A comprehensive constitutional reform for the successful implementation of the overall reform of Ukraine

PACE Monitoring Committee today welcomed the ambitious reform programme put in place by the Ukrainian authorities to address the demands made by the Ukrainian population during the so-called “revolution of dignity”, while reiterating the importance of comprehensive constitutional reform for the successful implementation of the overall reform of the country. The committee therefore “warmly welcomed” the priority given by the authorities and the Verkhovna Rada to the constitutional reform process and the results achieved until now.

Adopting a draft resolution on ‘The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine’, based on the report prepared by Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE) and Axel Fischer (Germany, EPP/CD), the committee said it expected that the adoption of the constitutional amendments “will give a new impetus to the reform of the judiciary”. In the view of the committee, the constitutional reforms process should not be limited to the decentralisation and judicial chapters but also address other areas where deficiencies have been noted, including with regard to the division of powers.

The adopted text expresses concern about the hardening of the political discourse following the Euromaidan events and the war in eastern Ukraine. While the past needs to be addressed, the text calls upon “all political forces to overcome divisions and animosity and jointly work for the stability and democratic consolidation of the country”. Similarly to the political environment, polarisation and tensions have affected the media environment, resulting in several attacks on journalists and media outlets, “which is unacceptable”.

In the view of the committee, the widespread corruption in Ukraine “continues to be a main point of concern”. The prolonged absence of marked and concrete progress in this area, including in prosecutions and convictions, “could potentially diminish the effects of the ambitious reform agenda of the authorities”. The pace of the fight against corruption “is too slow, and concrete results too limited”.

The Assembly should debate the draft resolution during its next plenary session in Strasbourg (23-27 January 2017).