Ukraine’s government approves a draft law on lobbying required for talks with the EU

At a meeting on December 7, the Ukrainian government approved a draft law on lobbying with revisions that considers the suggestions of the civil society and comments from the Ministry of Justice.

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna reported this.

She noted that at the end of last week, she had a meeting with representatives of public organizations, where they discussed in detail the legislative changes proposed by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention.

As a result of the joint work, Stefanishyna said, the draft law improved the definition of lobbying, the object and subject of lobbying, finalized the list of rights and obligations of the subject and object of lobbying, and identified areas and issues to which the law does not apply.

Read also: European Commission: Ukraine fulfilled 4 out of 7 criteria for EU candidate – media

The government approved the text submitted by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, considering the proposals of civil society, as emphasized by Stefanishyna.

She emphasized that the draft law separated advocacy from lobbying, as “advocacy is not lobbying.”

“The law on lobbying must comply with European standards. Its goal should be to create a transparent market for lobbying services. The primary aim should be to reduce the influence of oligarchs on public administration and the economy, rather than limiting the ability of the public sector to promote socially significant changes. The draft law clearly defines what advocacy is and that it is not lobbying,” Stefanishyna emphasized.

 The European Commission defines the adoption of the draft law on lobbying as one of four additional steps for Ukraine to be recognized as ready to start negotiations on accession to the EU. 

The parliament already has the other three draft laws, and I hope they will adopt them soon. This will be a powerful signal while discussing decisions on Ukraine, which we expect to be adopted at the European Council next week,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

In November, the European Commission recommended that EU member states start formal negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU after Ukraine takes four additional steps, including the adoption of a law that would regulate lobbying according to European standards.

Katarina Mathernova, the head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, confirmed that the EU requires Ukraine to adopt a law on lobbying, and the presidents have agreed upon this requirement.

Mathernova did not deny that this requirement is unrelated to Ukraine’s implementation of the EU acquis as part of the accession negotiations, as EU law lacks formalized European rules in this area.

However, according to her, Ukraine should be prepared for the fact that Kyiv will face similar requirements on its way to joining the EU.

Read also: European Commission recommends EU states to start accession talks with Ukraine

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