President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at the Ukraine 30. Ecology forum signed a bill on limiting the circulation of plastic bags on the territory of Ukraine, which the Verkhovna Rada adopted on June 1, into law.
“Five hundred. This is how many packages every Ukrainian uses a year. Twenty minutes. This is how much we use this package on average. More than 100 years. This is how long one package decomposes and a few seconds – to sign a law,” the president said, according to the press service of the head of state.
The document regulates the circulation of plastic bags and should stimulate the development of the production of biodegradable bags.
In particular, the law prohibits the free distribution of plastic bags (except for biodegradable) in retail and catering. Plastic bags should be provided for money only. At the same time, retail prices for such packages cannot be lower than the minimum prices set by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
In addition, mandatory labeling of biodegradable bags is envisaged and fines are set for violating these norms.
The document comes into force on the next day after its publication and will be effective six months from the date of entry into force, with the exception of some of its provisions.
Business awaits law enforcement reforms, but the latest version of the law on the Economic Security Bureau and the bill on the reform of the Security Service (SBU) adopted at first reading raise doubts about the quality of such reforms, the European Business Association (EBA) said in a release.
“It is worth noting that currently, the problem of cooperation with law enforcement agencies concerns not only SMEs and regional entrepreneurs but also large international companies and strategic investors,” the release says.
“The reform issue is especially relevant now in the context of the establishment of the Bureau of Economic Security. Although the community has not yet seen the final version of the document, the business was wary of the penultimate version of the draft law. Thus, there are fears that instead of a radically new analytical body that would help protect the interests of business, a new structure may be created with a new name, but with the same methods of work and even the same people,” the EBA says.
“At the same time, the SBU reform was launched, so to speak, by the adoption of the draft law No. 3196-d at first reading. Thus, the draft law was supposed to eliminate anti-corruption and economic units in the SBU, partially demilitarize the service, etc. However, there are fears that the liquidated SBU departments will be reincarnated as other functional units that will provide counterintelligence support in the economic context. In other words, it is likely to put continued pressure on the business. And, in general, this document invokes a lot of questions concerning the renewed functions and powers of the service,” it noted.
“Therefore, the European Business Association appeals to Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs, to pay due attention to reforming the law enforcement system in 2021. It is unacceptable and unreasonable to persecute the business. Otherwise, the issue of attracting investment, business development, and economic development, in general, may become a big question. We hope that the time for fundamental reforms has come and we will finally move from talks to the action!” the document says.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky commends the adoption of the law “On democracy through the nationwide referendum” (draft law No. 3612) by the Verkhovna Rada, the presidential press service reported.
“Now Ukrainians will be involved in practice in making important decisions for the country, and the government will be forced to listen to the will of the people. The referendum is an important tool for expanding democracy in Ukraine,” the President stressed.
Zelensky noted that the adoption of the relevant law was one of the important points of his election campaign during the presidential elections, as the document makes the dialogue between the government and society clearer.
It has been determined that the following issues cannot be the subject of the nationwide referendum:
– those contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine, generally recognized principles and norms of international law, enshrined primarily in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, protocols thereto;
– those abolishing or restricting the constitutional rights and freedoms of man and citizen and guarantees of their realization;
– those aimed at eliminating the independence of Ukraine, violating the state sovereignty, territorial integrity of Ukraine, creating a threat to the national security of Ukraine, inciting interethnic, racial, religious hatred;
– those related to taxes, budget, amnesty;
– those referred by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine to the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agencies, the prosecutor’s office or the court.
Head of the Servant of the People faction David Arakhamia predicts that in February the Verkhovna Rada will be able to adopt draft law No. 3613 on democracy through a referendum at the second reading.
“We wanted to vote on the draft law on the referendum in December, but since there are 2,000 amendments, we need to work with their authors so that they either withdraw them or not insist on their consideration too much, that is, do not block the adoption of the law. Since it could be voted on in December according to the level of preparedness. I think we will accept it in February,” the politician told Interfax-Ukraine.
After this law, according to him, there will be more initiatives on electronic referendum, about local referendums, as well as the entire package of bills on democracy.
Arakhamia also believes that the Rada needs to develop an electronic voting model by the end of 2021, at least at the local level.
Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko expects that the Verkhovna Rada will soon adopt the law on the capital at the second reading.
“I took part in local elections. I voted at my polling station in Kyiv. I hope that local communities will receive worthy representatives in the government,” Tkachenko wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday.
The minister also complained that the Verkhovna Rada did not have time to vote for the law on the capital at the second reading.
In his opinion, this law would radically change the opportunities, in particular, for the people of Kyiv to participate in the city’s self-government, as well as restore the district and local councils and allow the community to receive much more powers, including control over the activities of the authorities.
“However, I think that the parliament will be able to return to this issue in the near future,” Tkachenko added.
The Parliamentary Committee of the Nation’s Health, Medical Assistance and Health Insurance recommended for consideration at the first reading the draft law on the public health system (No. 4142), which provides for the creation of a competent authority in the field of public health.
The committee made the corresponding decision at a meeting on Thursday.
Introducing the bill, Deputy Minister of Health, Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Viktor Liashko said that the bill provides for the creation of a single vertical of public health from the national to the local level, which will, in particular, be able to quickly respond to emergency events in the public health system, including responses to outbreaks of diseases, epidemics and accidents of various origins.
The structure of the proposed model provides for the creation of an authorized body in the field of public health at the national level.
“It can be created both from the so-called scratch and on the basis of existing structures with the status of a central executive body. This authorized body in the field of public health is subordinate to the Cabinet, and its activities are directed and coordinated by the Minister of Health. The head of the authorized body becomes and exercises powers of the chief state sanitary doctor of Ukraine,” said Liashko.
According to him, the bill provides that territorial departments of the authorized body will be created at the regional level, and the head of the territorial department will be the chief state sanitary doctor of the corresponding administrative territory.
In addition, the bill provides for the creation of a network of centers for the control and prevention of diseases, which will be formed on the basis of laboratory centers, as well as regional public health centers, which have begun to be created as part of the formation of the public health system.
Centers for control and prevention of deseases at the regional level will be subordinate to the territorial body of the authorized body in the field of public health.
The bill provides that the Center for Public Health will retain its functionality and expertise and will enter the new system as a state institution.
It is assumed that the financing of the new system will be carried out from the state budget provided for expenditures on state public health programs; it is also additionally provided for the possibility of attracting funds from local budgets allocated for financing local public health programs.
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