IFES Ukraine with cooperation of Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine and financial support of Canadian government, held BRIDGE Political Financing workshop for the representatives of CEC and CSOs. Ukraine is in the process of amending the legal framework of Political Financing, therefore IFES Ukraine aimed to aware participants on all aspects of regulatory framework of Political Financing, with the focus of Public Funding.
The workshop was conducted by Natia Kashakashvili (expert BRIDGE facilitator – Georgia) and Pavel Cabacenco (accrediting BRIDGE Facilitator – Moldova) during 21-24 December, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. The workshop was facilitated in Russian. In total Twenty-five participants (16 female, 9 male) attended the workshop. The most significant approach of the workshop was to use Subject Matter Expert (SME) Denys Kovryzhenko (Senior Legal Advisor, IFES Ukraine) to highlight the context of Ukraine in terms of elements of Political Finance.
The agenda of the workshop focused on components regulating Political Financing and implications of each regulatory element. At the beginning of the workshop, the topics oriented participants on the importance of regulating the Political Finance and its main elements: Donation/Contribution limits, Spending Limits, Reporting, Public Funding and Enforcement. It focused on the International obligations of the elections in terms of Political Finance and highlighted the international covenants governing the regulation of Political Finance. The detailed discussion of the donation and spending limits as well as Public funding elements were presented to the participants starting from the second day. All the sessions were summed up by the statistical data/maps from the IDEA Political Finance database and made participants understand the most popular provisions in terms of regulating these components of the Political Finance. On third day, major focus was on the most challenging part of Political Finance – Enforcement. Within the enforcement, groups talked about the types of the enforcement bodies, its role and responsibilities, including auditing and monitoring. Participants were introduced to several types of Abuse of state resources and mechanisms of its regulation. On the last day, participants were introduced to the different types of sanctions used in Political Finance. Finally, Role of the stakeholders in Political Finance was introduced by interactive activity, where each group has taken a role of 1) CEC, 2) Political Parties, 3) Mass-Media, 4) Voters, 5) NGOs.
Most of the participants commended the style of conducting the workshop and facilitation style of the two facilitators. They have also commended the Workshop content structure and described as opportunity of logically structured knowledge.
The workshop has met its objectives: participants are aware of the main components of the Political Finance. They can make comparative analysis of the Political Finance. At the same time, the workshop also triggered some participants to continue researching more on the topic and get more details of PF in Ukraine.