Business Ombudsman Spoke at the Swiss Business Meeting

Mr. Christian Schoenenberger, Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, opened the meeting by saying that Switzerland remains engaged in reforms implementation process in Ukraine. “The Business Ombudsman Council is supported by the EBRD multi-donor account and Switzerland is among the donors of this account contributing EUR 1 million as a technical assistance,”  noted Christian Schoenenberger.
Mr. Semeta took the floor and introduced participants to the origin of Business Ombudsman Council, described the procedure of filing a complaint and answered questions of the businessmen.
Mr. Semeta informed the community that complaints acceptance process will be launched in late April. “We will investigate complaints concerning alleged acts of corruption or other violations of legitimate interests of businesses by actions of state and municipal authorities,” noted Algirdas Semeta. He added that The Ombudsman Office may start investigation if it finds out about the malpractice from public sources, including media. Although Ombudsman will not have power to punish officials, he will usepolicy matters and put pressure on governmental agencies to ensure that recommendations are implemented. If it doesn’t work, The Office will resort to naming and shaming.
“There are various ways to fight corruption in Ukraine,” concluded Mr. Semeta. “One way is to dismantle everything and build the country from scratch, which is a sweeping change. Personally, I believe in the importance of small clear steps with tangible result. We have to be realistic about our prospects – of course, in 2 years we will not move from 142nd place, where we currently are according to Transparency International, to the 5th. Still, if we move 10-15 positions higher, this will be a great achievement. I do hope that Business Ombudsman Council will facilitate this growth”. 

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