Through May to June 2020, a series of public consultations were held: “All-Ukrainian Referendum: Open Dialogue with Citizens.” The main purpose of the consultations is an open dialogue with citizens on the All-Ukrainian Referendum.

The event attendees were the experts in constitutional law, members of the public, political parties, the CEC and numerous non-governmental organizations. In total, about 500 participants from all regions of Ukraine took part in 6 consultations.

In particular, the attendees had the opportunity to discuss the following issues:

  • the subject and framework of the all-Ukrainian referendum;
  • whether the people have the right to initiate a national referendum;
  • what is the role of the political parties and public organizations in the referendum process?
  • education and information are most important for a beneficial referendum;
  • funding during the referendum procedures;
  • consequences of the All-Ukrainian Referendum.

“These discussions provide both the knowledge and an opportunity to discuss and express views on the referendum process,” said Iryna Kachurivska, the Research Institute coordinator of the program for involving citizens.

According to Yulia Kyrychenko, the expert of the Centre for Political and Legal Reforms, the participants of the consultations managed to hold a really thorough public discussion of the comprehensive process under such complex conditions.

During the discussions, the participants worked in groups of 8-10 people. With the support of the “Active Community” All-Ukrainian Initiative coordinators who moderating their work, they developed and presented a number of ideas. During the group discussions, the participants were also assisted and advised by experts of the CPLR, IFES and CEC.  

We would like to note that all proposals of the participants of the discussion will be compiled and analysed. In the future, they will be handed to the working group of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which is developing the draft law “On Referendum”.

The Parliament, in turn, submitted a draft law “On Referendum” to the Venice Commission for an opinion.

Reference data. The events are organized by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in cooperation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), in partnership with the Center for Political and Legal Reforms (CPLR) and the “Active Community” All-Ukrainian Initiative of the Institute Respublika.

Note. Public consultations will be funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada and with the British assistance from the UK Government. The views expressed during the events are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID, the governments of the United States of America, Canada, or the United Kingdom.

Author: Head of the Public Affairs Office of “Active Community” All-Ukrainian Initiative Tetiana Kavunenko