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Conclusions from the second Jean Monnet Dialogue (Irpin, Ukraine, 19 April 2017)

By   /   April 20, 2017  /   Comments Off on Conclusions from the second Jean Monnet Dialogue (Irpin, Ukraine, 19 April 2017)

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Conclusions from the second Jean Monnet Dialogue (Irpin, Ukraine, 19 April 2017)

Following a meeting in October
2016, we the Leadership and Heads of Factions and Groups of the Verkhovna Rada
of Ukraine (VRU) met for a second time in the format of the Jean Monnet
Dialogue for peace and democracy. We remain fully committed to changing the
political culture in our country and to drive and complete the institutional
reform of the Verkhovna Rada, in line with the “Report and roadmap on internal reform and capacity building for the
VRU” and adopted by the VRU in resolution 1035-VIII of 17 March 2016. We
consider the process itself is delivering benefits beyond the scope of the
specific topics included in the agenda including stimulating overall momentum
for change in the Verkhovna Rada.

 

We met to discuss our
collective achievements since the last meeting and to reiterate our commitment
to institutional reform and, in particular, to a consensus-building approach to
implementation through the permanent Working Group established by the first
Jean Monnet Dialogue. We are confident that such an inclusive and dedicated
Working Group is an essential driver for concretely bringing forward the
necessary reform of the Verkhovna Rada. On this basis, we welcome the extension
of the Memorandum of Understanding by exchange of letters between President
Tajani and Speaker Parubiy, in order to continue the partnership between the
European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada. We also welcome the idea of
renewing the Administrative Cooperation Agreement between our two parliaments,
as an integral part of this partnership.

 

 ***

           

On the follow-up to the conclusions from the
first Jean Monnet Dialogue and other steps that have been taken since:

 

We took-stock of what has been achieved and are
committed to moving from constructive dialogue to effective implementation, in
particular on:

 

·       
the
establishment of the Working Group, chaired by Mr Parubiy, Speaker of
the Verkhovna Rada, and composed of representatives of the leaders of the
factions and groups. This puts into practice the consensus-building methodology.
The Working Group has successfully held five meetings since the first Jean
Monnet Dialogue. The need to further reinforce the administrative support of
the Working Group will be explored.

 

·       
the reform of the committee structure and reducing
the number of committees: we underlined
our support for the draft law # 6256 aiming at reducing and limiting the number
of committees and their alignment with the Ministries.

 

An
extensive discussion revealed the layers of complexity associated with this
issue. Some of us emphasised the need to reduce the number of committees while
others focused on the need to  consider
committee functions in greater depth. The need to protect the continued
existence of key cross-cutting committees was discussed, particularly those
dealing with Rules, Budget, Anti-Corruption, European Integration, Human Rights
(including its sub-committee on equal rights and opportunities), and Freedom of
speech. Various different formulae were put forward to reduce the number of
committees, including fixing the number of deputies per committee and ensuring
each faction or group is represented in every committee. Reference was made to
the European Parliament’s practice of setting rules to deal with the
establishment of committees and providing for the functions of the committees
in an annex to the rules. Some EP committees cover more than one
“ministry”, some committees have sub-committees and, for important
topical issues, it is possible to create special commissions, though these are
temporary and only one is allowed to exist at any one time

 

·     
 a consensus
emerged that the number of committees should be reduced,
and that this should be defined by law for implementation in the next
convocation.

 

This agreement is conditional upon additional
steps being taken to ensure that key cross-cutting committees remain and that
the functions of committees are fully considered and defined. This outcome
could be achieved in several legislative steps, based on a political commitment
that all these steps will be taken during the current convocation. The Working
Group should seek consensus on the means by which this agreement should be
implemented.

 

·       
a
draft law on proportional representation in VRU committees and delegations, in
line with the conclusions from the First Jean Monnet Dialogue. Representation
should be proportional to the size of factions and groups in the VRU and
inclusive. Once an agreement is reached in the Working Group, the provisions of
the draft law should take effect from the beginning of the next (9th)
convocation.

