Since the beginning of the full-scale russian invasion, more than 360 draft laws and 110 resolutions have been registered in the Parliament. Most of them are directly related to the challenges of war and cover defense, economic, and legal aspects.

However, the number of initiatives, even in view of the war, is not too high, because hundreds of draft laws used to be registered every month before the war (first of all, by MPs). Thus, 175 draft laws were registered in the Parliament from January, 1 to February 24, 2022. Although this is certainly only a “drop in the ocean” compared to almost 5,000 bills registered throughout the 9th convocation, most of which will never be adopted.

To understand how the war affected the legislative activity in general, and to find out whether MPs are still registering the “useless” bills, read our material below.

Who Registers What and How

Mostly, the initiators of the new draft laws were MPs who registered 88% (310 initiatives) of all submitted draft laws. Almost 8.5% (29) of the initiatives were developed by the Cabinet of Ministers, and 3.5% (13) by the President. The same situation was observed until February, 24. Statistically, nothing changed in this context.

Leading topics the legislators promoted covered economic policy — 28.5% (100), legal policy — 28% (97), and security and defense — 14% (49).

In March, 117 initiatives were registered in the Verkhovna Rada, in April — 93, in May — 90, in June — about 50 so far.

OPORA has also analyzed who of the MPs most often signed as co-authors of draft laws. The top five MPs included Heorhiy Mazurashu (Servant of the People) — 83, Oleksandr Bakumov (Servant of the People) — 67, Serhii Minko (For the Future) — 58, Oleksandr Fedienko (Servant of the People) — 56, and Yevheniia Kravchuk (Servant of the People) — 50.

In total, 129 draft laws have been approved by MPs since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. This is slightly more than 15% of all initiatives adopted in the 9th convocation. The subjects of the adopted laws are generally similar to those registered: legal policy — 26.5%, economic policy — 25%, security and defense — 17%.

It should also be noted that more than 70% (92) of approved draft laws during the war were registered after the full-scale invasion. That is, the initiators actively worked on the necessary changes to the legislation and quickly adopted them. In addition, since February, 24, 2022, we can note a significant ratio of approved draft laws to registered ones — more than 25%. Instead, for the entire period of the 9th convocation, this figure was only 17%.

The authors of the largest number of approved draft laws were MPs of the Servant of the People: Oleksandr Bakumov — 25, Halyna Mykhailiuk — 19, Viacheslav Medianyk — 18, Serhii Ionushas — 16, Vladlen Neklyudov — 15.

Not everything registered reaches the approval

However, not all registered bills have a chance to become laws. Currently, half of the legislative initiatives registered after the beginning of a full-scale invasion are still under consideration in committees. In general, draft laws submitted by the President have the highest adoption rate during this time — 69%. Instead, the initiatives of the Cabinet of Ministers and MPs have somewhat similar indicators — 27.5% and 24%, respectively.

In general, the majority of registered draft laws will never be adopted for various reasons: poor quality, irrelevance, controversy, or simply, for political reasons. 

We will discuss some ambiguous initiatives further.

Changing the National Anthem

In mid-March and late March, two bills on amendments to the Anthem of Ukraine were registered in the Parliament. 

On March, 14, 2022, Liudmyla Buimister (non-faction, expelled from the Servant of the People faction in 2021) registered a draft law No.7162. She proposed that the first two lines of the verse should read as follows:

“Ukraine will win! And the glory and the will,

For fortune has smiled upon us, young brethren.”

In the explanatory note, Buimister noted: "The time has come for new heroes, new symbols, and new victories, the time for being aware of our uniqueness and invincibility, and thus the time for the expression “Ukraine has not yet perished” has passed, now it’s only “Ukraine will win!".

Even further, MPs from Servant of the People, Ivan Yunakov and Heorhiy Mazurashu, proposed to change the entire first verse and the chorus in the alternative draft law  No.7162-1  and to add the second verse.

