Reform Index 203: Reforming the Fishing Industry and New Rules for Acquiring Ukrainian Citizenship

Reform Index 203: Reforming the Fishing Industry and New Rules for Acquiring Ukrainian Citizenship

Photo: ua.depositphotos.com / OlesyaKuzina
7 June 2023
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The Reform Index’s 203rd issue covers the period from April 10 to 23 and incorporates 12 reforms. However, since most of these reforms were insignificant and only represented three out of the six monitoring areas, the Reform Index increased by only +1 point within the range of possible values (-5 to +5). In the previous issue, its value stood at +0.9 points. Nevertheless, the Index recorded a positive impact ranging from +1.8 to +2.5 points across the three areas where changes occurred. The two main highlights of this issue include the legislation concerning the reformation of the fishing industry and the revised rules for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship.

Chart 1. Reform Index Dynamics

Chart 2. Reform Index and its components in the current round

Law on reforming Ukraine’s fishing industry, +2 points

In April, Law 2989-IX was signed by the President, aiming to foster the development of Ukraine’s fishing industry. The law focuses on the digitization of the sector, specifically through establishing a state electronic management system called “e-Fish”. This system will facilitate interaction between service providers and recipients in the field of fisheries, particularly concerning the issuance of permits for the special use of aquatic biological resources, such as industrial and experimental fishing. Furthermore, electronic auctions for industrial fishing rights will now be regularly conducted, moving away from the previous experimental mode. These changes are expected to enhance market transparency and make it more open for new participants.

In order to reduce illegal fishing, a measure has been implemented requiring all fishing vessels to be equipped with remote control devices. Additionally, fishermen will be required to obtain certificates verifying the origin of aquatic biological resources. Certificates may be denied if the applicant lacks commercial fishing rights, if the fishing vessel is included in a list of boats involved in illegal and unregulated fishing, or for other similar reasons.

Information about the Reforms Index project, the list of Index experts and the database of the regulations assessed are available here.

Law on revised regulations for acquiring Ukrainian citizenship, +2 points

Amidst the full-scale war with Russia, Ukraine has introduced additional requirements for individuals seeking to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. Previously, the condition for citizenship acceptance was a “knowledge of the state language or understanding it to an extent sufficient for communication.” However, under the new Law 2996-IX, applicants are now required to possess knowledge of the Ukrainian language at a level determined by the National Commission on State Language Standards. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of the Ukrainian Constitution and the history of Ukraine. These requirements will be assessed through examinations, the procedures for which will be established by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Foreigners and stateless individuals who serve in the Ukrainian army or acquire citizenship based on the state interest of Ukraine can obtain citizenship without passing the aforementioned exams. However, it is necessary for them to commit to completing these exams within two years from the date of acquiring Ukrainian citizenship.

However, these requirements do not cover specific situations such as the admission to citizenship of a child along with one of the parents, as well as individuals with visual, hearing, and speech impairments, certain mental disorders, and disabled persons who are unable to take exams due to these limitations.

Chart 3. Value of Reform Index components and number of events

Reform Index from VoxUkraine aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of reform efforts by Ukraine’s authorities. The Index is based on expert assessments of changes in the regulatory environment in six areas: Governance, Public Finance, Monetary system, Business Environment, Energy, Human Capital.

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