Monthly Archive: July 2015


Transatlantic Free Trade Area. Challenges And Opportunities For Ukraine

The EU and the USA continue to negotiate on the signing of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. If the agreement is reached, the deal will become the most ambitious decision on establishing a free trade area (FTA) and bringing closer the two markets that are already the largest trading partners in the world.What would be its implications for Ukraine? Veronika Movchan, Head of the Center for Economic Studies, VoxUkraine Editorial member, knows the answer.


Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe). Release 14

Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe) from VoxUkraine aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of reform efforts by Ukraine’s authorities. The Index is based on expert assessments of changes in the regulatory environment in five areas. The iMoRe value for the 14th monitoring period (July 6th –19th, 2015) has reached +1.3 points out of a possible range from -5.0 to +5.0 points. Moderate increase in the index value was driven by adoption of two laws strengthening independence of the National Bank, amendments to the law on the prosecutor’s office and important anti-corruption initiatives.


Ukraine And The Limits Of Deterrence

Arguments that Ukraine can deploy effective deterrents to further Russian escalation of conflict miss crucial realities about the logic of deterrence and coercion. While many, including VoxUkraine, have offered innovative and creative ways that Ukraine can attempt to deter Russia, most of these policies would do far greater damage to Ukraine than Russia, a fact that undermines their deterrent capacity. The imbalance in economic and military power is too great for even the cleverest “red button” deterrents to overcome, leading to the conclusion that Russia is unlikely to be deterred from acting as it pleases in Ukraine.


The Political-Economic And Institutional Issues Of The Ukrainian Tax System: The Adventures Of Some Modern Institutions In A Country Of Pervasive Discretion. Part III

This article is the third part in the series of posts devoted to Ukraine’s tax system. The first article provided a general overview of the country’s tax system while the second explained that tax evasion should be fought with a top-down approach. This article argues that the main purpose of tax reform should be to limit the discretion of tax authorities by simplifying the tax code as much as possible.


How to Reform Ukraine’s Parliamentary Immunity

The Ukrainian Parliament has postponed until August consideration of a bill that would abolish judicial and parliamentary immunity. Although this issue has recently taken a back seat to decentralization, it remains an important policy matter that requires through analysis and scrutiny.


Jury in Ukraine

The actual people’s participation in justice by adjudication has been promised and awaited its moment for a very long time, and without a doubt it is a meaningful step forward for Ukrainian community. Another matter of concern for legislator should become the ongoing debate on how to secure the impartiality of jury and secure an obligation of lay judges to refrain from independent research on a case in the era of new social media, when it is almost impossible to control the flow of information and individual personal contacts.


Decentralization: Second Try

Current Ukrainian model of power distribution is somewhere in between the model where a president is the head of the government (like in US) and the parliamentary republic where a president has only representative functions (like in Germany). Hence, it is natural that the president and the Prime-Minister try to “pull” the decision-making center to their side. Perhaps, it is the time to choose between the two constitutional models?


Borovikgate Online II: Leading Source of Tweets and Dynamics of Sharing

We analysed data from Twitter about the recent firing of Mr. Borovik in the two weeks following the event, from May 13 – May 30. Among the accounts with high number of followers, media tends to be neutral or positive about Borovik, while individual accounts (opinion makers) tend to be negative. There is no discernible dynamic pattern in the data that is consistent with an organized campaign in favor or against Borovik.


Facebooking Alone? Ukrainian Revolution and Social Capital

Many believe that a repeated positive experience of online communication during Euromaidan served as a bridgehead to the offline social capital growth. However, Tymofiy Brik’s study shows that the role of Internet in generating social capital was limited. Most likely, face-to-face communication between activists may provide a better explanation for the Euromaidan social capital conundrum.


The Rise of Populism in Ukraine

The true cause of rise of populism in Ukraine is the failure of the new government to meet the hopes of the public and meaningfully confront the corrupt elites. The government has been shy on tackling difficult tasks of challenging vested interests and creating robust, healthy, and independent institutions. It has found easier to focus on reforms which impose direct and immediate cost on the population, while leaving many of the old non-productive rent seeking networks untouched.