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Parliament approves in first reading lobbying bill crucial for EU integration

by Martin Fornusek January 10, 2024 3:59 PM 2 min read
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on August 23, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Andrii Nesterenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved in the first reading on Jan. 10 a bill on lobbying, one of the remaining requirements presented to Kyiv by the European Commission in its latest assessment, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said.

In its November report, the EU's executive body recommended the launch of accession talks with Kyiv but noted that several reforms are still needed, namely adopting a law on lobbying.

According to Zhelezniak, the bill effectively functions as an alternative to the anti-oligarch law.

The anti-oligarch legislation, passed in 2021 to curtail the political influence of oligarchs, was postponed until after the end of the full-scale war based on a recommendation of the Venice Commission, an advisory body to the Council of Europe.

The new lobbying bill, backed by 309 lawmakers in the first reading, establishes definitions and rules for lobbying and involved subjects.

It also provides for the creation of a new transparency register run by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention and creates new mechanisms for lobbying monitoring.

The bill still needs to pass a second reading and receive a presidential signature before it becomes a law.

As Ukraine continues in its reform efforts on its path toward EU membership, it received a positive signal on its aspirations. During a summit in December, the European Council agreed to launch the accession talks with Kyiv.

BREAKING: European Council agrees to open accession talks with Ukraine, Moldova
The European Council has agreed to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, European Council President Charles Michel announced on Dec. 14.
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