Progress of Ukrainian reforms
Over the past three months, Ukraine has made considerable progress in its European path by launching reforms in seven critical sectors such as education, the judiciary, the pension system, healthcare, public administration, cybersecurity and electoral law. We have no intention of slowing the pace of reforms, despite the challenges posed by Russian aggression.
• Economic growth
- according to the National Bank of Ukraine’s most recent data, real GDP increased by 2% in the third quarter of 2017. The forecast for the whole year has improved to an expected 2,2 % growth (year-on-year). The Bank’s forecast puts real GDP growth for 2018 - 2019 at 3.2% and 3.5% respectively;
- International trade in goods has risen by 25 % in the first nine months of 2017; with the EU, the increase has been 31%;
- Capital investments grew by 22.5 % in the first six months of 2017;
- The construction index rose by 23.8 % in first nine months of 2017;
- International reserves are up – reserves of the National Bank amount to almost $18.6 billion in October 2017 compared to $7,5 billion in 2014.
- Ukraine has climbed 4 places in the World Bank's Doing Business ranking
• Judicial reform
- On 3 October, Parliament adopted a bill enabling the relaunch of the Supreme Court. The new Supreme Court of Ukraine is being set up anew through open and transparent competition and with active participation of civil society. MPs also adopted a law amending relevant procedural court mechanisms and introducing the Supreme Court as the single cassation body in Ukraine. New procedural rules for consideration of cases by the Supreme Court were also adopted;
- On 9 November, Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading the draft law of Ukraine "On privatization of the State Property" (No.7066), submitted to the Parliament with recommendation of National Reform Council. The Law is in line with Ukraine’s commitments to the IMF and makes the privatisation process more transparent, swifter and more secure for potential investors.
• National security and defence reform
- On October 5, the Parliament adopted the draft Law #2126a “On main principles of the provision of cyber-security of Ukraine”. For the first time, the Law details definitions of issues such as cyber-attack, cyber-security, cyber-threats indexes, or critically-important infrastructure objects. The law defines responsibilities of key state institutions in this area including the State Special Communication service of Ukraine, intelligence agencies, the Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces, or the National Bank.
• Education reform
- On September 25, 2017, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Law “On Education”, passed by the Verkhovna Rada on 5 September 2017. This provides EQUAL access to quality education for all Ukrainian children, regardless of their place of birth, social status or ethnic origin. A gradual increase in learning the state language. Article 7 of the Law ensures that students belonging to national minorities can study in their native language in pre-school and primary school education. In the 5th to 12th grade, a gradual increase in Ukrainian-language instruction is envisaged while subjects in native language will remain integral parts of the school curriculum;
- Pending an assessment by the Venice Commission expected in December 2017, a new bill on secondary education will be adopted incorporating the commission’s recommendations.
• Health care reform
- Ukrainian parliament on 19 October passed the Law introducing the long-awaited medical reform. Following the adoption of the bill, a series of changes will be made by 2020 including the introduction of a health insurance system financed by the government, and a mechanism to allow patients to choose doctors and hospitals themselves. The law envisages that some medical services will be covered by the state with no citizens’ co-payments (a list is being finalised) while doctors will be able to set their own prices for services and choose which hospitals and clinics to use.
• National State Budget for 2018
On September 15, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine voted to adopt the draft law "On the State Budget for 2018". Unlike in previous years, the law was submitted in due time to the Parliament. The budget is expected to be pro-growth and envisages a revenue increase.
• The 4G-standard services introduction in Ukraine
- On November 7 the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCCIR) adopted a decision to organize a tender for 4G mobile licenses in the bands frequencies of 2510-2545 MHz, 2565-2570 MHz, 26-30-2665 MHz, 2685-2690 MHz. The first tender is scheduled for 23 January 2018.
• Laws related to the Minsk process
- On 6 October, the Parliament passed in the first reading the Law on special status for certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions of Ukraine and Law “On peculiarities of the state policy on restoration of Ukraine’s state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine”. The former law ensures the extension of the law passed in September 2014 until October 2018 (it was meant to expire by 18 October 2017).
The Law on “de-occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk regions” officially declares the areas of Donbas as “occupied” and explicitly names Russia as the aggressor. Besides, it reiterates the sovereign right of Ukraine to self-defence according to the Article 51 of the UN Charter, gives the President the right to impose martial law in certain areas and makes amendments to laws regulating veterans’ affairs (enhancing their social and legal protection without Parliament’s prior consent).