Rule of law based local governance in Ukraine – ways forward

Over the past one and a half years FBA has been implementing the project Local Self-Government and the Rule of Law in Ukraine.  “Some of the major outcomes so far have been the networks created among local authorities and the increasing support for the importance of upholding the rule of law at the local and national level”, says project leader Shane Quinn.

The FBA’s project in Ukraine aims at strengthening the respect for the rule of law in the Ukrainian local administration. The FBA has developed an assessment tool that will be used in twelve Ukrainian towns and cities during the project period. The rule of law assessments conducted to date in six local administrations in the southern and western regions of Ukraine have included over 4500 people surveyed reflecting both civil servants’, as well as citizens’ perspectives. The assessments typically address sensitive and problematic services for example related to land and/or property rights.    

Among the core principles of the rule of law, particularly low scores have been recorded on the citizens’ right to appeal administrative decisions. This is partly due to the legal framework lacking the administrative procedure code that is still at the draft stage in Ukraine since 1998.

Adopting this code would have direct implications for individual rights by ensuring citizens’ participation in decision-making processes, thus increasing social legitimacy at the local level, said Viktor Tymoshchuk, Deputy Chairman of the Center for Political and Legal Reforms, during one of the project’s events in the Odesa oblast in June 2016.

The government’s current plan is to approve the law in 2018. There are however a set of measures that local self-government authorities can choose to implement themselves already at this stage. This could include providing clear guidelines on citizens’ right to be heard before administrative decisions are taken, explicit appeal procedures and transparent complaint review mechanisms.

To support the cities with such initiatives, the FBA project will proceed with the drafting of action plans to increase the respect and demand for the rule of law locally. Several roadmaps for more transparent service delivery and enhanced access to information have already been drafted together with the municipalities of Mykolaiv and Yuzhne in the Odesa region. 

Local self-government is a key actor in shaping the reform process and bolstering the grassroots structures. Yet, Ludmila Ceban, project officer, further emphasizes:
– One of the major challenges in Ukraine is creating demand at the local level for a more comprehensive approach to integrating rule of law principles into governance processes.

To reach out to the general public as well as important stakeholders, the project communicates through social media, workshops and other events. The project has an office in Kyiv, coordinating much of the activities in Ukraine, along with FBA’s implementing partners.

Photo: Ben Sutherland/Flickr

MORE FROM HOME

Electoral violence a threat to peace and democratic development

Up to 84 million Nigerians are now going to the polls. But the risk of violence in connection with the presidential and parliamentary election casts a long shadow over Africa’s most populated nation. Hundreds of lives have been lost during earlier elections. Electoral violence is also a threat to peace in many other countries. FBA conducts research and training on prevention of electoral violence, and deploys election observers whose presence can contribute to law and order.

2019-02-13 11:32

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Christian Altpeter

    Reflections on the year that passed – and on the glue that holds society together

    December often is a time to look back at the year that has passed and like everywhere else, at FBA it is part of the job. It comes with filing reports, tying up loose ends and ensuring all paper work is in order before the new year starts, and with it a new budget and new projects.

    Another part of the job working for FBA and the Dialogue and Peace Mediation Unit is traveling. Over the past ... Read entire post »

    2018-12-27 10:14
  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Escalation in Ukraine

    No one could have missed the recent escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine. While the daily casualties in Donbas (reportedly over 1300 ceasefire violations per day) tend to receive less media coverage, the declared martial law covering ten regions of Ukraine came as a reality check of sorts.

    Possible limitations on individual rights and freedoms remain to be seen, but there are apparent concerns about how the law might affect Ukraine’s long struggle for democracy. Efforts to strengthen ... Read entire post »

    2018-12-18 11:00
  • Posted by Anna Möller-Loswick

    Supporting women peace leaders: an investment in sustainable peace

    Women play vital roles in conflict resolution, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. They mediate conflicts at the local level, advocate for the needs and priorities of women to be addressed in official peace processes, and work tirelessly to build peace in their communities. Research shows that women’s direct participation in peace negotiations increases the durability and quality of peace. They can serve as brokers who connect women civil society networks at the local level to the official ... Read entire post »

    2018-08-23 14:19
Photo

Taleb Sobeh

Taleb is expert on Iraq and Palestine

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Twitter