Recently launched Open Parliament Initiative unfolds

Kyiv, 18 March 2016 – The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine hosted the first meeting of the Monitoring Committee on the issues related to the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness, which Ukraine joined with an Action Plan prepared by the CSOs in cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with the support of UNDP Ukraine.

12095174 220105271677100 8396031746793497105 oThe committee includes representatives of civil society organizations (Civil Network Opora, Transparency International Ukraine, CHESNO movement, Media Law Institute, Center for Political Studies and Analysis, Reanimation Package of Reforms, and others), international organisations, the Verkhovna Rada's Secretariat, the State Agency for e-Governance, MPs, and expert groups.

"The implementation of the reform will allow us to move to a truly effective communication between a legislator and citizens," said MP Svitlana Zalishchuk. "In order to achieve our goals, we need political will and technical assistance."
The participants of the meeting determined the priorities for the coming month aimed at reforming the activity of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (VRU) in line with the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness:

- Special space at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine where persons who requested public information will be able to examine documents or their copies, take notes and photos, make hard and e-copies;
- Draft law No. 1591 (ensuring openness and access to information about the activity of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, its committees, and members);
- Draft law No. 1895 (regarding penalties to be imposed on MPs for violating the requirement of personal vote);
- Publication of the staffing table of the Verkhovna Rada's Secretariat on the website of the VRU.
mk1"We have entered a new level of transformations to improve the workflow of the Parliament and the VRU's Secretariat. It is an unprecedented event when the public, MPs, and the VRU's Secretariat cooperate so closely. I am glad to take part in this initiative and will do my best to facilitate the implementation of the Open Parliament Action Plan," said Mykola Shevchuk, Deputy Head of the Verkhovna Rada's Secretariat.
The participants of the meeting also discussed unification of web-pages of the VRU committees, provision of public access to the committee meetings, and publication of verbatim reports.

Representatives of the Monitoring Committee have discussed at length the development of a Code of Ethics of MPs in view of the agreement between the Verkhovna Rada and the European Parliament on cooperation on the reform of the Ukrainian legislative branch of government and the ethical guidelines in the Pat Cox' Roadmap.

MP Ihor Popov said that it is MPs who should have an exclusive right to develop the Code of Ethics. Therefore, he thinks that the Parliament should set up a working group, while civil society organizations can oversee the process, provide guidance, and engage in cooperation.

To ensure proper implementation of the Open Parliament Action Plan, it was decided that the Monitoring Committee should meet regularly, at least once a month.

The initiative is supported under the framework of UNDP's Democratization, Human Rights and Civil Society Development Project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.