President Petro Poroshenko has taken part in the first session of the newly established Constitutional Commission. Addressing its members, the Head of State has emphasized that the work of the Constitutional Commission on elaboration of amendments to the Main Law should unite the society.
"The process of constitutional amendments will become a manifestation of public consensus. We must do everything for the work of the Commission to be open for public discussion of all initiatives," the President said. Representatives of political forces and the public, national and international experts should elaborate constitutional amendments required by the public and the international commitments of Ukraine, as stated by the President.
The Head of State has underlined the importance for the representatives of all the regions of Ukraine to participate in the Commission's work.
The main priorities for the Commission are the elaboration of constitutional amendments on power decentralization, improvement of constitutional principles of justice and regulation of constitutional rights, freedoms and duties of a person and citizen.
At the same time, the Head of State has noted that decentralization would not affect strategically important issues for the state such as defense, national security, foreign policy, struggle against corruption and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Particularly, the President has emphasized that decentralization had nothing in common with federalization, which is being thrust upon from abroad. "Unitary model of state structure of Ukraine is supported by absolute majority of citizens. It is demonstrated by the results of surveys. Ukraine was, is and will be a unitary state. I am confident of that," the President noted. At the same time, he added that the given issue could be submitted for referendum in case of respective decision of the Constitutional Commission.
Taking into account that the process of decentralization and redistribution of power between the center and regions will include certain "tuning" of power distribution between the Parliament, President and Government, the Head of State emphasized that the essence of the model itself will remain unchanged. "Transition to parliamentary-presidential form of government will remain a reliable guarantee of European and democratic development of Ukraine. Together with the Parliament, Government and coalition, we are doing everything to prove the efficiency of the working model of checks and balances between the different branches of power. Nobody should doubt our willingness to work for the benefit of Ukraine," the President said.
Speaking of the need for improving the constitutional guarantees of rights and freedoms of citizens, the President has addressed the Constitutional Commission with a proposal to guarantee the protection of rights of Crimean Tatars as indigenous people of Ukraine, ensure preservation and development of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity.
The President has called for consolidated work, constructive dialogue and responsibility of all members of the Constitutional Commission.