Belarus

The opposition in Belarus created at least two websites that explains their proposals for Belarus. I copied and pasted the opposition's proposals and translated it into English so that people understand who the opposition is and what they stand for.

They listed out their proposals in sections. I have put all the sections here.

In Belarus for the last 30 years, no one (including the government) has purposefully engaged in the implementation of the achievements of scientific and technological progress. The country lost at least 50,000 jobs annually, and this is comparable to the population of not the smallest Belarusian city. For 12 years (since 2008), the average salary in the country in dollar terms has fluctuated between $ 400 and $ 500.

To create a modern labor market with low unemployment, opportunities for young people, the economic potential for investors and entrepreneurs, it is necessary to establish a new balance of interests. It certainly has a place for the state. Today the situation with the unemployed has reached an impasse. The government discourages the optimization of the workforce in state-owned enterprises. However, the main decisions on the choice of areas of activity, the amount and forms of investment, the location of production, the number of jobs, the level of wages must be made by investors. It is entrepreneurs who implement ideas on their own, not on budget money.

PROBLEMS FOR WHICH THE REFORM IS DIRECTED

The problems in the labor market in Belarus are of an institutional nature. It is necessary to adopt comprehensive programs that affect not only the labor market itself but also the education sector, business regulation, legislative restrictions and other areas of state policy.

Creating new jobs requires a high-quality macroeconomic policy, that is, low inflation, disciplined fiscal policy, wide scope for private initiative, and responsibility for investment decisions.

The current economic model in Belarus has a number of shortcomings that hinder economic development and the growth of the well-being of citizens:

  • The labor market is overregulated. Difficulties in hiring and firing workers, the presence of a large number of administrative restrictions, block the modernization of the labor market.
  • The preservation of the old structure of employment exacerbates the situation on the labor market in the light of negative demographic trends, the rapid development of technology, more competitive conditions for the development of entrepreneurship in neighboring countries, Asia, and the European Union.
  • The government ignores the problem of single-industry towns, does not pay due attention to diversifying sales markets, and increasing the country's competitiveness.
  • The state does not pay due attention to the development of small businesses, the provision of benefits to those who create new jobs at their own expense.
  • Excessive government interference in setting the terms of an employment contract (contract) reduces incentives to work on a mutually beneficial basis. Rigid government regulation of the relationship between employee and employer contributes to the flight of "brains" and highly skilled manual workers.
  • The government's job creation and retention policy focus on supporting large state-owned enterprises with cash injections. Although the resources of the state during the economic crisis are decreasing.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE REFORM

1. Development of a promising system of full and productive employment based on the priority of generally recognized principles of international law.

2. Purposeful policy to develop a dialogue between the state, employers and trade unions.

3. Creation of a system of financial, informational, educational support for the unemployed and workers at risk of job loss.

4. Formation of favorable conditions (business and investment climate) for the creation of new jobs by entrepreneurs, private businesses, foreign investors and large state-owned enterprises.

5. Modernization of infrastructure (roads, electricity, thermal energy, telecommunications, water supply, waste collection and environmental protection) to attract investors.

6. Development of financial institutions that provide access to financial resources necessary to create new jobs and implement commercial projects.

7. Expansion of sales markets to which Belarusian commercial organizations can sell their goods and services without tariff and non-tariff restrictions. We are talking, first of all, about Russia, the countries of the Eastern Partnership program and the countries of the European Union;

8. Adaptation of the education system of Belarus to the requirements of the modern labor market, the progressive advance of our country to the knowledge economy;

9. Human and entrepreneur safety, the stability of state institutions, the culture of hard work;

10. Fight against corruption.

KEY MEASURES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE REFORMS

1. Encourage individual entrepreneurs to create new jobs. 241.3 thousand entrepreneurs are registered in our country. Only 53 thousand people are employed by them and under civil law contracts. Meanwhile, the potential of this economic group in the labor market is very large. To emancipate an individual entrepreneur, it is necessary to take such priority measures as:

  • the right to freely hire employees,
  • reduction of the single tax rates by three times,
  • introduction of a patent,
  • reduction of rental rates in objects owned by government bodies by three times,
  • reducing the administrative burden by half. First of all, it is necessary to solve the problem of accompanying documents and certification.

As a result, individual entrepreneurs will be able to create an additional 300 thousand new jobs within two years. These places will be occupied by both young people and workers dismissed from state-owned enterprises. New jobs will mainly be created in the field of trade and public catering, consumer services, housing repairs, transport, vehicle maintenance, hotel business, and roadside services.

  1. Creation of favorable conditions for the development of small businesses. At the end of 2018, a little less than 109 thousand small businesses were working in Belarus, which employed 790 thousand people. The package of comprehensive support for small business development should include the following measures:
  • modernization of the business climate,
  • simplification of certification of manufactured products,
  • demonopolization of the domestic market,
  • reduction of the tax burden by at least 40%,
  • reduction of the administrative burden from 15% of revenue today to 5 - 7%,
  • liberalization of prices,
  • amnesty of income.

