At a meeting on Thursday, 7 December, the Ukrainian government has passed a lobbying bill that has been improved to include suggestions from the public and feedback from the Ministry of Justice. This step was necessary in order to start EU negotiations.
Source: Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, as reported by European Pravda
Details: Stefanishyna noted that at the end of last week she had a meeting with representatives of NGOs, where they discussed in detail the legislative changes proposed by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP).
The outcomes of collaborative efforts, according to Stefanishina, included refining the bill's definition of lobbying, improving the purpose and subject of lobbying, finalising the list of rights and obligations associated with the subject and object of lobbying, and identifying the areas and problems to which the law does not apply.
Separately, Stefanishyna pointed out that the bill's text, which was leaked on the internet, was incorrect. She emphasised that the NACP's proposal was accepted at the government meeting, with consideration given to suggestions from civil society.
She noted that because "advocacy is not lobbying", the bill distinguished between the two.
"The law on lobbying must meet European standards. Its goal should be to create a transparent market for lobbying services. And obviously, it should be aimed primarily at reducing the influence of oligarchs on public administration and the economy, not at limiting the ability of the public sector to promote socially significant changes.
The bill clearly states what advocacy is and that it is not lobbying," Stefanishyna said.
The adoption of the draft law on lobbying is defined as one of four additional steps by the European Commission to ensure that Ukraine is ready for the start of negotiations on accession to the EU.
"The remaining three bills are already in parliament and, I hope, will be adopted in the near future. This will be a powerful signal while the decisions on Ukraine are being discussed, the adoption of which is expected at the European Council next week," said the Deputy Prime Minister.
- In November, the European Commission recommended that EU member states begin formal negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union after Ukraine took four additional steps, including the adoption of a law regulating lobbying according to European standards.
- Previously, the EU ambassador in Kyiv explained why the adoption of the law on lobbying became a requirement for Ukraine.