On September 28, 2017, the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine sent to other ministries a draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on approval of the Action Plan for the implementation of the Association Agreement to be reviewed and approved by September 29, 2017. The draft resolution contains 700 pages. The time period allocated for review and approval is less than one day.
There is actually no synergy among the central executive authorities regarding the approval of the draft resolution because approval of such a cumbersome document during one day is possible only without analysis of its content.
The regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers (section 38) allocates one day for approval by the authorities only in the event of an emergency, when there is a threat to people’s life and health or when urgency is related to anti-terrorist operations and the defense capacity of the state. In other cases, this period is 5, 10 days or one month. In addition, according to the Regulation, the timeframe should be determined taking into account the volume and complexity of the draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Was there really a reason to allow only one day for approval of the draft Plan by the ministries?
In addition, in accordance with the provisions of section 39 of the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, in case of violation of the agreed timeframe, the draft decision is considered as agreed by default. Perhaps it was the purpose of setting such a short deadline for approval.
Due to such a short deadline for approval, the ministries have practically no time to take into account the public’s position. In particular, on October 2, 2017, the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform received an appeal from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine to urgently review the draft Action Plan of implementation of the Association Agreement and to provide comments on environmental provisions. The deadline for review of the draft provision is October 2, that is 1 day.
A good quality analysis of such amount of information, producing professional comments to the draft resolution takes at least several weeks. The text of the draft resolution has not been posted on any of the sites of public authorities.
Pursuant to the provisions of Art. 21 of the Law of Ukraine “On Environmental Protection”, environmental NGOs have the right to participate in the development of plans, programs related to the protection of the environment, to participate in the preparation of draft regulations on environmental issues. In accordance with the provisions of Part 10 of the Procedure of Involving the Public into Decision Making on environmental issues approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 29.06.2011 No. 771, the public discussion shall last no less than 30 days.
Setting such a short deadlines and non-disclosure of the text of the draft resolution is a direct violation of the right to public participate in the decision-making process. This situation is a vivid illustration of the fact that the authorities involve the public into decision-making formally rather than with real intention to take into account the real position.
Such a situation is unacceptable. If representatives of the government are really interested in making the Action Plan of implementation of the Association Agreement effective and aimed at implementing the Agreement, there should be a thorough, rather than superficial, cooperation of the ministries in development of an effective Action Plan. Similarly, the public, including a significant number of experts, should be involved in the process of developing the Action Plan. Otherwise, there is a serious risk to get ineffective Action Plan of implementation of the Association Agreement.
EPL opposes the approval of the Action Plan of implementation of the Association Agreement, which was developed formally, in a hurry, with violations of the right to public participation in the decision-making process, and calls on public authorities to act according to European standards.
For further information please contact:
Sophia Shutiak, EPL senior lawyer
+380 32 225 76 82, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nataliia Kuts, EPL lawyer
+380 32 225 76 82, email@example.com