Small private business will create at least 300 thousand new jobs in Belarus within three years . They will be filled in by dismissed workers of local state enterprises, youth, as well as labor migrants from other regions and cities of Belarus. Small business of the country will realize its potential in the service sector, agriculture, industry, including processing, light, woodworking, construction, software production and the development of education, treatment and recreation infrastructure.

3. Take all possible measures to attract foreign investors, including transnational corporations (TNCs).

Today the potential of TNCs in Belarus is sharply limited. For its full use, the following measures are required:

  • large-scale privatization,
  • development of a full-fledged land market,
  • ensuring the independence of the judiciary,
  • creation of legal guarantees of property rights,
  • debureaucratisation I and de-monopolization of the economy,
  • liberalization of current and capital accounts,
  • the adoption of basic market norms and EU standards for goods and services,
  • creating a free trade zone with Russia, Ukraine and the European Union,

In the case of the above steps , foreign direct investment will increase from $ 2333 per capita on April 1, 2019 to $ 5000.

Over the next few years, foreign investors and enterprises with foreign capital will create at least 400 thousand jobs in Belarus . The sectoral and geographical structure of investments should improve significantly. New jobs will be occupied by freed employees of state enterprises, laid off civil servants, university graduates, entrepreneurs and laid off employees of law enforcement agencies. New jobs will be created mainly in high-tech export-oriented industries, industry, services and transport. Foreign capital will create many jobs in the financial sector, industry and infrastructure sectors.

4. Carry out restructuring, modernization, partial or complete privatization of large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises.

For this, it is necessary to provide the following measures:

  • detoxifying assets,
  • liquidation of "dead" capital,
  • optimization of the number of old jobs,
  • attracting foreign or Belarusian partners,
  • adaptation of the development strategy to post-crisis demand.

As a result, state-owned enterprises will be able to create 100 thousand new jobs.

5. Provide financial resources for the reforms.

Individual entrepreneurs will create new jobs, mainly with their own money, borrowed resources from relatives and friends. As a source of credit resources for individual entrepreneurs, favorable conditions and a system of incentives are needed for the development of microcredit financial institutions and credit unions.

It is estimated that about USD 2 billion of savings and attracted resources of individual entrepreneurs can be used to create new jobs. New jobs in trade and services do not require large capital to enter the market.

Private small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) rely on their savings, working capital, as well as bank loans. Making them cheaper, as well as improving lending conditions will become a reality as a result of attracting new capital to the banking sector, its privatization and the development of a full-fledged competitive environment. The widespread dissemination of discriminatory practices on the part of state-owned banks and other financial institutions should be avoided.

SME will become a partner in the implementation of joint ventures with foreign investors. The investment potential of small and medium-sized businesses, which will be used to create new jobs, is estimated at USD 8 billion. The main areas for creating new jobs for SMEs are wholesale and retail trade, public catering, industry, construction, computer and consumer services, advertising, printing and consulting services.

The program assumes the active participation of foreign investors in privatization, as well as the creation of commercial organizations from scratch, the so-called greenfield investments. The main spheres of creation of new jobs by foreign capital are financial services (banks, insurance companies, funds), industry, infrastructure sectors, mining, fuel and energy complex, agriculture, logistics and transport.

Under favorable conditions (good investment climate, protection of private property rights, accession to the WTO, free trade zone with Russia, Ukraine and the EU) foreign investors can invest up to USD 25 billion in Belarus within four years.

Fully or partially privatized large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises (in partnership with private Belarusian or foreign capital) will attract bank loans, issue their bonds, offer blocks of shares to potential investors, and also receive resources by entering the stock markets. The estimated investment potential of large and medium-sized businesses (state and privatized) is about USD 10 billion.

BODIES THAT MAKE DECISIONS

Parliament, ministries and departments, local authorities.

The result of the creation of new jobs should become the main criterion in assessing the activities of the authorities in the center and at the local level.

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS

The program for creating new jobs must be approved by the relevant law.

Solving the problem of reforming the economy, creating new jobs, attracting investment will require the adoption of a number of legislative acts, amendments to almost all existing codes.

The proposals were developed by experts: Lev Margolin, Yaroslav Romanchuk, Stanislav Bogdankevich, Mikhail Chigir.

(Originally found and translated from

HONEST FREE ELECTIONS

In Belarus, all elections since 1996 have been held according to the scenario of voting by protocols, not ballots. As a result, the official voting figures do not correspond to the actual will of the voters. The ruling clan in Belarus appoints deputies to councils and parliament, as well as the president. This is facilitated by the closeness of election commissions at all levels from the public, as well as the opaque counting of votes.

