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NDI/ECA: "From Protest to Politics: Effectively Engaging Civil Society in the Legislative Process"

Saturday, July 18, 2015 to Saturday, July 25, 2015

From July 18-25, six newly elected members of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) participated in a parliamentary study tour in Washington, D.C. and New York sponsored by ECA’s Professional Fellows Division and organized jointly by the Institute for Representative Government (IRG) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The theme of the visit was “From Protest to Politics: Effectively Engaging Civil Society in the Legislative Process”. The six young MPs, four women and two men representing diverse parties and factions, met with U.S. policymakers on Ukraine in the executive and legislative branches, including the White House, Department of State, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Democracy Partnership, and with the U.S. and Ukrainian Ambassadors to the UN. They also met with leading think tanks, businesses, and non-government organizations focused on promoting civic technology and open government.  This was a unique opportunity to learn about the U.S. political system and U.S. policy from key decision makers, as well as build linkages across various parties on the reform and anti-corruption agenda. The meetings on Capitol Hill helped to build stronger ties between Congress and the Ukrainian parliament. One of the follow-on activities will be a meeting next month between pro-reform legislators in Kyiv with a high level CODEL to share views about Ukraine’s strides in economic reform and what the U.S. can do to support Ukraine in its democratic transition.

(Note:  This parliamentary exchange visit was supported by ECA Bureau through our Traditional Public- Private Partnership (TPPP) grant to the Institute for Representative Government and its partner organizations NDI and IRI.)