Boost for nuclear energy industry and fight against domestic violence: new presidential decrees

While the Verkhovna Rada has a committee week and the Cabinet does not issue new regulations, we focus on what the President is doing. This week he ordered the Cabinet to build two more units of Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant and to fight domestic violence.

Boost for nuclear power industry

Decision-maker: the President.

Who is affected: the Cabinet, NNEGC Energoatom, and electricity consumers.

What does it change:

the Government received an order from Zelensky to do the following:

prepare draft bills on building the third and the fourth units of Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant and submit them to the Verkhovna Rada

create a long-term development program for nuclear power industry

speed up the corporatization of the NNEGC Energoatom and transferring the ownership of it to the Cabinet

find a way to pay off debts to state-owned electricity producers.

What is wrong:

by issuing this decree, the President once more defied the Constitution. He does not have an authority to give orders to the Cabinet or to regulate the energy industry. This power belongs to the Cabinet

today’s problems of the electricity market are the result of virtually absent state strategy on how to develop this sector and a number of decisions made by previous governments that facilitated a monopoly of particular companies in the sector. The problems of energy sector could be solved only with a complex policy implemented by the Cabinet in favor of Ukrainian citizens and balancing of this economic sector by state regulators.

Fight against domestic and gender biased violence, protection for victims

Decision-maker: the President

Who is affected: the Cabinet and government bodies.

What does it change:

the Government received an order from Zelensky to do the following:

approve a plan to develop a complex program for fighting domestic and gender biased violence

institute a state social program to counter domestic violence and ensure that the Unified register of domestic violence works properly

approve a program for victims of domestics violence and upgrade a rehabilitation program for underage offenders

enhance the work of juvenile crime prevention units of the National police taking into account international standards of juvenile offenders rehabilitation

introduce penalties for stalking, including stalking via electronic communication.

state administrations of oblast centers and Kyiv city received ordered to do the following:

prepare plans to counter domestic violence

ensure that departments that fight against domestic violence are fully staffed

create support networks for victims of domestic violence.

What is wrong:

the initiative to counter domestic violence in Ukraine is timely and necessary, but the President has no authority to give orders to the Cabinet. He can issue decrees only on issues within powers granted to him by the Constitution. The decree on fighting domestic violence is unconstitutional, because the President is not an institution that develops state policies on social security and law enforcement

since the decree is manifestly unconstitutional, the Cabinet of Ministers has no obligations to carry out the presidential orders. Thus, it is possible that no legislation to fight domestic violence will be prepared by the Government.

Alternative solution: the Verkhovna Rada has to ratify the Istanbul convention, while the President should stop trying to improve his political rating by issuing unconstitutional decrees.