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Parliamentary Development Project

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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2005

IU's Parliamentary Development Project receives $500,000 for Ukrainian democratization

Sept. 29, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs announced today (Sept. 29) that its Parliamentary Development Project for Ukraine (PDP) has received a $500,000 cooperative agreement from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The funding will help facilitate legislative reform in Ukraine over the country's next two parliamentary sessions and supplements a five-year, $4.98 million agreement issued to the PDP in 2003.

Charles Wise is director of the Parliamentary Democracy Project for Ukraine (PDP). Since 1994, the PDP has worked to strengthen the Ukrainian parliament as a transparent and effective democratic institution.

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"The record of democracy in post-communist countries illustrates the many challenges to consolidating a democratic system of government," said Charles Wise, IU professor of public and environmental affairs and director of PDP. "PDP's mission is to assist Ukraine in building a strong and stable representative democracy to ensure that the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, possesses the capability to fully represent the aspirations of the Ukrainian people."

PDP has received the strong support of Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, who went to Ukraine to observe its presidential elections in November. Lugar also is committed to establishing normal trade relations between the United States and Ukraine through the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik sanctions.

"Extraordinary events have occurred in Ukraine over this past year. A free press has revolted against government intimidation and reasserted itself. An emerging middle class has found its political footing. A new generation has embraced democracy and openness. A society has rebelled against the illegal activities of its government. It is in our interest to recognize and protect these advances in Ukraine," Lugar said.

The PDP agreement will target the following priorities of Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko:

(1) Legislation to combat corruption
(2) Administrative reform
(3) Local government reform
(4) Legislation facilitating integration into international protocols (e.g., World Trade Organization, Palermo Convention, European Union).

Ukraine's parliament building, the Verkhovna Rada

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PDP is a non-partisan organization based at SPEA that works with members of the Ukrainian parliament to draft new legislation and reform current legislation that will allow the country to fully democratize. PDP assists parliamentarians in these areas by engaging in policy analysis, legislative drafting support, regional public hearing support, committee hearing support, plenary consideration support and roundtables with U.S. congressional representatives.

PDP was launched in 1994 to strengthen the Ukrainian parliament as a transparent, effective and democratic institution through improved legislative-executive relations and increased citizen involvement. It has offices in Bloomington, Ind., and Kiev, Ukraine.

PDP is helping Ukraine recreate its constitution, transferring many of the powers from the president to the parliament. It is helping the country lay down the basic laws of a democracy that would govern such issues as human rights, trade law, monetary policy, judicial powers and a local government structure.

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, located on eight campuses, is committed to teaching, research and service in areas such as public and nonprofit management, public policy, environmental science, criminal justice, arts administration and health administration. The school maintains continuing relationships with a large number of public agencies at all levels of government; public and private hospitals and health organizations; and nonprofit organizations and corporations in the private sector. SPEA has earned national distinction for innovative educational programs that combine administrative, social, economic, financial and environmental disciplines.