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An important step towards overcoming political corruption: the draft Code of Ethics for People’s Deputies was registered in the parliament

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An important step towards overcoming political corruption: the draft Code of Ethics for People’s Deputies was registered in the parliament

A group of MP’s, which includes representatives of almost all parliamentary factions and groups, yesterday, December 30, 2022, submitted to the parliament the draft Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding the Rules of Ethical Behavior of People’s Deputies of Ukraine (Code of Ethics)” (registration number 8327). The draft law proposes to make changes to a number of laws of Ukraine (“On the status of the people’s deputy of Ukraine”, “On the committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”, the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, approved by the Law of Ukraine “On the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”), which define:

principles and rules of deputy ethics;

responsibility applied to deputies who violate the norms of deputy ethics;

a committee that will monitor compliance with discipline and rules of deputy ethics;

peculiarities of the formation of such a committee;

the principles of consideration of complaints about violations of the rules of deputy ethics;

the principles of appealing decisions on the deputy’s responsibility for violating the norms of deputy ethics.

The adoption of such a draft law is one of the key recommendations to Ukraine from the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) of the Council of Europe, and is also provided for by the State Anti-Corruption Program for the Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2023-2025.

Why is this important?

The big problem of our country is the low level of public trust in the parliament. This does not allow state institutions to work effectively and threatens the country’s democratic system. Ethical and responsible behavior of government officials is a necessary structural element of a democratic system. MP’s have the authority to decide the fate of the entire Ukrainian society, therefore high demands are placed on their behavior. People’s elected officials are under the constant attention of the mass media as public figures endowed with the highest power. Accordingly, scandalous cases of improper behavior of people’s deputies are constantly discussed in the public space and cause considerable resonance. Unworthy acts or statements of deputies do not always entail consequences for them. As a result, the level of distrust in the Verkhovna Rada has reached 75% in recent years, according to public opinion polls.

The issue of the professionalism of MP’s is also important for trust in the parliament and parliamentarism. Unethical behavior in the Verkhovna Rada affects the public assessment of the professional capacity not only of an individual deputy, but also of the parliament as a whole. Deputies must adhere to uniform rules of conduct at the workplace. Unified standards will also help to unite the people’s deputies themselves and constructively resolve interpersonal conflicts and political disagreements.

What exactly is offered?

The norms of deputy ethics apply to the behavior of a people’s deputy in the public space, including public speeches, statements in the mass media, and the Internet. MP’s sign an obligation to adhere to the principles and rules of deputy ethics after taking the oath of allegiance to Ukraine.

Basic principles of deputy ethics:




openness to society;


respect for law;

respect for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;




The rules of deputy ethics are introduced, according to which a MP:

makes decisions based solely on the interests of the Ukrainian people;

uses property and funds allocated for the exercise of deputy powers judiciously and sparingly, exclusively for the intended purpose;

does not disclose restricted information. Does not use information obtained in the exercise of deputy powers, which is not public, or is information with limited access, for personal gain or the personal gain of close relatives of the MP;

does not use his powers, mandate and status as a people’s deputy for the purpose of obtaining undue benefits for himself or others. Does not demand or receive any benefit in exchange for voting for any decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or its committees, temporary investigative commissions, temporary special commissions, other bodies of the Verkhovna Rada, registration of amendments and proposals to draft laws, registration of draft laws, resolutions , other acts of the Verkhovna Rada, proposals for making procedural and other decisions, registration of deputy requests and appeals;

does not address parliamentary inquiries and appeals on issues that are not of public interest;

does not influence the decisions of other MP’s, officials of the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, state authorities, or local self-government, regarding the employment of relatives of the deputy;

informs about the existence of a conflict of interests in accordance with the norms of the laws “On Prevention of Corruption” and “On the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”.

A separate block of rules concerns the prevention of violence and discrimination.

Responsibility for violation of the norms of deputy ethics is foreseen, in particular, the following types of sanctions:

issuing a warning to a people’s deputy about a violation of the rules of deputy ethics and providing recommendations on compliance with the rules of deputy ethics;

a warning, which is announced by the chairman during a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada;

imposing an obligation on a MP’s to attend a training course on compliance with the norms of parliamentary ethics, during which the people’s deputy is deprived of the right to participate in plenary meetings of the Verkhovna Rada (up to five plenary meetings);

deprivation of the right of a people’s deputy to participate in meetings of the Verkhovna Rada, meetings of committees, temporary investigative commissions and temporary special commissions for a period of up to one month, or deprivation of payments related to the performance of deputy powers for a period of one to two calendar months.

The bill envisages the creation of a separate committee, the subject of which is the control of compliance with discipline and rules of deputy ethics. On the basis of the committee’s decision, people’s deputies will be held accountable for violating the norms of deputy ethics.

Information on violations of the norms of deputy ethics is published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Such information includes the surname, first name, and patronymic of the deputy who violated the rules of deputy ethics, the date of such violation, the responsibility the deputy bore for such violation, and a brief description of the nature of the violation.

The authors of the draft law are MP’s Viktoriya Pidgorna, the head of the parliamentary working group with whom the experts of the NACP cooperated, the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Kornienko, as well as experts from the NGO “Laboratory of Legislative Initiatives” – a public organization that actively advocates legislative regulation of parliamentary ethics norms during the last ten years.

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