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E-Parliament has been launched in Ukraine

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E-parliament can be considered as one of the most promising forms of e-democracy within the e-state. On 3 February 2016 the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman presented a new project on establishing e-parliament in Ukraine.

E-parliament can be considered as one of the most promising forms of e-democracy within the e-state. Information and communication technologies in parliaments’ activities are widely used in developed countries and is taking place in developing countries. International organizations abroad are trying to facilitate this process.
Parliament as an institution uses the advantages provided by information and communication technologies, as well as other public institutions. In such way, the concept of e-parliament was added to the concepts of e-voting, e-participation, etc.

In fact, e-parliament is the legislative body that as a centre of political power concentration is aimed at ensuring effective interaction between parliamentarians (MPs) and civil society, using information and communication technologies on the basis of the rule of law, transparency, accessibility and accountability.

An important condition for e-document standards for parliamentary documents are public documents. To continue taking advantage of these technological advances, documentation shall be built on open standards, especially for tagging elements of the record, that they have been correctly interpreted by different computers and mobile devices for editing, display, search, sharing and storage.

The communicative activity of e-parliament is closely connected with the processes, nowadays seen in all sectors of society regarding the shift towards creating new values and educating generation inclined to cooperation through the establishment of so-called “cognitive surplus”.

This phenomenon is made possible by the active use of resources, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and illustrates how information and social agenda could spread rapidly among millions of people.

Today, you can watch a quick revolution, reflecting the transition from individual actions (such as viewing a TV) to the collective actions that encourage people to use their time for active exchange of information and discussion of common interests; it can be used as a powerful tool of political participation.

In the EU, projects of inter-parliamentary cooperation are being actively implemented at the level of individual countries, and the community as a whole. For example, worth mentioning is such network as Inter-Parliamentary EU information eXchange (IPEX), which is a common platform for the exchange of information between national parliaments and the European Parliament on issues related to the activities of the EU.

In particular, the European Parliament has introduced AT4AM web tool, developed as part of a wider program “e-Parliament” and aimed at enhancing and simplifying the legislative process in the European Parliament by creating content based on XML from receiving the application by the European Commission for final publication of the law. It uses the XML standard — Akoma Ntoso.

There is no doubt about the feasibility of using this instrument in Ukraine, considering both the requirements of European integration, in particular, relating to convergence and technological level, and the need to use advanced technology in the informatization of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Adapting to the form of e-parliament has a significant impact on the structure of traditional parliaments, their competence and powers, relations between parliaments and other persons, including citizens.

On 3 February 2016 the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman presented to journalists a new project on establishing e-parliament in Ukraine. This information and analytical system includes the following elements: MP’s of Ukraine electronic office (stationary and mobile), electronic board, electronic Conciliation Council, electronic library and archived plenary sessions, electronic document management and monitoring of the Verkhovna Rada’s orders, system of digital signature, comprehensive information security system, integrated database of the legislative process.

This project is planned to be fully implemented in the Verkhovna Rada’s activities of Ukraine under the Programme on informatization of legislative process in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for 2012-2017.

This target is in line with European standards on information of the parliament and allows interactive service mode to establish effective interaction between the legislature and the public, including the involvement of e-government tools.

The foundation of this renewed paradigm of interaction covers the categories of accessibility, transparency, openness, ensuring technical protection of information, implementing teleworking MPs and effective public control over the Verkhovna Rada’s decisions.

At present, the first stage refers to digitization of documents, upgrading jobs (clerks, members of legal, scientific and expert departments, committees), introduction of Wi-Fi and network infrastructure upgrade, i.e. server resources, creation of model rooms for committee meetings, transition to paperless work of parliament (e-boards, e-agenda of the plenary session, e-records, e-reception), functioning e-petitions service, open data portal.

Further changes will cover infrastructure, information, education, communication tactical steps (development and implementation of software solutions, trainings for MPs and the Verkhovna Rada’s staff on new information environment, introduction of new electronic products and services; establishing effective cooperation with the public and the private sector).

In the area of international cooperation in the operation of e-parliament, strategic plans should considered on using information and communication technologies, model steering committee and structures in these area, common services, common standards of information structure, policy information management and practice, parliamentary private cloud sharing, general accounting applications, technology research processes, formal compliance process, updated infrastructure, the scope of centralized standards and methodology for project evaluation after its implementation.

The emphasis should be made on consolidation of human and financial resources, predictability and coherence of programs within regional and inter-parliamentary networks, taking into account the needs of society in the implementation of attainable and effective solutions.

Thus, key characteristics of legislative amendments in the field of e-parliament in Ukraine can be considered as infrastructure issues, services, determination of tools, trainings conduction, communication between MPs and civil society. The main achievement in this context is the creation of the e-parliament environment, consistent with notions of representation, transparency, accessibility, accountability and efficiency to facilitate and improve the coordination and cooperation between all the parties within e-parliament. The role of information and communication technologies in these processes concerns linkages between these characteristics and support to the parliament in performing its established powers (greater quality of information, better access, efficient organization of work, etc.).

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