European Commissioner calls on Verkhovna Rada to use international experience in legislative work
In a speech on Tuesday to the Ukraine-EU Parliamentary Club in Strasbourg, Stefan Fule, urged Ukraine’s parliament to take the advice of international organizations into account.. "We also need to listen to trusted outside bodies with experience and useful advice to give: an example of this would be the Venice Commission in the case of the new electoral law, or the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) for anti-corruption legislation. In the case of public procurement, where effective legislation also helps to fight corruption, we also hope that outside advice has been taken and that the legislation finally adopted by Parliament will meet international standards, "
The speech in full:
Thank you for inviting me to address you today. I attach a very high priority to establishing and maintaining links with members of both the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada: both houses have a vital role to play in taking forward the ambitious agenda which has been established for EU-Ukraine relations. It has never been more important that the two parliaments should establish close links with each other, not only through formal structures such as the Parliamentary Co-operation Committee, but through more informal groupings as well.
I think you have chosen the right moment to deepen your co-operation. 2011 is a critical year for EU-Ukraine relations. The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, and, I hope, the finalization of our Association Agreement, are all putting Ukraine in the spotlight. We need to seize the opportunity provided by this attention and accelerate our work on political association, economic integration and sustainable reform – I count on your support for that.
Of course it is for you to determine the priorities of your joint activities in the year ahead, but I would like to signal a few areas that are especially important from my own perspective:
The first area is reform: by encouraging an open and transparent approach to the most important reforms in Ukraine, such as those of the constitution, the election system and the judiciary, we believe that we can improve the chances of getting it right with the new legal and institutional frameworks. This means that all political forces, as well as civil society, need to be involved in the process.
At the same time we also need to listen to trusted outside bodies with experience and useful advice to give: an example of this would be the Venice Commission in the case of the new electoral law, or the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) for anti-corruption legislation. In the case of public procurement, where effective legislation also helps to fight corruption, we also hope that outside advice has been taken and that the legislation finally adopted by Parliament will meet international standards.
Rapid progress on these critical reforms, with broad public understanding and support, will create the right atmosphere for the endgame of our negotiations: as far as I am concerned it is our top short-term priority. And let me add that an active and well-informed parliament is a critical tool for delivering the ambitious and realistic set of reforms we want.
The second area I want to signal is sharing information and impressions. We have of course a number of important “set piece” encounters with Ukraine every year, from the Summit all the way down to the various technical subcommittees where officials discuss issues such as Research, Home Affairs and Transport. But formal dialogues only take us part of the way towards understanding each other, and especially towards understanding the most important ambitions and anxieties on each side. For this reason, I would urge you to keep your contacts open and also to share your impressions with other stakeholders, including of course me and my staff.