First verse:

Ukraine is thriving, so does its freedom and glory!
The fate has already smiled at us, brothers, have no worry!
Our enemies are dying like dew in the sun,
For we, brethren, reign in our own home.
We have strengthened our soul and body for our freedom,
For the Cossack’s blood has run in our veins for ages!
Second verse:
The Black Sea is cheering for us, the old Dnieper’s joyous,
For the life is flourishing now in our Ukraine for us!
We will be brought together by the work, sincere and hard,
And the freedom song resounds in Ukraine, in all parts!

In the explanatory note, the deputies noted: “The challenges faced by Ukraine since February, 24, 2022, are a direct encroachment on its independence, sovereignty, and existence as a state as a whole. Victory in the war for its existence and the demonstrated ability to defend its statehood and sovereign territories led to the need to amend the National Anthem of Ukraine, filling it with new content and character.”

Both draft laws faced sharp criticism from society and personally from President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, who urged the authors of the draft law to “calm down emotions” and stop “making fools of themselves.” “And even if something like this is voted for, by chance, my signature on such draft laws will still not be available. Don't waste your time, " said Volodymyr Zelensky.

Work of MPs in headquarters of territorial defense zones

On May, 3, the Verkhovna Rada registered the draft law No. 7344  on participation of MPs of Ukraine in the headquarters of territorial defense zones (districts). It was authored by five MPs: Serhii Kuzminykh (Servant of the People), Serhii Minko (For the Future), Heorhiy Mazurashu (Servant of the People), Iryna Konstankevych (For the Future), and Hennadii Vatsak (Dovira). All authors of the initiative are majoritarian MPs.

MPs propose that “MPs of Ukraine, if they wish, have the right to participate, with the power of advisory vote, in the work of the headquarters of territorial defense zones (districts), provided that they make a written obligation to keep state secrets in accordance with the requirements of the current law.” In particular, the authors propose to supplement the following laws with this text: “On the Foundations of National Resistance,” “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law,” “On the Status of the People's Deputy of Ukraine.”

Thus, according to the authors, “the People's Deputy of Ukraine, using their statutory powers, can be extremely useful, especially under the martial law, for promptly resolving issues related to strengthening the defense capacity of a particular region of our state, and Ukraine as a whole.”

It should be noted that one of the authors of the draft law, Serhii Kuzminykh, is a person involved in the NABU investigation regarding the possible receipt of bribes for the supply of equipment to the hospital. In particular, on February, 2, the National Bureau published fragments of operational materials in the case of the MP, exposed on January, 28, 2022 upon receiving UAH 558,000 of improper advantage.

Guaranteed inclusion of combatants into electoral lists

On May, 25, an MP from Servant of the People, Hryhoriy Mazurashu, registered a draft law No.7405 on guaranteed inclusion of combatants into electoral lists. The MP proposed to apply the principle identical to gender representation: at least two candidates of each sex in each group of five, alternate inclusion of candidates in the lists that are not divisible by five, and 30% representation of candidates in elections to the territorial community with the number of voters up to 10,000.

In the explanatory note, the MP said: “The non-indifferent citizens of Ukraine support the idea of guaranteed inclusion in the electoral lists of combatants (i.e. the war against russia) who have the moral right to have the guaranteed representation in councils of all levels for at least five years after the end of hostilities and the abolition of martial law in connection with military aggression against Ukraine. The term of this provision may be different, it is the subject of public dialogue and vision of the majority of people's deputies of Ukraine, as representatives of their constituencies and/or political forces.”

Currently, the draft law is being considered by the relevant committee, and its implementation in its current form may look unrealistic even from the point of view of compiling electoral lists. 

In particular, the conclusion of the Main Scientific and Expert Department of the VRU Apparatus states that “the Parliament is a body of people's representation and should be a kind of section of society", as well as the fact that "the Constitution of Ukraine does not provide for the institution of special or quota-based representation of certain social, professional, and national segments of the population.” Because the MSED “generally supports the idea of electing to the Parliament of Ukraine the members of the military who protect the Homeland from russian armed aggression.”

Thus, MPs of Ukraine are still actively working on the development of new draft laws. Many of these initiatives end up adopted, and much faster than before, which demonstrates the ability of the Parliament to respond to the challenges of war. However, many registered draft laws will never be adopted, forever becoming part of “legislative spam”.