Monthly Archive: April 2015

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Index for Monitoring Reforms (IMoRe). Release 8

Pay attention! We have revised methodology for Index of monitoring reforms. The Index is calculated once in two weeks based on an expert survey. The IMoRe value for the 8th monitoring period (April 6th – 19th, 2015) totaled +0.9 points out of the possible range from -5.0 to +5.0 points. The pace of reform decelerated notably. While changes in governance, anti-corruption and deregulation had a positive impact on Index value, absence of significant events in Public Finance and Energy Independence areas slowed down the index pace.

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A Must-Read. John Herbst Speech at JCE Conference: It’s Not Russia Against the West, It’s Reaction Against the Future

John Herbst served for thirty-one years as a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State, retiring at the rank of Career-Minister. For the most of his career he was involved in CIS and Middle East issues. He was a US Ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. Currently John Herbst is the Director of Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center of the Atlantic Council, an influential think tank. You can listen to this speech at the JCE Conference

9

Can Developing a Cannabis Industry Help the Ukrainian Economy?

As Ukraine is searching for methods to remedy its economy, some new and even unconventional ways of generating revenues could be considered. The tendency of the cannabis policies around the world and especially in the developed countries is leaning towards legalization of cannabis for medical and, to a lesser extent, recreational use. According to Dr. Robert Morris, associate professor of criminology and lead author of the study published in the journal PLOS ONE, legalizing cannabis may reduce rates of homicide and assault. This finding would support the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine, where violent crime is on the rise and the current conflict area in Eastern Ukraine is flooded with arms.

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Lessons Learned From a Decade of Georgian Reforms

Georgian reforms have become an internationally traded commodity. Ukraine could really learn from Georgia’s experience, – writes Eric Livny in his column for VoxUkraine.org. Georgia is held as a living proof that change is possible, that new countries can overcome the post-Soviet crime-and-corruption predicament and establish a modern and efficient state. Reforms are not a myth, they are the everyday reality for anybody living and working here. A key problem still haunting Georgia today is that the risks of investing in the country outweigh many of the locational and ease-of-doing-business advantages it offers. And, perhaps paradoxically, instead of abating, the risks of investment in the economy may have increased after the Rose Revolution of 2004.

2

The Fight Against the Spectre of Communism

The reaction of publicity to Ukrainian ban on Communist and Nazi Propaganda varied from saluting to disapproving. Ukraine government could have learnt a lesson from our neighbors in order to set a proper balance between strife to abandon gruesome historical past and secure the fulfillment of citizens’ rights, – supposes Katerina Dronova. In 2005 the European Commission rejected proposal to include communist symbols in anti-racist regulation banning the use of Nazi symbols in the EU. It expressed concerns about potential infringement on civil liberties and the lack of consent among states regarding the list of concrete symbols that should be banned.

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VoxUkraine Report on Voting Patterns in Rada: The Real Coalition and is Samopomich a Dissenter?

Ukraine has a new president, a new parliament, and a new government, which includes many new faces. The parliament consists of eight factions, and most of the parties represented in the Ukrainian parliament did not exist a year ago. This report analyzes the voting patterns of the new Ukrainian parliament. There is a healthy core that votes together. It suggests that the parliament is functional and is capable of resolving differences and passing legislation. At the same time, the core excludes some of prominent civil activists and includes some members of the parties outside of the coaltion, including some from the Opposition Block. It hints at dissent and discontent among some civil activists.

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Log Export Ban in Ukraine: A Case for Presidential Veto

On April 9, Ukrainian Parliament has passed the law #1362, which bans log export. The debate about the desirability of the law can only be decided based on first principles and international experience with LEB. Illegal deforestation and undeveloped domestic processing industry are not unique to Ukraine. They are present in many developing countries, especially in tropical areas. LEB is, perhaps, the most extreme and distortive tool to decrease demand for log and protect domestic processing industry. There are many alternative, less distortive, measures that can be undertaken to encourage investment in domestic processing industry and curb illegal harvest, – writes Timofiy Mylovanov, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, in his column for VoxUkraine.