Law of Ukraine
"On Ratification of the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the Right to Participate in the Affairs of a Local Authority"
Date of entry into force:
September 25, 2014
The European Charter of Local Self-Government was ratified by the Law of Ukraine "On Ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-Government" N452/97-VR of July 15, 1997.
The Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the Right to Participate in the Affairs of a Local Authority (hereinafter referred to as "Additional Protocol") was signed on November 16, 2009 in Utrecht.
The Constitution of Ukraine (Article 85, paragraph 32) states that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine provides consent for Ukraine to be bound by international agreements. And, according to Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On International Agreements of Ukraine", the Additional Protocol is subject to ratification.
The Law ratifies the Additional Protocol.
Article 1 of the Additional Protocol establishes the following:
- the States Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority;
- the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority denotes the right to seek to determine or to influence the exercise of a local authority's powers and responsibilities;
- the law shall provide means of facilitating the exercise of this right. Without unfairly discriminating against any person or group, the law may provide particular measures for different circumstances or categories of persons. In accordance with the constitutional and/or international obligations of the Party, the law may, in particular, provide for measures specifically limited to voters;
- each Party shall recognise by law the right of nationals of the Party to participate, as voters or candidates, in the election of members of the council or assembly of the local authority in which they reside;
- the law shall also recognise the right of other persons to so participate where the Party, in accordance with its own constitutional order, so decides or where this accords with the Party’s international legal obligations;
- any formalities, conditions or restrictions to the exercise of the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority shall be prescribed by law and be compatible with the Party’s international legal obligations;
- the law shall impose such formalities, conditions and restrictions as are necessary to ensure that the ethical integrity and transparency of the exercise of local authorities’ powers and responsibilities are not jeopardised by the exercise of the right to participate;
- any other formalities, conditions or restrictions must be necessary for the operation of an effective political democracy, for the maintenance of public safety in a democratic society or for the Party to comply with the requirements of its international legal obligations.
According to Article 2 of the Additional Protocol, the Parties shall take all such measures as are necessary to give effect to the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority. These measures for the exercise of the right to participate shall include:
- empowering local authorities to enable, promote and facilitate the exercise of the right to participate set out in the Additional Protocol;
- securing the establishment of: 1) procedures for involving people which may include consultative processes, local referendums and petitions and, where the local authority has many inhabitants and/or covers a large geographical area, measures to involve people at a level close to them; 2) procedures for access, in accordance with the Party’s constitutional order and international legal obligations, to official documents held by local authorities; 3) measures for meeting the needs of categories of persons who face particular obstacles in participating; 4) mechanisms and procedures for dealing with and responding to complaints and suggestions regarding the functioning of local authorities and local public services;
- encouraging the use of information and communication technologies for the promotion and exercise of the right to participate set out in the Additional Protocol.
According to the law draft, Ukraine shall implement the above measures for ensuring the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority envisaged by Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Additional Protocol, according to its constitutional order.
The Additional Protocol applies to all the categories of local authorities existing within the territory of the Party. However, each State may, when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, specify the categories of local or regional authorities to which it intends to confine the scope of the Additional Protocol or which it intends to exclude from its scope. It may also include further categories of local or regional authorities within the scope of the Additional Protocol by subsequent notification to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (Article 3 of the Additional Protocol).