One year ago, on March 30, Ukraine introduced amendments to legislation requiring public officials to declare assets and extended obligations to civil society activists fighting corruption. Consequently, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum adopted a statement calling on the authorities to repeal this legislation. This request was not heeded although strong recommendations were also given by the EU, CoE’s Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR. The deadline for the submission of the assets declaration is set for April 1, 2018.
Our Steering Committee members support the recent statement by Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in which he calls on the Ukrainian authorities to lift this requirement.
“Civil society has been doing an important and courageous work and must be able to play its proper role without undue obstacles and interference […] imposing asset declarations upon them only puts unacceptable and undue burden and pressure on them and will play into the hands of those keen to destroy Ukraine’s efforts to fight corruption effectively.”
The EaP CSF Steering Committee reiterates our legitimate call since the ability of civil society organisations to operate without undue interference by officials is a fundamental principle for our Civil Society Forum. In light of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement it is of crucial importance that the authorities respect their commitments on democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms.