Moving forward to endorse parliamentary openness in Ukraine

Kyiv, 29 October 2015 – The coordination meeting on Ukraine's joining the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness was held by Ukrainian MPs and civil society experts with the support of UNDP Ukraine.

Since its launch in 2012, the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness, a set of shared principles on the openness, transparency, and accessibility of parliaments, has been endorsed by a number of national and subnational legislatures and parliamentarians.
By joining the Declaration, Ukraine will formally confirm its obligations to move forward in the direction of parliamentary openness, increase legitimacy among political players, and draw attention of society and mass media to relevant initiatives.

IMG 5042Fuelled by UNDP-supported participation in the Open Government Partnership's Legislative Openness Working Group's conference in Georgia, Ukrainian MPs and civic activists got inspired to launch the Open Parliament initiative for Ukraine.

Taking it as a goal, the meeting was aimed at discussing a draft National Action Plan to operationalise the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness, identifying partners and resources for its implementation, determining deadlines, and discussing a format for signing the Declaration for further coordination with the Parliament and the Coalition Council.
Ukrainian MP Svitlana Zalishchuk, who has been a renowned civic activist, co-founding such civic movements as Chesno and Stop Censorship! as well as co-launching the Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR), opened the meeting.
"During the last year, the openness of Ukrainian parliament under the new leadership grew dramatically, in particular, because of digitalization of the MPs' work. The Parliament's EuroOptimists interfactional union along with RPR adopted a law on openness of committees in first reading," she underlined.
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UNDP has been a great supporter of the Parliament in bringing openness to its agenda. In collaboration with a number of CSOs and MPs, UNDP has contributed to the elaboration of the draft National Action Plan aimed at ensuring openness of the Parliament, transparency of its performance, and active citizens' engagement into legislative processes.
Yuliya Shcherbinina, UNDP Senior Programme Manager, emphasized: "We are fully committed to ensure parliamentary openness, transparency, and accountability, as well as citizen engagement in policymaking and governance."
During the meeting, UNDP expert Sofia Kovach presented the draft National Action Plan, consisting of four sets of commitments that aim at enhancing access to information, public participation in parliamentary processes, accountability of the parliament before the public and technological innovations. Most of actions look feasible within 1-2 years period and are going to be a subject to further consultations and negotiations between MPs, the Parliament's Apparatus, and legal experts.
Approaching the first anniversary of the Parliament, signing the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness and developing the Nation Action Plan for its implementation by the end of 2015 would be a symbolic step.