Only fair and free elections can give an impetus for the country's exit from the chronic crisis in the economy and social sphere. The developed proposals for amendments to the electoral legislation were highly appreciated by Belarusian and international experts. Among the main innovations: a) securing the right of all election participants to have representatives in election commissions of all levels, b) strict regulation of early voting and its reduction to 5-6%, c) securing the right of election committee members and observers to see each ballot.

PROBLEMS FOR WHICH THE REFORM IS DIRECTED

Systemic shortcomings of the elections in Belarus are recorded in the Final Report of the OSCE / ODIHR Observation Mission for the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Belarus dated December 8, 2016. They were used by the developers of the draft Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Electoral Code of Belarus”.

Among other shortcomings, we should highlight the key ones for ensuring fair and transparent elections:

1. Unbalanced composition of election commissions and the exclusive influence of the executive power on them.

Election commissions are formed from members of one labor collective and organization, or pro-government NGOs. Representatives of opposition parties and civil society usually do not pass through the selection sieve and only a few are included in the commissions. As a result, election commissions are dependent on political leadership and make biased decisions imposed on them by the executive branch.

2. Disproportionate restrictions on the rights of observers, which undermines confidence in elections and voting results.

3. Complete secrecy from the public of the voting process and counting of votes, as well as information about the voting results.

This leads to an overestimation of the voter turnout, as well as manipulation of the voting results in favor of candidates from the authorities.

The current legislation does not comply with the international obligations of Belarus. None of the elections were recognized by the international community, which hinders the establishment of equal political and economic ties and, accordingly, negatively affects the development of Belarus.

MAIN GOALS / OBJECTIVES OF THE REFORM

The aim of the reform is to strengthen guarantees of the independence of the electoral administration from the executive branch and to increase the transparency of the electoral process for observation.

Tasks :

  • Create conditions for achieving broad political representation in election commissions of all levels, including for opposition parties and civil society organizations (not funded by the state).
  • Provide unhindered access for observers to all aspects of the electoral process.
  • Adopt additional safeguards against falsification of voting at home and early, and to ensure transparency of vote counting and tabulation.

KEY STEPS TO IMPLEMENT THE REFORM

1. Guaranteed inclusion in election commissions of members nominated by all candidates.

Organizations that have nominated their representatives to the commission should have the right to familiarize themselves with the documents on the nomination of representatives to the commission. This is a step towards bringing Belarusian legislation into line with Belarus' existing obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Corruption.

Electoral Code: Articles 34-36.

2. Expanding the rights of observers.

Observers should have access to

  • electoral lists,
  • the number of voters on the electoral lists,
  • the number of people who voted on the days of voting,
  • the number of people who voted for all types of voting,

Observers should be able to make an audio recording, photo, and video filming, observe the counting of votes in conditions that ensure the visibility of the procedure for counting ballots.

Electoral Code: Article 13.

3. Stricter requirements for early voting.

The reasons for early voting must be documented. Each application for participation in early voting must be considered by the precinct election commission no later than 5 days before election day. For early voting, only one polling station (or in each district) is established in the territory of an electoral district. This will eliminate possible abuses and falsifications, as well as forcing voters to vote early.

Electoral Code: Art. 53.

4. Regulation of requirements for voting at home.

The official reason for the inability to enter the polling station must be indicated on the home voting list. This will reduce the possibility of abuse in the form of artificial increase in turnout and coercion of voters to vote.

Electoral Code: Art. 54.

5. Demonstration of each ballot to members of the election commission and observers.

Counting of votes shall be carried out transparently, in conditions when all members of the precinct election commission, observers and proxies of candidates can confirm the result. Announcement and demonstration of the choice on each ballot to all those present, as well as the announcement of all the numbers that are entered in the final protocol.

Electoral Code : Article 55

BODIES THAT MAKE DECISIONS

Chamber of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus

Council of the Republic of Belarus

President of the Republic of Belarus

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS

Electoral Code

Download the full text of the document: the draft Law "On Amendments and Additions to the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus" (27 KB).

Proposals developed by experts:

Antonina Kovaleva
Victor Karnienka
Elena Eskova
Anatoly Lebedka
Alexander Dobrovolsky
Dmitry Kuchuk
Valery Ukhnalev
Yuri Gubarevich
Olga Kovalkova
Valentina Svyatskaya
Mikhail Pastukhov
Mechislav Mushroom
Denis Sadovsky
Alexander Silkov
Sergey Voznyak

(Originally found and translated from: http://reformby.com/2020/07/23/elections/)

Healthcare

There is a Soviet health care system in Belarus with a large number of hospitals. They are designed to quickly isolate and treat large numbers of patients with infectious diseases. This was most relevant in the early twentieth century.

Reorientation of the system to work for the needs of the person, and not the government or the state, on the development of medical care as close as possible to the needs of the person - affordable, individual and high-quality. The main directions of health care reforms are to strengthen primary health care and improve the quality and efficiency of health care. Major challenges to be addressed include reducing excess hospital beds, improving health management and developing cost-effective technologies. Improving the quality of medical care should contribute to the creation of a “money follows the patient” mechanism.