 

·       
amendments
to the Rules of Procedure of the VRU to bring it into compliance with the
constitution of Ukraine (Registered draft law # 5522). We took note of the progress and
preparations for including this on the plenary agenda once the Venice
Commission has delivered its opinion.

 

·       
an
update from the Cabinet of Ministers on draft
amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the CMU to introduce ‘White papers’ and Annual Ministry reports
into the legislative process, as discussed in the framework of the first Jean
Monnet Dialogue. We took due note of
the report of the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers on the current
work on amending accordingly the Rules of Procedures of the Cabinet of
Ministers, and welcome the fact that proposals for how to implement a new White
Paper consultation process should be presented before the Summer.

 

·       
the
development of a draft regulation to provide a specific legal basis for the
operation of faction secretariats. We took
note in this regard of the initiative of chiefs of staff of the VRU factions
during their working meeting in Oslo, and the resulting draft to address a
technical flaw of the law on reform of the public service. We recommended that
steps to be taken would not undermine the current interinstitutional
discussions on the public service law but would encourage the Working Group to
take this proposal forward in a timely manner.

 

·       
an
update on regular meetings of committee chairs, under the lead of the Speaker, to discuss legislative priorities and agenda issues.
We regard this as a positive example of the successful application of the
working methods of the Jean Monnet Dialogue applied to wider consensus building
in the VRU.

On Recommendation N° 44 –
Regulation and status of the parliamentary opposition, whereby “an early decision should be made and
implemented to regulate the status of the parliamentary opposition”.

 

The rights and duties of parliamentary factions
to peacefully coexist and exercise, without undue restriction, their duties to
represent citizens’ interests need to be guaranteed. After an extensive
discussion, we reached a consensus that a sustainable, fair, and objective
answer on the nature and needs of the parliamentary opposition requires several
steps for guaranteeing these rights.

 

We agreed that the Working Group will pursue by
consensus purposeful small steps to resolve the issue of the rights of the
opposition, using the principle of consensus, and that the first steps would be:

 

·       
equitable distribution of parliamentary positions for committee
chairs and the  allocation of
ordinary seats on committees. We have come to the conclusion that the priority
is the principle of a fair distribution, and an appropriate mathematical method
will be agreed by consensus.

 

·       
the role of the committees in the VRU are an
important means for all factions to enhance their agenda setting and oversight
roles. A new Law on Committees and/or amendments to the Rules of Procedures of
the VRU would contribute to enhancing the role of all factions as well as
reflecting the importance of the committees in the VRU.

 

·       
the oversight of the executive could be made
more efficient by reformatting the question session with the CMU, organised
according to thematic topics.

 

·       
a new provision needs to be made to allow specific plenary time
for debates on urgent and topical issues.

 

Each time a first step is taken, it is the
beginning of a journey that lead to further steps. There is also a willingness
to build a consensus on the election law. If any assistance is needed
for this process, it would need to be requested specifically.

 

Additional suggestions were made that require
further consideration including on reducing the quorum for both plenary
sessions and committee meetings and on parliament’s rights to sanction and
dismiss ministers.

 

 ***

 

As a measure of our openness
and commitment to cross-party dialogue and consensus-building on the
institutional reform of the Verkhovna Rada, we have agreed that these
conclusions and agreements should be publicly available to the citizens of
Ukraine.

 

We will continue to meet
regularly in the format of the Jean Monnet Dialogue on the implementation of
the institutional reform agenda and wider topics of mutual interest to the
leadership and heads of the political factions and groups of the Verkhovna Rada
of Ukraine.

 

 

 

 

Andriy
PARUBIY, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

 

Serhii
SOBOLIEV, deputy head of Batkivshchyna faction

 

Igor
GRYNIV, MP, Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction

 

Yuriy
PAVLENKO, MP, Opposition Bloc faction

 

Svitlana
VOYTSELHOVSKA, MP, People’s Front faction

 

Iaroslav
MOSKALENKO, head of People’s Will group

 

Ihor
POPOV, MP, Radical Party faction

Volodymyr
PYLYPENKO, representative, Renaissance group

 

Oleh
BEREZIUK, head of Samopomich faction

 

 

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