In Focus (#11 November 2014)

A Copy-Paste Approach: Simple but Harmful

The issue of corporate governance is on the priority list of pending corporate law reform due to impediments for business, a huge need for it to be flexible, and commitments undertaken in terms of the EU Ч Ukraine Association Agreement. Due to the low level of the stock marketТs development, majority shareholders enjoy a more favorable position in the corporate governance process. In fact, recent problems surrounding minority shareholders are a legacy of mass privatization during the 1990s. Ukraine inherited so-called Уdead soulsФ Ч formal shareholders, who never take part in the life of a company. And our experts argue that approximation with EU standards is unlikely to solve this problem. Again, Уa copy-paste approachФ must be avoided, as even the most advanced initiative could bring poor results to an initially weak legislative background.

Under huge pressure from civil society the Ukrainian Parliament of the seventh convocation adopted the so-called anti-corruption package of laws and lustration regulation. Insiders of the process noted that the final provisions were substantially changed from the demanding original ones. In this regard the statement made by former Poland Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko fairly describes the situation: Corruption is like sex Ч Уit needs partnershipФ. Our panel of experts addresses these initiatives and highlights some practices successfully performed by Georgia recently.

Happy reading,

Olga Usenko

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