CHALLENGES FOR WHICH THE REFORM IS DIRECTED

1. Underfunding.

Belarus has spent about 4% of GDP on healthcare over the past 10 years. This is significantly less than the EU average (about 7%).

2. Structural imbalance in favor of the stationary link.

Non-communicable diseases prevail in the modern world and in Belarus itself. They do not require quick hospitalization, but long-term treatment on an outpatient basis (clinic, medical center, private doctor's office). As a result, our country is confidently in the top ten in the world in terms of the number of hospital beds per capita, which exceeds the indicators of developed EU countries by 1.5-2 times. At the same time, the indicators of human health in Belarus are much worse than in these countries.

3. The stationary sector consumes a significant portion of the costs.

About 55-60% of all funds go there. The clinic can solve up to 80% of health problems to which people seek medical help. Stationary capacities in Belarus are very unevenly loaded.

At the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, the large inpatient sector proved to be an advantage. Belarus was almost the only country in the world that hospitalized asymptomatic patients with COVID-19, as well as first-level contacts.

4. The COVID-19 epidemic has shown poorly equipped hospitals, where there are often only beds, public meals and toilets. However, there is no basic medical equipment there. As a result, problems arose in the treatment of hospitalized patients with the new coronavirus infection, and they had to urgently purchase oxygen concentrators and ventilators.

5. Hospitals are very poorly connected to the clinic , which leads to situations where the hospital treated well, but the clinic did not continue rehabilitation and health did not improve.

6. Overcrowding in clinics and an excess of ambulances.

The inhabitants of Belarus are the champions of the region in terms of attendance at polyclinics - about 13 times per person, which is significantly more than among its neighbors (6.9 in Lithuania, 6.8 in Poland, 10.7 in Ukraine). A large proportion of these visits are purely normative in nature and relate to mandatory health check-ups, prescription or sick leave programs.

For these regulatory reasons, and also due to a lack of staff, the outpatient care sector is the most inaccessible in Belarus.

According to various estimates, from 10 to 70% of calls to the ambulance are unreasonable. The average cost of calling an ambulance in Minsk is 65 rubles, and a visit to a medical clinic is only 13.

7. Inadequate sectoral funding mechanism.

Health care in Belarus is funded from the state budget. There is no compulsory health insurance and plays an insignificant role (less than 1%). About 26-28% of health care costs are covered by citizens' personal funds.

8. Personnel paradox.

Belarus surpasses Poland, Lithuania and even Sweden and Germany in terms of the number of practicing doctors per 100,000 population. At the same time, there is a shortage of doctors in primary care, especially in the regions. Traditionally low wages in the system (25-30% less than in industry) and the formality of the material motivation system are a strong demotivating factor.

9. Lack of transparency in the health care system and corruption.

According to the BAJ poll, the agency has repeatedly been among the most closed state bodies for the press. In 2018, a “doctors' case” was initiated on the facts of corruption in large public procurement. In the same year, a scandal broke out with the Korean vaccine, which was used without state registration.

10. Low satisfaction of the population.

Health care reform is a top priority for the population. According to a survey conducted as part of the Reforum project, 57.6% of the population believe that the health care system needs to be urgently reformed.

MAIN GOALS / OBJECTIVES OF THE REFORM

The goal of the reform is to create a health service in Belarus focused on the needs of human and social health.

Reform objectives:

  • Improving detection, treatment and prevention of complications of major noncommunicable diseases (at the health service level).
  • Design a health care system that best meets the needs of each individual.

KEY MEASURES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE REFORM

1. Reducing the burden on the public health system (2020-2022):

  • Allowing employers to grant paid sick leave without a sick leave (2020).
  • A critical review of the functional responsibilities of health workers (2020). Minimizing unnecessary paperwork, removing non-essential responsibilities (for example, visiting nurses in families with children recognized as “socially dangerous”), focusing on preventive work with patients to prevent and change potentially harmful lifestyles.
  • Equalize the average wages in the health care system and industry. Strictly adhere to the assumed responsibilities.
  • Global revision of approaches to the frequency of visits to clinics - revision of the existing rules on the continuation of hospital stay, issuance of certificates, discharges, etc. (Until 2021)
  • Unloading the ambulance system by changing the operating mode of polyclinics (introduction of polyclinics on call in the evening and at night so that patients have the opportunity to visit a doctor), revision of service standards, educational work with the population (until 2021).
  • Specification of the list of medical services that are part of the minimum social standards and guaranteed by the public health system (now this list includes almost all medical services) (2021).
  • Maximum development of e-health and remote communication between the clinic and the patient (by 2021).
  • Private health sector development (until 2022):
  1. reducing barriers to entering the medical services market,

2.Cancelling by the Ministry of Health of the regulation of tariffs for medical services in commercial medical centers,

3.provision of equal rights to private medical centers with public clinics (hospital records, certificates, etc.),

4. withdrawal of paid services from public health care institutions by creating separate structures on market conditions,

5. introduction of a licensing system for medical workers, and not medical institutions, as it is done now. It has been proven that licensing of specialists is a significant factor in improving the quality of medical services.

