The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio stressed the need to act decisively and quickly in the process of constitutional reform in Ukraine. This is stated in his video message that was shown during the conference «Constitutional reform in Ukraine: achievements and prospects» in Kiev today, transfers UNIAN.
Council of Europe: the need for the introduction of reforms in Ukraine does not depend on the Minsk agreements
Buquicchio noted that the reform on decentralization and judicial reform in Ukraine have been expected. «Finally, thanks to the good cooperation between the Venice Commission and the Constitutional Commission chaired by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Mr Volodymyr Groisman, we have a draft of constitutional amendments in both spheres that reflect the recommendations of the Venice Commission,» he said.
The adoption of the constitutional amendments on decentralization, said Buquicchio, will allow Ukraine «to leave the Soviet legacy in the form of a centralized system of power and opens the way for self-government at the local and regional level».
Changes in the Constitution in terms of justice, said Buquicchio, would greatly reduce political influence on judges by both the President and the Verkhovna Rada. «A number of provisions that were included in the text, will allow you to get rid of corrupt or incompetent judges», he said and added that without a comprehensive reform of the judicial system, the fight against corruption will not succeed.
In addition, the President of the Venice Commission noted that the amendments to the Constitution will allow to move away from the «Soviet tradition of the Prosecutor’s office» and ensure its activities are in accordance with European standards.
«We, by the Venice Commission, are very pleased that after many years of unsuccessful attempts, we finally come to that place. The adoption of these changes takes place very late. And this is only the first step in the reform process,» said Buquicchio.
He stressed that it would be necessary to adopt a number of laws and to amend certain laws. «And the changes should be implemented in practice. Still a lot of work to do. But we need exactly to act decisively and quickly», said Buquicchio.
In addition, the conference demonstrated the video message of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe thorbjørn Jagland, who noted that «constitutional reform is an absolute priority now.» «Decentralization is a very important part of this reform,» he said.
The Secretary General added that the member countries of the EU and Council of Europe, such as Italy, Spain, UK and Scandinavian countries, has donated a significant portion of power to the local level.
«We can use their experience. And we can provide practical assistance, knowing all the features of such constitutions,» said Jagland.
He also noted that «the Constitution provides in local government, and if they are strong, they will bring prosperity to the country.» «And I believe that this was the way to move Ukraine forward», — said the Secretary General.
Earlier the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reported that in amending the Constitution of Ukraine proposed to establish the High Council of justice, which will deal with the issues of appointment and dismissal of judges.
«Neither the President nor the Parliament will no longer decide the question of appointment, dismissal and transfer of judges,» he added.
As reported, on 4 September, the Constitutional Commission supported the bill on amendments to the Constitution regarding judicial reform and decided to send it to the Venice Commission for an opinion.
On 23 October, the Venice Commission endorsed the recommendations on judicial reform in Ukraine.
In the Administration of the President of Ukraine on 26 October stated that in the near future the project of amendments to the Constitution in terms of justice will be finalized by the Constitutional Commission in the light of opinions provided by the Venice Commission, and submitted to the President for inclusion in the Verkhovna Rada.
On 30 October the Constitutional Commission supported the bill on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in part of justice and handed them to the President.
The national Council of reforms on 9 November recommended that Petro Poroshenko to submit draft amendments to the Constitution in terms of justice for consideration of the Verkhovna Rada.
Council of Europe: the necessity of carrying out in Ukraine reforms does not depend on the Minsk agreements
Director of human rights Directorate General human rights and rule of law Council of Europe, special representative of the CE Secretary General in Ukraine Christos dzhakomopulos , declares that the necessity of carrying out in Ukraine reforms does not depend on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. In particular, today in Kiev at the conference «Constitutional reform in Ukraine: achievements and prospects» Dzhakomopulos submitted a letter to the President of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Anne Brasseur.
So, in the Council of Europe asked the question: «Today we are talking about reform or are we talking about the implementation of the Minsk agreements?»
In this regard, Dzhakomopulos noted that, despite the importance of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, «the most important for Ukraine at the moment is the reform process that is based on their own rights.»
He stressed that in the process of implementing the reform efforts of Ukraine should not be «overshadowed by external influences».
Dzhakomopulos drew attention to the importance of decentralization in Ukraine. The representative of the Council of Europe stressed the need to «make the government closer to the people», to be able to solve the problems and needs of different groups in society.
According to him, the state should be unified and merged. Decentralization must take into account the views of local communities, because otherwise it would be pointless.
The President of the Venice Commission insists on quick action in conducting constitutional reform in Ukraine 03.12.2015