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Venice Commission – Ukraine: Constitutional reform to be tackled urgently

05/02/2015

Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Consultations in Kyiv on 3-4 February 2015 between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko and the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Groysman, with a delegation of the Venice Commission, headed by its President, Gianni Buquicchio, focused on constitutional reform, reform of the judiciary and decentralisation. The Venice Commission delegation also met representatives of political forces represented in the Verkhovna Rada and the President of the Constitutional Court Yuriy Baulin.

The Venice Commission delegation underlined the need to adopt constitutional amendments in the second reading by September, in order to provide a solid basis for the reform of the judiciary and the prosecution service and to clarify the composition and powers of local and regional authorities before the October municipal elections. President Buquicchio therefore welcomed the intention to establish a Constitutional Commission this week and underlined the availability of the Venice Commission to assist this Commission. Ms Hanna Suchocka, former prime minister of Poland and Venice Commission member, is ready to take part in meetings of the Constitutional Commission in an advisory capacity. The Venice Commission will also assist the revision of the law on the judicial system and the status of judges as a first step of judicial reform, pending the entry into force of the constitutional amendments.

In addition, the necessity to bring the lustration framework in line with the applicable international standards was reiterated by both sides. The discussions have set the stage for a 12 February visit to Kyiv by a group of Venice Commission members to continue dialogue on the revision of the lustration law in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The President of the Venice Commission welcomed the commitment of the Ukrainian authorities to continue the reform process in a particularly trying time.

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