2. Strengthening outpatient care (2020-2025):

strengthening the base of existing polyclinics, equipping them with modern equipment (by 2025),

elimination of staff shortages by changing approaches to remuneration in the polyclinic, providing bonuses and social guarantees to young specialists (until 2022),

development of new forms of medical care (polyclinics, medical offices) in new areas of large cities where there are no polyclinics (2020-2025),

revival and development of the concept of family doctors, especially in small communities (by 2022).

3. Reform of the hospital segment of medicine (2020 - 2022):

  • reduction in the number of stationary beds from the current rate of 8.4 per 1000 people to the level of Austria (7.4 per 1000 people) (by 2022),
  • revision of existing protocols for the treatment of diseases in terms of cost-effective methods of evidence-based medicine (until 2021),
  • improving the comfort of hospital stay (until 2022),
  • promoting the creation of private hospitals (by 2022).

4. Increasing the openness of the system (2020):

  • establishing collaboration with WHO, other UN bodies in the field of health and public health reform,
  • encouraging medical workers to undergo practical training and study abroad, as well as encouraging medical scientists to publish in foreign English-language journals.

5. Development of medical tourism (2021):

  • cancellation of visas for foreigners traveling to Belarus for treatment,
  • improving the infrastructure of medical tourism.

6. Expansion of health insurance (2022):

  • popularization and promotion of voluntary health insurance, increasing competitiveness in this area (2022),
  • changes in legislation that will reduce the tax burden by the amount of insurance payments (2022),

7. Reform of health care management and financing (2021-2025):

  • optimization of the health care structure in accordance with the goal of preserving the health of citizens. Anything that does not meet this goal is canceled (for example, the regulation of tariffs for services in non-state medical centers) (2021),
  • implementation of the principle of financing traditional medicine "money follows the patient" to ensure the fairness of the system and increase the motivation of health workers (until 2025),
  • simplification of investment conditions when creating new medical institutions (2021).
  • Increasing the transparency of medical care through mandatory information on public health, changes in the principles of the press service of the Ministry of Health, the introduction of mandatory provision of comprehensive information on the procurement of drugs and medical equipment on demand, a comprehensive audit of the Ministry, involvement of patients and staff in decision-making in it ( 2021).

BODIES THAT MAKE DECISIONS

Ministry of Health and Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus (with the current configuration of the political regime).

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS

Law of the Republic of Belarus of June 18, 1993 "On Health Care"

Law of the Republic of Belarus of November 11, 1999 "On State Minimum Social Standards".

Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 300 of July 1, 2005 No. 300 "On the provision and use of free (sponsored) assistance."

Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated September 1, 2010 No. 450 “On licensing certain types of activities”.

Cancel : Resolution of the Ministry of Health dated February 3, 2015 No. 14 "On some issues of regulation of tariffs for paid medical services."

The proposals were developed by an expert: Andrey Vitushko, Candidate of Medical Sciences.

(Originally found and translated from :http://reformby.com/2020/07/23/healthcare/)

Education

The quantitative indicators of Belarusian education, as well as its accessibility, are not transformed into social and economic effects both for society as a whole and for an individual citizen. Thus, in Belarus, the level of education often does not guarantee further prospects for employment, professional development, and decent earnings.

Reforms in the education system should lead to an increase in the quality, efficiency, and competitiveness of education in the Republic of Belarus in the local, regional, and global education markets.

PROBLEMS FOR WHICH THE REFORM IS DIRECTED

Problems in the education system are both general (systemic) and specific (depending on the level) character.

Common (systemic) problems include:

1) excessive bureaucracy and over-regulation (dictate of educational standards), state politicization of the education system;

2) lack of institutional autonomy and underdevelopment of self-government in educational institutions;

3) significant underfunding of the education sector;

4) underdeveloped social partnership and institutions of public control over education;

5) lack of independent tools for monitoring and controlling the quality of education;

6) the absence of a productive competitive environment conducive to the development of better educational models and practices, the erosion of academic standards and a decline in the quality of education;

7) poor integration of formal, non-formal and informal education;

8) underdevelopment of distance education;

9) flawed social dimension of education;

10) lack of educational programs in the Belarusian language.

