Ukrainian Parliament Approves Law on Lobbying in First Reading That EU Expects Kyiv to Adopt

Wednesday, 10 January 2024

The Ukrainian parliament has voted in favour of the draft law on lobbying in the first reading, which is actually the last of the requirements of the European Commission (EC), as formulated in its report on enlargement in November.

As reported by Yaroslav Zhelezniak, a lawmaker from the Holos (Voice) party faction, on Telegram, a total of 309 MPs voted in favour of the draft law, none voted against it, and 15 abstained.

The adoption of the law is one of the four recommendations of the European Commission, which Ukraine had to complete by March, according to the November EC report on enlargement. This is actually the only remaining condition. The European Union's assessment of the draft law adopted on Wednesday has not yet been made.

The draft law, among other things, proposes to define the following:

  • terminology with regard to lobbying;
  • rights and obligations of lobbying entities;
  • influence methods;
  • ethical behaviour rules for lobbying entities;
  • establishment of the Transparency Register, which is to be kept and administered by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention;
  • the procedure for registration in the Transparency Register and exceptions to it;
  • access to the Transparency Register (open and free of charge);
  • reporting of the lobbying entity to be entered in the Transparency Register;
  • mechanisms for controlling the activities of lobbying entities by monitoring compliance with lobbying legislation.

The purpose of the draft law is to ensure the legal framework for lobbying in Ukraine in accordance with international practices and standards, regulatory and legal regulation of the interaction between officials of state authorities and local self-government bodies with stakeholders and lobbying entities, establishing transparent mechanisms to ensure the activities of lobbying entities and officials of state authorities and local self-government bodies; and mechanisms to monitor lobbying activities.

Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, previously stressed that the draft law separated advocacy from lobbying, as "advocacy is not lobbying".

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 adopting a law that would regulate lobbying in line with European standards.

Earlier, the EU Ambassador to Kyiv explained why the adoption of the lobbying law was a requirement for Ukraine.

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