Five classes have already graduated the Active Community School “The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the inside”! We summarize and share some useful information from our speakers with you.

Oleksandra Hlizhynska, executive director of the “Institute Respublika” and co-founder of All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community”, informed that the school should help the public to interact with the authorities.

Our coaches worked to:

● debunk existing in society myths about the Parliament;

● provide ideas on how to cooperate with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

● give the opportunity to take part in the public consultations to participants of the training course.

Oleksandra Hlizhynska also claimed that the experts, who are involved in the trainings, are practitioners in the field of politics and civic activism. These are:

● Oleksandr Solontay, policy expert of the Institute of Political Education.

● Nataliia Malinovska, Candidate of Political Science, policy expert of the “Institute Respublika” and of All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community”.

● Victor Taran, political scientist, founder of the Centre for Political Studies and Analytics “Eidos”.

● Oleksandr Marusyak, expert of the Centre for Political and Legal Reforms.

● Oleksandra Hlizhynska, executive director of the “Institute Respublika”.

Oleksandr Solontay told about the activity of people’s deputies. According to the legislation of Ukraine a People’s Deputy of Ukraine is a high-ranking civil servant, whose main activity should be parliamentary activity. The political scientist stressed that in practice many deputies are engaged in other activities, and the representation of people’s interests is considered to be a secondary task. However, there are positive trends – many deputies are beginning to focus only on their parliamentary work now.

Victor Taran touched upon the issue of fractions and inter-fractional associations. Thus, the expert said that modern fractions consist of representatives of certain parties that have entered parliament and work together. They protect the interests of voters in accordance with their program and ideology. Adherence to the ideology and the principles is realized by submitting or supporting certain legislative initiatives of the faction.

When you go to vote for political parties, you actually vote for fractions that later will form the government. When you vote, ask the party a set of simple questions:

●Who is your candidate for Prime Minister?

●Who are your candidates for government?

●Who do you see the future coalition with?

In addition, there are parliamentary groups in parliament, which include non-partisan deputies who defend their rights and interests through these associations.

The next day, Oleksandr Solontay told in details about the structure of the state power, the interaction of its branches and the place of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in this system. The expert informed that the parliament is the highest legislature acting on behalf of Ukrainian people. To understand the essence of our parliament better, it is worth paying attention to its historical development. The political scientist noted that there was a “golden period” in the history of Ukrainian parliamentarism, and that is 1990-1991.

Natalia Malinovska, a policy expert of the “Institute Respublica” and All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community”, told about the activities of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The speaker told how to use the official website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, where to look for contact details and declarations.

Oleksandr Marusyak focused on the activities of the Committees the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The expert described the activities of the Committees as follows: “During their activity, the Committees give recommendations to the people’s deputies. The people’s deputies can listen to the recommendations or reject them. Information is also exchanged between Committees and other authorities: Ministries, services, or public institutions”.

Oleksandr Marusyak also revealed the process of forming the Committees and the functions they perform.

Natalia Malinovska told what stages the draft law goes through to become a law.

The objects of the legislative initiative are:

draft laws are drafts of laws, resolutions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which contain statutory provisions;

draft acts are draft resolutions, declarations, requests, appeals from the constituent, organizational, control and other functions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

proposals are amendments to the text of the draft law (articles, their parts, paragraphs, sentences), changes in the order of placement, merger of sections, articles, their parts and clauses, as well as the allocation of certain provisions in separate sections, articles, paragraphs;

• amendment means making corrections, clarifications, elimination of mistakes and contradictions in the text of the draft law (Part 5 of Article 84 of The Rules of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine).

Ms. Natalia noted that before becoming a law, the draft law must go through seven stages. The draft law is elaborated in details and amended on each stage.

Only after that it can become a law.

Natalia Malinovska drew attention to the fact that in comparison with other European parliaments deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine submit an extremely high number of draft laws.

“On the one hand, the number is really impressive in comparison with other European parliaments, but we must also pay attention to the fact that different countries have different legislative procedures and different types of draft laws that can be registered in parliament,” said the expert.

Oleksandra Hlizhynska told about how citizens can influence political processes through effective communication with the authorities.

If you have a problem that needs to be addressed to people’s deputies, you should carefully study the issue. This will help to find in parliament the person who has the greatest knowledge for solving this problem. Preparation will allow you to justify the importance of the issue.

Next you need to analyze the “environment”. This can be done in such a way:

“After negotiations with government officials it is important to organize a public consultation to develop a successful strategy,” said the expert.

Public consultation is a process of two-way communication between the government and citizens on certain policy issues. According to the experience of the All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community” public consultations are the most effective communication tool.

In general, the school participants praised the quality and practicality of the trainings. Inna Gochoshvili, a member of “The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine from the inside”, said that it was a political “likbez” (elimination of illiteracy) for all participants and that she would spread knowledge about the parliament in class for her students. Among the attendees of the training there were many students studying law and public administration. They joined the event in order to deepen their knowledge, which will be applied in their professional activity. “Your course helped me a lot,” says a student Anastasia Pentyuk.

Certificate. The school is implemented by All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community” from the “Institute Respublica” within the USAID (US Agency for International Development) RADA Program implemented by the Eastern Europe Fund.

Note. The mission of the “Active Community” is to achieve prosperity through the democratic development of Ukrainian communities. The goal for the year 2025 is to activate and involve at least 1% of citizens in decision-making and promotion of reforms in Ukraine on a systemic basis for the well-being of Ukrainian communities. The initiative is created within the activities of the Institute Respublica. We work to increase the conscious activity of citizens.

Author: Diana Deliurman, manager of work with social networks of All-Ukrainian Initiative “Active Community”