European Parliament - Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
The European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine have built over the years a unique and longstanding relationship in the field of democracy support, based on a Memorandum of Understanding.
This Memorandum of Understanding is a unique partnership, both through its unprecedented form and its strategic nature. It is the first Memorandum that the European Parliament concluded with a parliament of a partner country, and it is no coincidence that this country is Ukraine. It was initiated in 2015 in a strong symbolic sign of unity with Ukraine after the Maidan revolution which set the country on its historic path towards the EU. The Memorandum of Understanding was consecutively supported by three Presidents of the European Parliament and three Speakers of the Verkhovna Rada. The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding took place on 22 March 2021 in Brussels, between President Sassoli and Speaker Razumkov.
This unprecedented and remarkable show of the strongest possible support by European Parliament to the Ukrainian Parliament and to the people of Ukraine.
Throughout the years, both institutions focused on implementing the "Report and Roadmap on Internal Reform and Capacity-Building for the Verkhovna Rada", based on the European Parliament's Needs Assessment Mission to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine led by Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament (2002-2004).
In recognition of the need to support Ukraine's path towards democratic reform and overcome societal divisions, the European Parliament agreed to provide mediation and facilitate dialogue between the main political parties in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This mediation process was focussed around building consensus on institutional reforms outlined in the Report and Roadmap and took the form of the European Parliament's new mediation instrument known as the Jean Monnet Dialogue for peace and democracy.
The Jean Monnet Dialogue for Peace and Democracy is an instrument developed by the European Parliament in the area of parliamentary mediation and dialogue. With the Jean Monnet Dialogue, the European Parliament strengthens the ability of political leaders to develop true inter-party dialogue and to build the consensus necessary for generating a democratic parliamentary culture and trust.
Since the first Jean Monnet Dialogue with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in October 2016, seven rounds of dialogue have taken place, covering a wide range of topics from the status and rights of the opposition, to the reform of the committee structure but also electronic voting.
The Jean Monnet Dialogue complements the European Parliament efforts to develop a far-reaching capacity-building programme for the Verkhovna Rada and contributes to institutional reform processes. It also provides a platform for political group leaders to seek consensus on national priority policies.