Declaration of Intent
Trust in political institutions is a key element of their legitimacy. It is particularly true for the parliament as a representative body. State of trust in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has been at its lowest in the last few years. To a large extent, this is due to public perceptions about the dubious ethical principles of the people’s deputies. The high-profile corruption cases and numerous violations of not only the Rules of Procedures by many MPs but also the order in the session hall once again prove that. It can be noted that attempts to embark on the path of achieving transparency, accountability and professional standards of legislative procedures runs into resistance of politicians for whom the conflict of interest, unacceptable behavior in the voting chamber, gender discrimination, sexism signs, false accusations, lack of dialogue etc. turn up to be a norm. In the same time, in countries of consolidated democracy, the high professional and ethical standards of parliamentarians in fulfilling their mandates serve as a background for building citizen’s trust and support. Thus, there is an increasing need for the development and recording of provisions, which relate to professional ethics in the parliament and the proper fulfillment of parliamentary powers.
Thereby, we who have signed below:
1. Understanding the importance of honest representation of society’s interests in the parliament and of principles of tolerance, trust, pluralism of opinions and mutual respect, we recognize the necessity to regulate issues of parliamentary ethics.
2. In accordance with the recommendations by the Verkhovna Rada Needs Assessment Mission of the European Parliament and the Brussels Declaration of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE we believe it is necessary to draft and enact the Code of Conduct in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This should be done with consideration of the principle of inclusion and according to the best international practices.
3. We agree that in order to be effective the proposed initiative calls for a constantly active dialogue platform to work out the provisions of the Code. Such a platform should be non-partisan and take into account points of view of all interested parties. The process of negotiations can be facilitated by external expert support of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives with the support of the Matra Programme (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) and in partnership with OSCE ODIHR and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and with assistance from the USAID Program “RADA: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly” without influencing the decisions.
4. In our activities as MPs we guarantee enforcement of principles of transparency, accountability, avoidance of conflict of interests, tolerance and respect for human rights.
5. We declare our support to the dialogue on issues of parliamentary ethics.
The activities are held within the project of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives “Promoting Democratic Political Culture in Verkhovna Rada through Political Dialogue and Ethical Standards”, carried out with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine in partnership with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) “Strengthening Dialogue among Civil Society and with Key Governmental Stakeholders in Ukraine in Human Dimension” and with the assistance of the USAID RADA Program: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly, implemented by East Europe Foundation.