Bill on Lobbying

On 10 January 2024, the Parliament adopted draft law No. 10337 as a basis, which proposes to regulate the process and relations of participants of lobbying at the legislative level. The published version of the draft law is not final. However, the proposals of the lawmakers are currently as follows.

What is lobbying?

The bill outlines lobbying as the influence of subjects of lobbying on objects of lobbying on the matters of planning, development and adoption of a regulatory act.

Who are eligible to become subjects of lobbying?

A natural person or a legal entity, its employees, who are included in the specially established Transparency Register may be recognized as subjects of lobbying.

A subject of lobbying may act in its own interests or in the interests of a client with whom they entered into a services agreement on lobbying. The draft law provides for a number of restrictions on acquiring the status of a subject of lobbying in the following circumstances:

  • having an outstanding criminal record
  • holding citizenship or residing in the Russian Federation
  • the legal entity being located on the territory of the Russian Federation, the ultimate beneficial owner, participants or founders of such a legal entity having residency in the Russian Federation, and similar criteria.

Additionally, state bodies, judges, police officers, deputies of all levels and the like cannot be subjects of lobbying.

What is advocacy?

The draft law distinguishes between advocacy and lobbying, noting that advocacy refers to activities aimed at influencing the adoption of decisions or abstention from decisions to defend public interests without the purpose of obtaining profit.

The subjects of advocacy are individuals and non-entrepreneurial entities (non-profit organizations), public organizations without the status of a legal entity.

What rights do subjects of lobbying have?

  • to represent the client's interests
  • to communicate with objects of lobbying, invite them to participate in meetings, conferences, hold public events jointly
  • to apply to objects of lobbying for information relevant to their lobbying activities
  • to participate in activities related to the development of a law, prepare and distribute program materials, positional documents, results of sociological research, etc

Who are the objects of lobbying?

The objects of lobbying are state and municipal bodies and individuals involved in the law-making process, which are influenced by the subjects of lobbying. These include people's deputies, the government, ministries, the President of Ukraine, local self-government bodies, etc.

What cannot be the subject matter of lobbying?

  • a court decision (including of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine)
  • an act on the introduction of martial law and state of emergency
  • announcement of a state of war and the conclusion of peace at the request of the President
  • use of the Armed Forces or other military formations
  • declaration of zones of emergency ecological situation
  • an individual act

What are the duties and responsibilities of the subjects of lobbying?

The subjects of lobbying are obliged to submit a report on the subject matter of lobbying, including on its financial statements (funds received from the client and cost estimates).

Compliance with the requirements of the law (in case of approval of the draft law) by the participants of the lobbying process will be monitored by the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption. At the same time, failure to comply with the requirements of the law will be considered a violation that is not related to corruption, and may result in liability.

It is important to note that the proposed law will not apply to certain relationships, such as, representation of foreign policy interests by diplomatic institutions, as well as activities related to the attraction, monitoring, provision, and utilization of international technical assistance, along with the implementation of projects and programs associated with international technical assistance, etc.

The Parliament is in the process of preparing the draft law for the second reading. If the draft law is approved and signed by the President of Ukraine, it will take effect after the establishment of the Transparency Register, but not earlier than four months after its enactment.

For further information, please contact Asters' Co-Managing Partner Serhii Sviriba and Counsel Yuna Potomkina.

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