MAIN GOALS / OBJECTIVES OF THE REFORM

The key goal of the reforms is to improve the quality, increase the efficiency, attractiveness, and competitiveness of education in the Republic of Belarus in the local, regional, and global education markets. This goal can be achieved while solving the following tasks:

  • De-bureaucratize and optimize the number of institutions and employees working in the field of education.
  • Expand institutional autonomy and develop full-fledged self-government in educational institutions.
  • Increase the level of financing of the education system from public funds, create a more differentiated and flexible system of financing educational institutions.
  • Create a productive competitive environment conducive to the development of the best educational models and practices.
  • To harmonize the value, legal and institutional regulation of educational institutions with European and international standards.
  • Create an independent (from the Ministry of Education) system of monitoring and control of the quality of education.
  • Create effective instruments for harmonizing the education market and the labor market.
  • Develop social partnerships and create institutions of public control over the work of the education system.
  • Improve the social dimension of education.
  • Create a legal and institutional environment conducive to the synergy between formal, non-formal, and informal education.
  • Create favorable legal, financial, and infrastructural conditions for the development of distance education.
  • Create favorable financial and infrastructural conditions for the development of education in the Belarusian language.

KEY MEASURES / STEPS TO IMPLEMENT THE REFORMS.

The planned measures/steps to implement the reforms will be both general (systemic) and specific (focused on a specific level).

Systemic (common for all levels) measures/steps to implement reforms:

1) Raising funding.

This implies:

  • increase in allocations of public funds;
  • optimization of the number of educational institutions and the number of employees who are not directly involved in the educational process;
  • diversification of sources of financing for higher education:
    • republican budget (no more than 50%),
    • regional budgets (no more than 10%),
    • local budgets (no more than 5%),
    • funds (at least 10%),
    • enterprises (at least 5%),
    • business corporations (at least 5%),
    • individuals (including university graduates) (5%),
    • students (no more than 10%).
    • An endowment of a non-profit organization (the so-called endowment) should be considered as a strategically important source of funding.

2) De-politicization, de-bureaucratization, and autonomy.

State depoliticization of the education sector, the abolition of the "dictatorship of standards", expansion of the autonomy and academic freedom of educational institutions.

3) Public participation and control over the activities of educational institutions.

The Boards of Trustees as self-governing bodies will help avoid abuse of the autonomy granted to educational institutions and increase their social responsibility. Development of a full-fledged social partnership, involving the direct participation of stakeholders in the formation of educational policy, the education process and the assessment of its results.

4) The convergence of the education market and the labor market.

It is necessary to develop a National Qualifications System and a National Qualifications Framework - the framework conditions for the full and full-scale harmonization of educational and professional standards.

Instead of incompetent and ineffective vocational guidance centers and employment services, it is necessary to create a system of educational consulting with the participation of employers and other stakeholders. It must have a well-thought-out system for assessing and recognizing the level of knowledge and competencies based on all types of training (formal, non-formal, informal). Such a system is focused on creating a model of flexible, individualized educational trajectories.

5) Establish an effective system for collecting data on the demand for high school graduates, VET, SSE and HE for employment prospects.

Information about students and what happens to them after graduation shows:

  • how much this or that specialty is in demand in the labor market,
  • whether the position of the graduate corresponds to the education received,
  • how many graduates work in their specialty, how many of them are unemployed.

6) Formation of competition in educational models and practices.

A differentiated approach to reorganization and differentiation will enable more efficient use of financial and human resources of institutions. It will also allow you to find and model the most successful experience in teaching and administration of educational institutions.

7) Mutual complementarity of formal, non-formal, and informal education.

Deep integration of all three types of education allows you to identify, recognize and use the full range of qualifications and knowledge of the individual. To achieve this goal, it is necessary:

  • to consolidate at the legislative level the concept of an informal and spontaneous type of education or synonymous concepts;
  • when developing tools for integrating three types of education, take as a basis the system of recognition (validation) of non-formal and informal learning, the principles of which were formulated by the expert group "H" (2003);
  • to develop a national system for the recognition of non-formal and informal education, promoting progress in education and training, (re) integration into the labor market, territorial and professional mobility.

8) Development of distance education

  • Legally (in the Education Code ) to consolidate the status of distance education at all levels and for all forms of education;
  • Create an effective infrastructure for the development of a full-fledged distance education;
  • Conduct large-scale retraining of teachers in order to master the basic knowledge and skills of working in a distance environment.

9) Development of inclusive education:

  • to consolidate the concept of inclusive education at the legislative level;
  • develop and implement a state program for equipping universities with special technical and material means for teaching people with disabilities.

10) Development of education in the Belarusian language.

Creation of favorable financial, educational and infrastructural conditions for programs, groups and institutions providing educational services in the Belarusian language.

Creation of an efficiently working system of positive motivation, facilitating the choice of Belarusian-language educational programs by pupils and parents due to their greater attractiveness. This will be a key factor in the formation of highly educated and highly qualified national elites that assert and preserve the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus.

BODIES THAT MAKE DECISIONS

Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus (House of Representatives and Council of the Republic), Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS

Education Code of the Republic of Belarus (2011).

The proposals were developed by an expert: Andrey Lavrukhin.

