The oligarchic system, which inseparably involves informal ties and corruption between the the top tiers of government and oligarchs, did not disappear after the Revolution of Dignity. It merely evolved slightly to adapt to the new political situation. A closer look at the relationships between the government and big business shows that all post-Maidan statements of Ukraine’s top officials about ‘deoligarchisation’ are pure wishful thinking. The long-established main oligarchic groups started more or less close co-operation with the government elite, which needed their support and was at the same time too weak or lacked the political will to really undermine the oligarchs’ positions.
Do Ukrainian judges live exclusively on their salary? Is it possible to uncover a probably corrupt judge by only analysing their income declaration? Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.
The fight against corruption is currently the key task of the Ukrainian government. As of May 2016, according to a survey by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the anti-corruption reform remains a priority for 56% of Ukrainians. Moreover, the latest survey by Dragon Capital shows that 85% of foreign investors view corruption as the main obstacle to investing in the Ukrainian economy. The problem of corruption is thus still very relevant. The full version is available in Ukrainian and Russian.
VoxUkraine Research. The Power of People: What Helps and What Prevents Civil Society Organizations from Combatting Corruption in Ukraine
VoxUkraine and PACT implemented the Applied Political Economy Analysis (APEA) of civil society anti-corruption activities in Ukraine. The project was motivated by the importance of anti-corruption agenda for our country. First, the problem is really urgent. Second, high-level officials do not exhibit much dedication to combating corruption. Therefore, civil society has to assume one of the key roles in reducing the scale and opportunities for corruption. The project’s aim was thus to find out the incentives and constraints of anti-corruption civil society organizations (CSOs) in Ukraine and see how these differ for national-level (Kyiv-based) and subnational (regional) civil society groups.
Practically speaking, businesses don’t have any incentives to implement effective anti-corruption measures today: the magnitude of sanctions and the probability of punishment are still low, and they are absolutely unable to restrain businesses from committing crime. Organizations still can’t avoid the liability for corruption even when they implement meaningful preventive measures, or when they disclose corruption committed by their employees. How we can change this situation?
Solving corruption by law alone will not succeed. Current legal reforms have been described as piling up new laws on a massive post-soviet mess. The slow pace of legal reforms demands sustained effort and a culture of integrity. Under the best of conditions, the effect of law is very weak to prevent corruption, and must be supported by ethical conviction. In the current context of Ukraine, emphasis on the legal issues in the Parliament is not enough. Civil society, young professionals, schools, and families will need to actively promote Ukrainian values and reject the culture of corruption.
Today’s statement by the Minister for Economic Development and Trade can trigger a political crisis with unpredictable outcomes. It discredits the institution of the President in Ukraine. A consequence of this crisis can be the loss of actual legitimacy by the President, which will put on hold the reform efforts, corruption fighting, eliminate any opportunity for the constitutional reform and Minsk-2 format, and simplify the task for the Russian government to destroy the Ukrainian state.
Since Ukraine’s new government has been sworn in on 2 December 2014 the main accomplishment in implementing political reformhas been adoption of the law “On Ensuring the Right for Fair Trial” (the “judiciary law”). Meanwhile other aspects of political reform, such as changes in the electoral framework and decentralisation initiative, have not been moved forward yet. The process of developing comprehensiveand highly anticipated constitutional reform has just begun. Three months had passed since the new government assumed the office and certain number of pitfalls in reforming Ukrainian politics have become apparent.
The dual track approach offers a deal to the incumbents: we do not take away all your rents in the near future but in exchange you do not block reforms and the growth of new institutions. In this post, we focus on corruption, another crucial problem for Ukraine. How can one resolve these challenges using the dual track approach?
The obvious reason to support the IMF Agreement is that it provides vital relief to the critical state of foreign reserves of Ukrainian central bank. The foreign reserves of the country have fallen to a crisis level of $5.6 billion (as of end-February 2015) as foreign currency has drained away under the pressure of debt repayments, trade imbalances and speculative outflow of hard currency. However, an even more important aspect of the IMF Agreement are the conditions imposed which relate to the reform of Ukraine’s economy.