Anti-corruption campaigners now required to submit e-declarations of revenue
Bill on E-declarations for Anti-Corruption CSOs
Наразі текст законопроекту про Вищий антикорупційний суд готується до другого читання. І для консультацій запросили представника Венеційської комісії! #TIUkraine #YesToAntiCorruptionCourt #антикорсуду_бути @ua_parliament @AndriyParubiy pic.twitter.com/dgXmcqwH9I— Transparency Ukraine (@TransparencyUA) March 29, 2018
In March 2017, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted amendments to the law "On Combating Corruption", according to which anti-corruption civil society organisations (CSOs) would be required to file electronic declarations of their revenue streams. This requirement came into force on 1st April 2018. The amendments were criticised by many in Ukrainian civil society and, as a result, in July 2017 President Petro Poroshenko submitted a draft law that would have abolished the e-declaration requirement for CSOs. That draft has however not been adopted.
In March 2018, Parliamentary Speaker Andrei Parubiy attempted to postpone the April 2018 deadline required for CSOs to file e-declarations. On 23rd March, however, deputies in the Verkhovna Rada did not vote on postponing the deadline for CSOs. Instead, they approved draft law No. 6172, which exempted some military officials from having to file e-declarations. That law was sent to President Poroshenko to be signed.
On 16th March 2018, the Venice Commission strongly urged the Ukrainian authorities to take more immediate action to “cancel the e-declaration requirements for anti-corruption activists...and to ensure that the cancellation enters into force before April 1, 2018..."
On 19th March, a few days before the parliamentary debates over the law, civil society groups organised protests in front of several public institutions. In addition to criticism from domestic civic groups, EU officials have declared that the e-declaration requirements for anti-corruption activists are not in line with Ukraine’s international obligations, and if implemented, could reflect poorly on its international relations and partnerships. Regardless of the push-back from both domestic and international actors, the Verkhovna Rada has confirmed that e-declarations will be required of anti-corruption CSOs.
Smear campaigns against #NGOs, intimidations of #anticorruption activists, and the adoption of e-declaration laws targeting activists and employees of anticorruption NGOs saw #Ukraine’s civil society score decline this year #NIT2018: https://t.co/YHmxFDUWWl— Nations in Transit (@FH_NIT) April 11, 2018
Over the last several years, more and more anti-corruption protests have been held in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. At the end of February and beginning of March 2018, for example, protests took place with clashes reported between protesters and law enforcement officers outside the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament). Demonstrators were calling for lawmakers to support the president's bill on the Anti-Corruption Court, which was approved during its first reading on 1st March. The clashes broke out when law enforcement officials decided to remove the tent camp that had been erected outside the Verkhovna Rada. According to reports, police arrested approximately 50 people while taking down the camp, and there were also reports of several protesters and police officers having been injured during the clashes.