How PACE supports the Ukrainian parliament to implement Council of Europe standards

The ability of Ukraine’s parliament to pass laws that are in line with Council of Europe standards has been given a major boost in recent months with a series of three “capacity-building” events organised by PACE – focusing in particular on the standards of the European Convention of Human Rights.

A Strasbourg seminar in April focused on strengthening the Verkhovna Rada’s role in checking that draft laws comply with the Convention, as well as its power to press the authorities to implement Strasbourg Court rulings.

A second seminar the following month in Kyiv looked at Ukraine’s law-making process and the parliament’s rules of procedure – underlining the need for a clearer separation of powers, improved procedures to supervise the authorities and more scope for consulting the public.

Finally, during a visit to Stockholm in June which aimed to show-case parliamentary “good practice”, members of the Verkhovna Rada were able to see at first-hand how their fellow parliamentarians in Sweden deal with law-making, adopting a budget, appointing officials, combating corruption and more.

All three events formed part of the Council of Europe’s 2015-2017 “Action Plan” for Ukraine, and follow on from the Assembly’s pledge to assist Ukraine to strengthen its parliamentary capacity.

It is hoped that, over the long term, this work should help the country to increase the number of Strasbourg Court rulings it fully implements, and – more widely – lead to more efficient law-making, smoothing the way for reform.