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Weekly analytics for 10 — 16 May


Political Points of the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform include a weekly expert analysis of the most important process in Ukraine in areas of constitutionalism, political parties and elections, governance and public administration reform, judiciary, combating corruption, criminal justice, etc. 

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The President approved the Comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Reform of Law and Order Agencies


The President of Ukraine approved the Comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Reform of Law and Order Agencies as a Part of the Security and Defense Sector of Ukraine for 2023-2027 (Decree № 273/2023 of May 11, 2023). The document is needed for the implementation of one of the European Commission’s recommendations regarding Ukraine’s status for accession to the European Union that were issued in June 2022, namely: “to adopt a comprehensive strategic plan for reforming the entire law and order sector as part of Ukraine’s security environment”. The plan was developed by a working group under the Prosecutor General’s Office that included representatives of the law and order agencies, the prosecutor’s office, other authorities, and international experts.

During the preparation of the draft of this document, the expert group processed a set of proposals and comments that helped to formulate six strategic priorities for the reform of law and order agencies as part of the security and defense sector of Ukraine. This will allow to modernize the sector and bring it into line with the standards that Ukraine must achieve on the way to the EU membership. The basis for further steps on this path was also laid through the development of an operational plan.

Strategic priorities for the law and order agencies reform include:

  1. Effectiveness and efficiency of law and order agencies and the prosecutor’s office as an integral component of the security and defense sector, within which they ensure the national security of Ukraine, including public safety and order and crime prevention, taking into account strategic goals and in line with human rights standards, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the principles of gender equality.
  2. Consistent criminal policy, the priority of which is the prevention of crime, the inevitability of responsibility, the protection of and individual, society, and the state from criminal offenses, and safeguarding a victim’s interests.
  3. Promptness of criminal proceedings conducted in compliance with international standards and the principle of the rule of law.
  4. Results-oriented management system in accordance with established priorities.
  5. Comprehensive digital transformation.
  6. Openness, transparency, accountability, independence, and political neutrality.

CPLR experts’ assessment

Adoption of the Comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Reform of Law and Order Agencies is undoubtedly a successful step toward European integration of Ukraine. The long-term policy goals of reforming law and order bodies has finally been determined, which has been lacking since the Revolution of Dignity due to non-systemic nature reforms that were often simply left incomplete. Since the European Commission had set no requirements for the content of the Plan (unlike with other recommendations), the very fact of the adoption of this document is important and it can be stated that the recommendation has been fulfilled.

The content of the Plan concerns not only the institutional capacity of law and order agencies – that is, the unification of their legal status, implementation of unified management practices, or the institution of detectives – but also criminal policy (for example, the implementation of a consistent criminal policy and crime surveys, which have proven their effectiveness in other countries) and criminal procedure legislation (strengthening the protection of participants in criminal proceedings, focusing on the rights of the victim, alternative procedures for resolving a criminal law dispute, etc.).

At the same time, its deliberate development to align with peacetime circumstance (in line with the EU’s recommendation) does not respond to real challenges that the law and order agencies are currently facing, namely the issue of military justice (both prosecution for war crimes and the fight against collaborationism, the worsening of crime levels during the war, etc.). Furthermore, the Plan is more of framework document that sets forth the reforms directions and key ideas, and its implementation will depend entirely on the sectoral plans of specific authorities.

Thus, its reception among the professional community and society as a whole is controversial. At the same time, a consistent public policy that is developed and implemented by the state is a feature of the European approach to public administration that ensures the effectiveness of the EU member states.

In the future, it is important that the plans for the implementation of the directions and ideas of this document are approved by the Government (or separately by the law and order agencies and prosecutor’s offices), and that they contain realistic deadlines for implementation, clearly identify those in charge of the implementation, and provide for the expected result. Given the generalized nature of ideas contained in it, there is a risk of pro forma implementation of its provisions, which will undermine the goals and tasks facing the state in terms of law and order reform.

Does the repeal of the pandemic mean that political parties will report on their finances?


The World Health Organization announced the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 8, the Minister of Health of Ukraine informed that the agency is also considering the possibility of repealing the relevant restrictive measures introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Although these measures de facto have not applied at the everyday level since February 24, 2022, a number of restrictions legally remain in force. In particular, in accordance with amendments to the Final Provisions of the Law “On Political Parties in Ukraine” (hereinafter – the Law on Parties) introduced in March 2020, the filing of reports by political parties on their property, income, expenses, and financial obligations has been suspended.

CPLR experts’ assessment

According to Art. 7 of the UN Convention against Corruption (ratified by Ukraine in October 2006), each state party shall endeavor to adopt and taking appropriate legislative and administrative measures to enhance transparency in the funding of candidatures for elected public office and, where applicable, the funding of political parties.

Considering this provision of the Convention, Art. 17 of the Law on Parties was revised in 2015, and according to amendments at the time, political parties were required to submit a quarterly report on property, income, expenses, and financial obligations to the National Agency for the Corruption Prevention (NACP). Such a report had to be filed in paper form and on an electronic storage device, as well as published on a party’s website (if available).

In December 2019, exclusively electronic form of political parties’ reporting was introduced on the official website of the NACP. However, until the start of the functioning of the relevant digital tool, the filing and publication of party reports had to conducted in accordance with the previous version of Art. 17 – that is, in paper form.

At the time of the introduction of anti-pandemic measures, the electronic reporting system of political parties was under development; thus, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease, the process of filing the reports was suspended, and the Final Provisions of the Law on Parties were supplemented by paragraph 5, as follows:

“the report on the property, income, expenses, and obligations of financial nature of political parties provided for in Article 17 of this Law shall be submitted no later than on the fortieth day after the end of measures to prevent the emergence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) set forth under a quarantine established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine”.

This provision was introduced into the Law at the end of March 2020, when quarantine restrictions were introduced for a period of three months, and it was assumed that the threat would be fleeting.

On May 11, 2020, the NACP launched POLITDATA – the Register of Political Party Reports. Therefore, the reasons that led to the suspension of the process of filing the financial reports by political parties were no longer of the essence, and party officials received the opportunity to submit reports remotely without violating quarantine restrictions.

It is worth noting that on March 3, 2022, the Parliament adopted the Law “On protection of interests of entities submitting reports and other documents during the period of martial law or the state of war”, according to which the obligation to submit accounting, financial, record-keeping, settlement, and, audit reports and other documents the submission of which is required by law arises after the repeal or termination of martial law. Thus, parties received another reason to not comply with the requirements of Article 17 of the Law on Parties and to not report their financial status.

For comparison: The NACP official website also includes a Register of declarations of persons authorized to perform functions of the state or local self-government. Civil servants submit information about their property and income to this register, which was launched in 2017. The introduction of anti-pandemic measures had almost no effect on the declaration process, which was suspended due to the introduction of martial law according to the law of March 3, 2022. Currently, for reasons of personal data protection, the public portion of the Register is not accessible; however, the NACP still has the technical and operational capabilities to perform verifications of declarations, while international partners and the civil society demand the restoration of this process since the martial law is not an obstacle to filling electronic declaration for the vast majority of reporting entities.

Similarly, most of the political parties continue their activities and are operating under conditions under which financial reporting is possible. Therefore, the introduced restrictions no longer have objective grounds, and their official repeal will allow strengthening the state and public control over the political parties financing, therefore bringing Ukraine closer to the negotiations stage regarding accession to the European Union.