the Council of Europe on 8 December 2014 in Kiev, representatives of the Ukrainian government and civil society discussed the enhanced version of a strategy document following consultation with key civil society and government actors. Representatives of the Presidential Administration, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Justice were among the panelists from official side. Civil society was represented by the Euromaidan and the Reanimation Reform movements, among others. The roundtable was preceded by a multi-stakeholder meeting on 5 December which looked at the outcomes of the written consultation process and brought the views of the various involved stakeholder groups into the discussion.

The strategic priorities are structured in three parts: (a) Creating an enabling legal environment, (b) Institutionalizing consultation, dialogue and consultation, and (c) Building a culture of participation. Part (c) includes awareness raising as well as capacity building of both the public administration and civil society organizations. Participants of the 8 December roundtable widely endorsed the proposed strategy. Contradictory statements were made regarding the role of NGOs in strengthening local self-government, e-democracy tools and the link of possible future civil participation regulation to regulatory policy law. There was broad recognition of the fact that actors and activities need to be further specified when it comes to the implementation of the strategic priorities. The creation of a multi-stakeholder task force to facilitate problem solving was proposed in this regard.

“Things are changing,” said two of the civil society participants independently from each other. “Only one year ago, it would not have been possible that we sit at a table with government representatives and talk openly about needs and ways to enhance mutual communication and consultation. That we work together in order to improve the quality of political decisions of our country. Today, this is a reality”. The full strategic priority document in English can be found here, in Ukrainian here. The Council of Europe’s review of the roundtable  is posted on the website of it’s office in Ukraine.

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