“The missile of effective anti-corruption has already been launched.” On December 7, Transparency International Ukraine held the conference «Decorruption of Ukraine” on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day.

At the event, international partners, representatives of business, the government, local authorities, activists and journalists summed up five years of anti-corruption reforms.

The conference speakers spoke about their views at panel discussions dedicated to punishment for corruption, corruption prevention, and engagement in corruption counteraction. See video recordings of the conference below.

Punishment for Corruption

 

Corruption Prevention

 

Engagement in Corruption Counteraction

The missile of effective anti-corruption has already been launched.

Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, chair of the Board of TI Ukraine

Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, chair of the Board of TI Ukraine

The demand formed on Maidan easily leads to the demand to reduce corruption.

Ukraine has managed to create the most transparent corruption in the world, where everyone sees everything but cases are rarely seen through.

The missile of effective anti-corruption has already been launched in Ukraine.

The demand formed on Maidan easily leads to the demand to reduce corruption.

Yaroslav Yurchyshyn

Hugues Mingarelli, EU Ambassador to Ukraine

Like with diseases, nobody is immune to corruption.

In order to be effective, we should adjust our methods according to the situation in a particular country.  We should share our experience, but it is also important to remember that it is the citizens who are capable of determining what works best for their country.

You are the main driving force for modernization of this country, and without anti-corruption activists, Ukraine would lose one of its main assets.

Artem Sytnyk, director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine

The key objective is to give judges the opportunity to make legal decisions without suffering dire consequences for themselves.

The problem is not that judges are corrupt, even though that is true as well, but that judges are constantly under pressure and face dire consequences for standing up to corrupt high-ranking officials.

 

Like with diseases, nobody is immune to corruption.

Hugues Mingarelli, EU Ambassador to Ukraine

Maksym Hryshchyk, First Deputy Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office

Some cases are now just being intentionally stalled waiting for the anti-corruption court.

We try to get decisions from the courts as soon as possible, although not everything depends on the prosecution side.

Stanislav Shchotka, deputy head of the High Qualification Commission of Judges

The deadline we established for ourselves to set up the The High Anti-Corruption Court  is the second decade of February 2019.

 

The deadline we established for ourselves to set up the The High Anti-Corruption Court  is the second decade of February 2019. 

Stanislav Shchotka, deputy head of the High Qualification Commission of Judges

Anton Yanchuk, head of the Asset Recovery and Management Agency

Asset management is not punishment for corruption. This activity serves the owner’s interests just as well as the public interests, so the asset would remain an asset.

The net revenue from asset management to the national budget constitutes about UAH 10 million.

I am convinced that the manipulations with arrested property that were possible before the ARMA’s establishment will never happen again.

The net revenue from asset management to the national budget constitutes about UAH 10 million.

Anton Yanchuk, head of the ARMA

Algirdas Šemeta, business ombudsman of Ukraine

We work on increasing the number of businesses that are willing to work transparently.

Kateryna Ryzhenko, legal advisor of Transparency International Ukraine

Effective punishment for corrupt actions is impossible without actual interest from the authorities.

Olena Sukmanova, First Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine

Our task is to create a system of verification of beneficiary owners that would serve as an example for other countries.

To motivate adding information to the register of beneficiary owners, the Ministry of Justice has issued a directive that information must be added to the register or updated after any changes of the legal entity.

 

We work on increasing the number of businesses that are willing to work transparently.

Algirdas Šemeta, business ombudsman of Ukraine

Eka Tkeshelashvili, Head of EU Anti-Corruption Initiative

If you ask me about effective ways to fight corruption – when we implement any reforms, we need to keep in mind that we try to limit the space for corruption.

I always hear this question, what is more important, prevention or prosecution of corruption. I don’t like this question, because it’s about joint effort and finding creative ways to combat corruption.

For EU it is extremely important that Ukraine would have trustful system for verification of declarations because such a system could provide the trust to the system that is changing. Unfortunately, I cannot say that our partnership with the corresponding agency has been effective.

Denys Bihus, investigative journalist

Ultimately, all conferences and public talks lead to the sad conclusion that we’ve got to convict somebody, finally.

The information itself has no significant effect on fighting corruption. We are a highly transparent corrupt country.

The tendency changed since 2016, not because corruption has evolved somehow, but because the nervousness has subsided, and the confidence that everything is fine has grown. Overall, transparency has not damaged corruption too much.

Openness without the final result, such as convictions, frustrates not only activists, but also regular citizens who see it on TV.

.

The information itself has no significant effect on fighting corruption. We are a highly transparent corrupt country. 

Denys Bihus

Maksym Nefiodov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade

We have to compare the current situation not with the Ukraine of our dreams, but with the reality of yesterday. Nothing will be perfect for decades more.

I definitely hope for a reform of all public structures, but we have to be realistic and understand that our struggle is for the long haul.

Changes without transformations from within public agencies are utopia.

Mykhailo Ivchenko, deputy mayor of Mariupol

We would have no development if we had left everything unchanged and had no financial motivation, testing and annual assessment of staff.

Ivan Presniakov, Anti-Corruption Expert with USAID/ENGAGE

The percentage of those who think that average citizens are responsible for corruption in Ukraine has decreased from 24% to 11%, this is the lowest rate since 2007. This means that Ukrainians identify corruption is at the high level.

People tend to participate in things that appeal to their own personal interests, it’s that simple.

The citizens are discouraged because they feel that they will not succeed if they commit to fighting corruption.

 

We have to compare the current situation not with the Ukraine of our dreams, but with the reality of yesterday. Nothing will be perfect for decades more.

Maksym Nefiodov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade

Iryna Bekeshkina, director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation

Corruption is among the top three problems for Ukrainians, and these unresolved issues result in lack of trust in the government and all public institutions.

What prevents people from fighting corruption? Impunity. When people see what happens to other activists, they are scared off.

Hanna Herasymchuk, head of UNIC Secretariat

UNIC’s task is to show business integrity in a positive context, show what opportunities it provides.

Business integrity is equally important for consumers along with the price and quality. We expect to see the first UNIC-marked goods on the market next year.

Vitalii Shabunin, chair of the Board of Anti-Corruption Action Center

The majority of people living in Kyiv do not understand that it is they who pay for the public service and fill up the state budget.

Citizens give back to the state as much as they spend on themselves. For an average family of two adults this sum equals around 4 thousand dollars a year.

 

Громадяни віддають державі стільки ж, скільки витрачає на себе. Для середньостатистичної родини з двох дорослих ця сума близько 4 тисяч доларів на рік

Vitalii Shabunin

Andrii Borovyk, acting executive director of Transparency International Ukraine

Next year, we are planning to focus on regional development.

Denys Selin, deputy chair of the Board of Hromadskyi Kontrol

Without bringing changes to the current political system, we are prone to live in feudalism; that is, those responsible for corruption in the regions will avoid criminal responsibility until we change the principles of working in the regions on the national level.

The problem in the regions is that only a small share of all corruption cases are under the investigative jurisdiction of the NABU, everything else is handled locally.