In the course of the meeting with NGO representatives, President Petro Poroshenko signed a Decree to facilitate development of civil society. The Head of State thanked the public for participation in drafting the National Strategy of Facilitating Civil Society Development.
The President emphasized that the Revolution of Dignity had provided new opportunities for civil society development and deepening democracy in Ukraine. Particularly, the Head of State noted the contribution of volunteers to the Armed Forces and the Defense Ministry reform. He also drew attention to the active participation of the public in the European integration processes and improvement of social attitude towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. “The role of civil society is crucial for both European integration and national defense,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
The President underlined the role of the public in state reformation. “Probably the second most important sphere of reforms is anti-corruption legislation. Irrespective of the attitude towards criticism, the authorities should learn to cooperate with the public in order to gain trust inside the country and demonstrate this cooperation to the world,” the Head of State said. According to the President, participation of the public in the committees for the selection of candidates for the anti-corruption agencies is essential for ensuring transparency and independence of the aforementioned institutions.
Petro Poroshenko expressed his discontent with the delay in the establishment of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption. Virtually, it is the only institutional issue that remains to be resolved in the establishment of the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU.
The President urged the public to support and demonstrate proactive stance on constitutional amendments in terms of judicial reform.
Executive Director of the International Renaissance Foundation Yevhen Bystrytsky called the Decree a “historic document that hasn’t been in Ukraine before”. “Specifics of this document is not that we expect the President to tell the government what to do with NGOs. Specifics of this document is in the opportunities for civil society,” he noted.
Yevhen Bystrytsky believes NGOs can make a significant contribution to the process of decentralization, for they can be tutors and convey their experience to the territorial communities. In this context, he emphasized the importance of developing civil education.