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In Ukraine, as in the whole world, corruption is attributed to major political, economic and social problems. This phenomenon endangers the normal functioning of public institutions and distracts public authorities from their appointment, which is to serve the public interest. It violates the legislative process, influences the principles of legality and legal certainty, allows a degree of arbitrariness in the decision-making process and has a devastating impact on human rights. In addition, corruption undermines public confidence in government institutions.

 The current implementation of the state anti-corruption policy in Ukraine remains ineffective, riddled with persistent corruption ties, and the Ukrainian society, which condemned the corruption of the political regime, which was changed in 2014, is today an active participant in maintaining the continued dominance of corruption in Ukraine and time has become most destructive. At the same time, it should be noted that this problem is really, first of all, related to the inconsistency of the public consciousness of Ukrainian society with its anti-corruption expectations, as well as significant defects of the public anti-corruption education and awareness. Foreign scientists, mainly in the context of corruption by Ukrainians outside Ukraine.

All of the above not only hinders Ukraine’s European integration processes, but also renders them impossible and illusory, since the criteria to be met by the candidate countries for accession to the European Union (Copenhagen criteria) include, inter alia, the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law respect for human rights, respect and protection of national minorities, as well as the ability to take on the obligations arising from EU membership. And, as is well known, corruption in the EU has long been perceived as a negative phenomenon that requires systematic, strategic and concerted actions of a cross-border and transnational nature and, in general, threatens the rule of law.

Accordingly, the purpose of this research is to provide a theoretical and practical analysis of Ukraine’s anti-corruption policy.

  • A review of recent research

The problem of corruption in general, and the anti-corruption policy of Ukraine in particular, has been the subject of scientific research by such scientists as I. Bezzub, S. Bratkov, V. Gladky, D. Zabroda, V. Zarosilo, Y. Ivashuk, T. Kustova, O. Markeyeva, M. Melnyk, A. Redko, O. Skochilyas-Pavlov, V. Solovyov, M. Khavroniuk, and others.

However, the systematic analysis of the subjects claimed for consideration by our research was not addressed, but related to general or related aspects.

  • Summary of the main provisions

By proclaiming a course on integration into the world community, Ukraine cannot stay away from the problem of corruption. The state is actively taking measures to counteract corruption expansion.

In particular:

  • the fight against corruption is recognized at the highest state level as a priority area for law enforcement agencies;
  • created a legal framework for combating corruption;
  • established a system of anti-corruption bodies;
  • work on the proper scientific support of anti-corruption activities in public authorities, etc.

However, the growth of corruption has not yet been stopped. This is despite the fact that Ukraine is located in the center of Europe and seeks to build a democratic, social, rule of law. It continues to be perceived by the international community as a third world country that has not built a transparent and effective system of government in which corruption replaces civilized mechanisms for regulating social processes. Instead, most states with high democratic standards have been able to counteract their influence on society, including by developing and implementing anti-corruption policies.

In addition to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of December 8, 2009 №1688–p, it was stated that anti-corruption policy is a complex of legal, economic, educational, educational, organizational and other measures aimed at creating a system of preventing and combating corruption and eliminating the causes of corruption. occurrence. The purpose of anti-corruption policy was to reduce the level of corruption and to protect the rights and legitimate interests of citizens and society from its negative consequences.

However, it is the only legal act that can provide at least some minimal interpretation of this phenomenon.

From the doctrinal point of view, the analyzed term is interpreted differently, but is somewhat coherent. In particular, D. Zabrada believes that this is a set of laws, regulations and legal acts set of legal, economic, educational, educational, organizational and other measures that are formed and implemented by public authorities, local self-government and the public in order to identify, suppress corruption, elimination of the determinants that mediate it, restoration of the violated rights and legitimate interests of individuals, legal entities and the state; O. Skochilyas-Pavlov offers her understanding as the development and implementation of consistent measures of the state and society to minimize the causes and conditions that contribute to corruption in various spheres; E. Rasyuk defines the term “anti-corruption policy” as a continuous, systematic, purposeful activity of the state in close cooperation with civil society institutions, which consists in the development, improvement and implementation of strategic principles and tactical measures aimed at elimination or blocking improvement of legal responsibility for corruption offenses and formation of anti-corruption culture; V. Solovyov notes that this is a targeted activity of the institutions of state power and civil society, directed against corruption; set of mechanisms (tools) and methods of implementation of anti-corruption measures, achievement of respective goals and objectives; the sphere of counteraction and prevention of corruption manifestations as factors that negatively affect social development; a form of response of the state to the challenges of corruption that appear at a certain stage of its social development.

According to the recommendations of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of States Parties, national anti-corruption policy should include the following relations as a subject of legal regulation:

1) formation of the basic principles of anti-corruption policy, definition of its concepts, goals and principles;

2) implementation of anti-corruption policy in the activity on protection of human and citizen’s rights and freedoms, legitimate interests of society and the state;

3) establishment of priority spheres and system of measures for prevention of corruption, as well as determination of the system of subjects of implementation of anti-corruption policy;

4) determining the competence of public authorities at national, regional and local levels in the formulation and implementation of anti-corruption policies;

5) definition and implementation of anti-corruption policy in law-making and enforcement activities;

6) strengthening the legality and legal basis of the functioning of public authorities and local self-government;

7) formation of social justice in accordance with anti-corruption standards;

8) formation of the foundations of international cooperation in the field of implementation of anti-corruption policy measures.