(Originally found and translated from http://reformby.com/2020/07/23/education/)

ANTI-CORRUPTION REFORM

As a result of the rule of the current leadership in Belarus, a political, economic, legal system was formed, which is unable to function without corruption schemes. Corruption is an integral part of the current state management system, as well as the institutions of interaction between citizens and the nomenclature. The total volume of corruption transactions in Belarus is 40 - 52% of GDP or 28 - 36.5 billion dollars.

The strategic direction of the anti-corruption policy should be an orientation towards a democratic, small, transparent state, effective institutions of checks and balances, and de-commercialization of government bodies.

PROBLEMS FOR WHICH THE REFORM IS DIRECTED

In terms of corruption, Belarus ranks 70th in the Transparency International ranking. The number of detected corruption crimes has remained consistently high over the past years.

1. Corruption of society

Powerful politicians and officials have infected society with corruption. Laws and by-laws, mechanisms, and methods of their implementation push people to commit corruption. Corruption has become a lubricant for social and economic mechanisms. Monopolists impose conditions on people to access goods and services.

The average citizen of Belarus faces corruption all the time and everywhere: in the education system, healthcare, and employment.

Corrupt deals in this segment of the economy are estimated at 5 - 7% of GDP or 3.5 - 5 billion dollars.

2. Corruption of small and medium businesses

The state manually determines the order of access to the market, the mode of work with state resources and assets, as well as the nature of exchange transactions with consumers, investors, creditors and entrepreneurs.

The bureaucracy has covered the country's economy with a dense network of informal payments, kickbacks and bribes: for rent, tenders, loans, access to raw materials and goods on the market, imports and exports.

The volume of corruption deals in this segment of the economy is estimated at 20-25% of GDP, or $ 14-17.5 billion.

3. High-level corruption

High-level corruption is widespread in the fuel, energy and financial sectors, in the fertilizer, alcohol, tobacco and arms markets. The sphere of control of VIP - stewards of the alien, includes the most profitable segments of the real estate and land market, construction, import, and retail trade.

Commercial transactions in these sectors are carried out in non-market conditions: special tax regime, currency regulation, customs regime, accounting and financial reporting. They cannot be checked by supervisory authorities or, by order from above, they fully authorize the activities of corrupt groups in especially important sectors of the economy.

All state resources are used in these sectors to extract VIP - corruption rent. The size of this rent is estimated at 15 - 20% of GDP (10.5 - 14 billion dollars).

MAIN GOALS / OBJECTIVES OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION REFORM

The reform of anti-corruption policy presupposes an increase in the transparency of activities and de-commercialization of government bodies, simplification of administrative procedures and interference of officials in the economy.

Main goals:

  • Improving the openness and transparency of the financial activities of government bodies.
  • Transformation of public administration using ICT mechanisms and full-fledged development of electronic government (e-government).
  • Creation of an effective infrastructure (special prosecutor's office, courts and other institutions) to combat corruption (including with the invitation of international experts and specialists).
  • Elimination of the state monopoly and overregulation in the information sphere, mainly in print and electronic media.
  • Reducing the functions of the state apparatus to intervene and regulate economic activity.

ANTI-CORRUPTION POLICY MEASURES

1. Submission by all government structures on their websites in the public domain of an annual item-by-item report on income and expenses. This report should contain an assessment of the implementation of budgetary targets. All ministries are required to undergo an annual audit. The results of the audit should be published on the websites of ministries in the public domain.

2. Ensuring full transparency of financial flows of all government bodies and enterprises with a state share of more than 50%. The introduction of the norm of their mandatory audit with the publication of the results on the websites of these bodies within a month after the completion of the audit.

3. Implementation of the right of public control of all contracts and agreements of government bodies with state or private enterprises. For this, information about these agreements, which is not a state secret, must be available on the websites of the relevant government bodies.

4. The introduction of a ban on the provision of direct budgetary support to commercial organizations, regardless of their form of ownership.

5. Amendments to legislative acts to ensure the election of judges, determination of temporary parameters for the tenure of judges. Monetizing social services for judges and prosecutors, i.e. increasing income to a level that allows purchasing housing on market conditions.

6. Tightening of the criminal liability of civil servants for pressure on the court and the prosecutor's office, as well as for abuse of power and fraud in the distribution of budgetary resources. The imposition of a ban on employment in government bodies for 10 years in the event that participation in corrupt transactions is established in accordance with the procedure established by law, for gross violation of the procedure for using public funds, abuse of office, damage to the country.

7. Clear regulation of the free use by government officials, including top officials, of government assets, property and real estate.

8. Elimination of the practice of free use of cars by government officials and politicians, the transition to the mode of purchasing transport services by government bodies by outsourcing to private companies.

9. Reduction of licensed activities to the list of those that can become a direct and immediate source of threat to human life and health.

10. Privatization of most mass media, including electronic ones. Privatization or liquidation of print media founded by local authorities. Prohibiting government agencies from creating new media. Transfer of blocks of shares in state republican mass media to the management of the Ministry of State Property Management and Privatization. When privatizing television channels, sales to foreign state-owned companies are prohibited. One company is not allowed to enter into privatization deals that provide it with more than 25% of the TV market.

