All-Ukrainian tour of the Reanimation Package of Reforms: second wave

On 10-13 March, the Reanimation Package of Reforms initiative (RPR) continues its "Reforms en Route" all-Ukrainian tour with the support of UNDP and other partners. This time representatives of the initiative visited Chernivtsi, Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil, talking about health care, judicial and media reforms.

After analysing the results of the first trip to Lviv and Uzhhorod, activists focused not only on explaining the substance of reforms to the public, but also on discussing the needs in the regions and establishing feedback. Such practical discussions are always effective as providing further action.
It is comforting to note that expert discussions are gaining stronger popular support on behalf of the public and local officials: mayors, heads of regional state administration, and members of the local councils. People in the regions are concerned about changes to the electoral law, judicial reform, decentralization, anti-corruption, military and educational reforms. Community members not only asked questions but also gave specific suggestions for improving legislation and implementation of reforms.
Media Law Institute Director and RPR media reform expert Taras Shevchenko explained that key to today's expert discussion were changes, designed to make the country strong, where social activism of every citizen is a necessary part of it. 
Judicial reform in its turn, spurred quite a lively discussion. "Judges must be both honest and independent of political power. The bodies of the Council of Europe have repeatedly criticized the provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, which leave room for politicians to influence the courts. We have developed draft amendments to the Constitution, which safeguards the independence and institutional capacity of the courts, as well as improves the selection mechanism of future judges to make the judiciary work for human rights and the rule of law," said Mykhaylo Zhernakov, RPR judicial reform expert.
He suggested that the Georgian reform experience would be very helpful for the Ukrainian judicial system. The main reason for unjust judgments is direct political dependence. Indeed, the order of the judiciary formation is determined by the political authorities now. Therefore, according to Mykhaylo Zhernakov, reforms should start with the procedure of electing judges. The approaches to evaluating judicial qualification and the consequences of "rebooting" the judiciary were also discussed.
Regarding the new health care system in Ukraine, it should clearly regulate the relationship between the three health care actors: society, healthcare workers, and the state. Currently, this relationship is not clear.
"It turns out that everyone has their own truth. The state, under the Constitution, has one truth - article 49 'On the provision of free medical services'. Physicians, according to common sense, have another truth - this wage can lead to starving, so 'I earn as I can'. Society has its truth somewhere in between: on the one hand, 'I have the right to free health care' and, on another hand, 'free treatment is a waste of time'," says Oleksandr Yabchanka, RPR health care reform expert.
Andriy Shevchenko, Ukrainian MP in V, VI, VII convocations, RPR advocacy consultant, is convinced: "People, community, and ordinary Ukrainians should be the main engine of changes for a country that hung in the splits between yesterday and tomorrow - it's time to make changes. Reforms require three basic things: knowledge, public support, and political will. RPR is working on it - embrace qualitative knowledge, consolidate public support, and force politicians to demonstrate political will. We believe in changes."