Accordingly, effective counteraction to corruption is not possible without consistent, planned and coordinated actions combined with one concept, since systemic phenomena require a systematic approach to overcome them. Since the beginning of the 1990, the governments of Ukraine have taken steps to develop a strategy for combating corruption in the country, for which appropriate documents have been adopted in the form of state programs, plans, concepts and more. But anti-corruption legislation promulgated declaratory slogans and provided for them with inadequate sanctions that could not serve as a deterrent to crime by potential corrupt officials. Therefore, such measures, as shown by the results of numerous national and foreign studies, have in no way affected the state and level of corruption, which has been increasing every year.

Currently, new principles of state anti-corruption policy in Ukraine are envisaged by the Law of Ukraine On principles of state anti-corruption policy in Ukraine (Anti-corruption strategy) for 2014 – 2017. In order to implement them, as well as to properly implement the new basic anti-corruption legislation, in particular the Laws of Ukraine On Corruption Prevention and On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the State Program on Implementation of the State Anti-Corruption Policy in Ukraine 2015 – 2017.

The purpose of this act was to create a system of prevention of corruption manifestations on the basis of new principles of formation and implementation of anti-corruption policy, to periodically review and ensure compliance with current corruption challenges and threats.

The expected results were expected to be the following:

1) The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (hereinafter referred to as NAPC) is established and ensures the effective performance of its functions in the field of anti-corruption policy;

2) formation of anti-corruption policy is carried out on the basis of analysis of qualitative data on corruption;

3) monitoring of the implementation of anti-corruption policy is carried out by a system of authorized bodies (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, National Council on Anti-Corruption Policy under the President of Ukraine, Agency), which ensures effective and timely correction of anti-corruption policy;

4) the public is actively involved in the formulation, monitoring and implementation of anti-corruption policies. However, the duration of this Anti-Corruption Strategy is coming to an end and, according to the findings of the NAPC (national agency for the prevention of corruption) Analytical Report on its implementation, only two-thirds of the envisaged measures have been implemented.

In general, during 2014-2015, a number of anti-corruption laws were adopted, including the introduction of an e-procurement system, an electronic system of declaring property, income, expenditures and liabilities of a financial nature, opening state registers on information about final beneficial owners. In 2014, the Law of Ukraine On the Prosecutor’s Office was adopted, in June 2016 – the Law of Ukraine On Judiciary and Status of Judges, and in December 2016 – the Law of Ukraine On the High Council of Justice. Also, a number of state bodies have been formed, whose activities are aimed at combating corruption, in addition to the above mentioned NAPC (national agency for the prevention of corruption), this is the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, the National Agency of Ukraine for Detection, Search and Management of Assets Obtained from Corruption and Other Crimes, Specialized Anti-Corruption. However, not all of these authorities received sufficient material and human resources in a timely manner and started work.

Accordingly, despite some positive developments, the legislative and institutional framework for the development and implementation of anti-corruption policies has not been fully completed in Ukraine. That is why the Government approved the draft Law of Ukraine On Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2018-2020 developed by the NAPC (national agency for the prevention of corruption) to define a set of measures aimed at reducing the level of corruption in Ukraine and further promoting anti-corruption initiatives in the country. However, this act has not officially entered into force and is in a state of correction.

Therefore, it makes sense to argue that anti-corruption policy in Ukraine is not properly formed and does not meet the demands of the society, which is evidenced by the fact that the political will to fight corruption of the main political players is extremely weak or absent, as well as the Anti-corruption strategy the Government’s action program for its implementation for 2019 and subsequent years.

The priority now is to formulate a state anti-corruption policy and further implement it in close cooperation with international partners, with the involvement of a wide range of anti-corruption experts and taking into account the views of the business community and the public, which will allow:

  • to effectively carry out specially authorized entities in the field of combating corruption of their functions in the public interest;
  • to cover all important spheres of public life in anti-corruption measures and to take root in society the rejection of corrupt ways of solving problems.

In order to make the new Anti-Corruption Strategy and the State Program for its implementation more effective, it is advisable to introduce a mandatory NAPC (national agency for the prevention of corruption) in conjunction with non-governmental think tanks, independent experts and international partners of special quarterly expert studies on the implementation of specific areas of these program documents, as well as discuss research.

  • Conclusions

All of the above makes it possible to formulate a conclusion that Ukraine will continue to be perceived as a third world country, as long as anti-corruption measures are duplicated from one strategic document to the successor in connection with the expiry of the first one and the achievement of the goals of its approval.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption strategy should be a timely, strategic and systematic tool for eradicating corruption and shaping social justice in line with zero tolerance for such phenomena. At present, this is a set of statutory declarations that are more or less in line with international standards, but are not achievable in practical terms due to the lack of state strategic planning ahead. The new anti-corruption strategy must necessarily include a broad interpretation of all the concepts used in it, including the term “anti-corruption policy”.

Considering the recommendations of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS member states, national anti-corruption policy, in our opinion, is a set of principles, tasks, goals and principles of implementation of law-making and enforcement activities of public administration within the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms, legitimate interests of the public implemented by a system of methods, methods, tools and measures to combat corruption in priority areas and in accordance with anti-corruption standards and on the basis of transnational and transboundary cooperation.

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