Ukraine’s Parliament Works to Achieve European Standards

U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and former Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Groisman at the Information Center launch.
U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and former Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Groisman at the European Information and Research Center launch
Courtesy of USAID RADA project
Legislators draw from experience of 68 countries during reform process
“The center is an extremely important tool in our efforts to implement advanced technologies and access the necessary resources and information so important to our legislative work.”

May 2016—After the Revolution of Dignity in 2013-2014, Ukrainians made it clear they intended to build a European state and to transform Parliament—the Verkhovna Rada—into a body based on European standards. As reform legislation was initiated, it was evident that members of Parliament needed access to information on European standards, policies and traditions to conduct their work effectively.

USAID responded by helping create an information center within the Parliament. The European Information and Research Center opened in 2015 to provide Ukrainian members of Parliament with analysis and research on the principles of legislative regulation applied in countries, particularly those within the European Union, and international organizations.

At the May 2015 launch of the center, former Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Groisman proclaimed that “the European Information and Research Center is an extremely important tool in our efforts to implement advanced technologies and access the necessary resources and information so important to our legislative work.” He added that the center would provide access to more than 30 European Union legislation databases, helping Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada more effectively adapt to European standards. 

In its first year of work, the center published 18 policy papers on various topics in response to requests from 13 Verkhovna Rada committees. The center’s public policy research encompasses a wide range of topics, including particulars of European integration in the national legislative process, state and municipal health institution designs, and policies and incentives for small- and medium-size businesses.

The center’s specialists also provided analyses in response to dozens of queries from members of Parliament and committee staff on various European practices in the preparation of draft laws, drawing from the legislative and public policy experience of 68 countries.

Feedback from members of Parliament indicates that the center is effective and useful.

“I am very grateful for all the prepared answers, which have been thorough and of high quality,” said Member of Parliament Olena Sotnyk after receiving a response about international experience on the rights and duties of doctors.

Recently elected Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy has proposed extensive parliamentary reforms. With increasing demand for its services, the center may soon face a challenge of keeping up with the proliferation of requests from members of Parliament and committee staff.

USAID’s Responsible, Accountable and Democratic Assembly project, which runs from 2013 to 2018, works to reinforce a more effective and independent legislature in Ukraine, and increase citizen participation in the policy-making process. Specifically, the project supports members of Parliament to build constituent relations and improve their representation, expand citizen education and monitoring of members of Parliament to increase accountability, and promote parliamentary independence by reinforcing the body’s governing rules.

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Last updated: October 23, 2017

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