A High-level Dialogue “Good Democratic Governance in Ukraine: achievements, challenges and the way forward in post-war period” was held in Strasbourg in the Council of Europe Headquarters during the 2022 World Forum for Democracy.
“Good Democratic Governance is one of the key reform areas for Ukraine”, stated the First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Oleksandr KORNIYENKO at the opening of the dialogue. He also praised successful co-operation with the Council of Europe within its adjusted 2018 – 2022 Action Plan for Ukraine under the chapter on democratic governance and expressed commitment of the Parliament and other national stakeholders to co-operation in this area in the future.
The Ukrainian delegation, led by Oleksandr KORNIYENKO, was represented by MPs from different political parties; senior officials from the Ministry of Territorial Development of Ukraine including the Deputy Minister Viacheslav NEHODA; representatives of the Central Electoral Commission including its Chair Oleh DIDENKO; representatives of the four associations of local authorities, including two mayors.
The dialogue, initiated upon the request of the Ukrainian Parliament, was organised and facilitated by the Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Democracy and Human Dignity in co-operation with the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe.
Within the dialogue, the participants discussed challenges and perspectives of good democratic governance in the post-war period, focusing on the main five areas:
- reinforcing efficiency of local selfgovernment and decentralisation reform in the context of martial law and of the process of Ukraine’s recovery and application for the EU membership;
- transition from military administrations under martial law to civil administrations and mechanisms to ensure democratic processes and to secure democratic environment for elections;
- postwar challenges and possible ways for strengthening institutional capacity of election management bodies for organisation and conduct of elections;
- safeguards and mechanisms to ensure electoral rights of citizens in postwar period;
- optimization of the administrative and territorial setup and its impact on the territorial organisation and management of electoral process.
After the two-days long discussions facilitated by the Council of Europe participants of the dialogue reached a broad agreement on further actions to improve legal framework on multi-level governance and elections in light of the European standards and good practice. Moreover, following the intense discussions, the Ukrainian national partners initiated preparation of an Action Plan to ensure implementation of the Conclusions of the dialogue.
The activity was carried out within the framework and with the support of the Council of Europe projects on “Enhancing decentralisation and public administration reform in Ukraine” and “Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice and processes in Ukraine – Phase III” implemented under the Council of Europe adjusted Action Plan for Ukraine 2018 – 2022. It was organised within the framework of the joint initiative “Good democratic governance in Ukraine: moving forward in post-war context” launched earlier this year.
The Policy Advice on the Roadmap for Local Self-Government Recovery from the Consequences of the War was prepared by the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance, Department of Democracy and Governance, Directorate General II – Democracy, within the project “Enhancing decentralisation and public administration reform in Ukraine”, in response to the request of the Specialised Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development.
The needs assessment report “Organisation and holding of elections in post-war Ukraine. Prerequisites and challenges” (ENG; UKR) was prepared with the support of the Council of Europe project “Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice and processes in Ukraine – Phase III”.