Program documents of Parliament, Government and the President: political declarations, public expectations, first reform results…

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In the given document, experts from the Institute of Strategic Studies “New Ukraine” analyzed the conceptual foundations of the main program documents of the President, Parliament and Government, namely, the Strategy for Sustainable Development “Ukraine-2020” (hereinafter - Strategy 2020), Coalition Agreement and the Action Program of the CMU. The analysis of the given program documents in comparison with public expectations and the first results of the reforms allowed the authors of the report to provide answers to a number of issues, including, to what degree the declared programs meet public expectations, how consolidated the position of the new government is on the objectives and priorities of the reforms, how effective and realistic the declared intentions are and so on.

It has been over a year since the beginning of the Revolution of Dignity and almost a year since the complete change of political power in the country. During this time there have been dramatic transformations in almost all spheres of the state’s social life. War is the reality. And that armed opposition of military aggression is currently a powerful driver  to rebooting Ukrainian statehood – from the formation of new Ukrainian troops, revival of the defense industry, introduction of a number of security sector reforms to building a new foreign policy.

The second front line – economic – is testing the Ukrainian nation's ability to survive and recover growth. The deep economic crisis is the result of many factors: the criminal policies of the previous government, the virtual absence of economic reforms before and after the change of government in 2014, Russia’s economic war against Ukraine, and especially – the incompetent and ineffective policies of the new government. As a result, 2015 will be a turning year, that will answer the question whether Ukrainian statehood will be ensured economically, ie, whether the new government will be able to avert the threat of complete financial and economic collapse and default.

The political system of the state has been affected the least. Paradoxically, the requirement, which initiated the Revolution of Dignity - complete reformatting of the power system – is virtually being ignored by government institutions. Thus, the third symbolic front line runs through the political system. And the outcome of the struggle between old and new political structures - institutions, traditions, interests, personalities, etc. - will condition whether there will be a Ukrainian statehood and what this new statehood will be like.

The starting point of the study was a review of public expectations that crystallized during and after the revolutionary events of 2013-2014 and which are a practical criterion of trust and support towards actions of certain politicians and political parties. Therefore, the program documents were analyzed in the context of reform targets supported by the public, namely: implementation of European integration objectives, sustainable economic development, Ukraine’s transformation into a fair and socially oriented state, protection of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. The next step – analysis of major government program documents for signs of consistency and consideration of socially important priorities in the key strategic documents of different branches of government. The final element of the analysis - assessment of the feasibility of the declared program objectives, the current state of the actual implementation of government program documents (reflected in legislation and the state budget, etc.).

The serious challenges - security, economic, political, on the one hand, and high public expectations (currently – growing public discontent) raise the issue of a possible escalation (a new round) of political crisis in Ukraine. Given the increase in public negative evaluations of the activities of the new government and the lack of results in the vast majority of areas of reform, we can assume that the new government, in the absence of a consolidated position in the ruling coalition lacks, first of all, a "road map" of reforms, secondly, clear strategic guidelines for reform (which would prevent the "loss of goals"), and thirdly, the political will to implement reforms.

Among the reviewed documents, the most meaningful and detailed is the Coalition Agreement. The other documents – Strategy 2020 and the Program of the CMU are more like declarations. The Strategy does not contain specific terms and tools, only objectives and indicators. Whereas, the Program of the CMU provides rough terms, a set of measures, but is very vague on the objectives and indicators. It is noteworthy, that the political program of the President, Government and Parliamentary Coalition intended to present the expectations of Ukrainian society in the form of "declarations of intent", that symbolically binds the authors to specific political steps. Responding to public demand, the most anticipated reforms are reflected in government program documents. Among the priority reforms one can identify: a new anti-corruption policy, reform of law enforcement, judiciary reform. However, the lack of effective results, even in the so-called "priority" areas, indicates that the program documents have little to do with the actual political process. Thus, a new impetus to political destabilization could become the reality of post-revolutionary Ukraine, caused by a loss of trust towards politicians, who have replaced the Yanukovych regime, as well as a sharp aggravation in the economic crisis.