11. Mandatory publication in the public domain on the websites of the relevant government bodies of the transcripts of meetings of all government bodies, meetings with voters.

12. Creation of a unified transparent electronic platform for public procurement, tenders and auctions. Providing full information on commercial structures that win tenders / auctions, tenders for the implementation of public procurement or placement of a state order, as well as reports on the implementation by the winners of auctions, tenders or tenders of their obligations to the state.

13. Introduction of the legislative norm of mandatory electronic declaration by civil servants, politicians in local and republican authorities, close members of their families of income and expenses, property and participation in commercial organizations in the last five years; creation of mechanisms for tracking conflicts of interest in government bodies and businesses that use budgetary resources or manage state assets and property. Introduction of criminal liability for inaccurate data submitted in electronic declarations

14. Securing at the legislative level the right of every citizen to freely access information related to the activities of government bodies.

15. Elimination of the practice of rationing budget revenues from fines, confiscation and nationalization.

16. Elimination of the practice of bringing to commercial organizations the target indicators of production, investment, trade, etc.

17. Creation of technical conditions for the transfer of administrative procedures into electronic format (obtaining permits, licenses, certificates, etc.), full-fledged development of electronic government (e-government).

18. Introduction of legal requirements for the websites of all government bodies. They must contain the following information:

  • detailed budget with itemized description of income and expenses;
  • auditor's report on the results of the financial year with an assessment of the achievement of quantitative and qualitative targets;
  • staffing table indicating the surname, first name, patronymic of all civil servants, their income and the date of receipt of remuneration;
  • transcripts of the meetings of the given authority;
  • drafts of documents prepared by each civil servant;
  • legislative acts regulating the activities of this state authority;
  • history of citizens' appeals and the result of solving their problems;
  • map of control over the execution of orders by civil servants, forum;
  • clear indication of the time (at least once a week) when each civil servant is available to communicate with citizens via a Skype communicator.

BODIES THAT MAKE DECISIONS:

  • Parliament of the Republic of Belarus
  • President of the Republic of Belarus
  • Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus
  • Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus
  • Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus

The name of the regulatory legal acts that need to be adopted or in which changes need to be made:

  • Law of the Republic of Belarus dated July 15, 2015 No. 305-3 "On the fight against corruption"
  • Law of the Republic of Belarus dated June 14, 2003 No. 204-З "On public service in the Republic of Belarus"
  • Law of the Republic of Belarus dated January 04, 2014 No. 112-З "On the Basics of Activities for the Prevention of Offenses"
  • Law of the Republic of Belarus dated January 4, 2003 No. 174-З "On the declaration of income and property by individuals"
  • The Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus dated July 9, 1999 No. 275-З
  • Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offenses dated April 21, 2003 No. 194-З
  • Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus dated July 26, 1999 No. 296-З

Proposals were prepared by experts: Anatoly Lebedka, Yaroslav Romanchuk, Nikolay Kozlov.

(Originally found and translated from http://reformby.com/2020/07/23/anticorruption/)

Pensions

The current solidarity system does not guarantee a decent life in retirement. The population of the pension fund continues to deteriorate due to the difficult demographic situation and the aging of the population. The measures taken by the authorities to raise the retirement age do not improve the situation. The lack of transparency of pension payments does not contribute to public confidence in the system, which prevents its reform. The high tax burden on business promotes the use of gray schemes to reduce it, which in the long term leads to an increase in the deficit of funds in the pension fund.The pension reform envisages simplifying the pension formula and de-bureaucratizing the system, increasing the financial literacy of the population regarding the importance of their participation in ensuring a decent standard of living in retirement. The introduction of a compulsory funded pension will contribute to the stability of the pension system in the long term, as well as the interest of employees in contributions for a decent old age

.PROBLEMS FOR WHICH THE REFORM IS DIRECTED

1. The crisis of the solidary pension system and the replenishment of the pension fund due to the unfavorable demographic situation. Now those who work today, paying contributions to the pension fund from their earnings, provide those who receive pensions. Today, there are about 1.7 workers per one pensioner in Belarus. By 2050, every worker will have to make contributions to support his family and one pensioner.An attempt by the state to solve the problem of filling the pension fund by increasing the retirement age does not bring results. Due to the low birth rate, it is predicted that the pension burden on the employed will increase in the long term.

2. High level of pension tariffs, which stimulates the evasion of payment of contributions and "wages in envelopes".Currently, Belarus has one of the highest post-Sovietspace, the level of pension contributions, which for most employers is 34%:

  • 28% goes to pension insurance,
  • 6% for social insurance.

For an employee, this rate is 1%, which is deducted from his wages.The high level of pension tariffs stimulates the development of the shadow economy, payment of "wages in envelopes" and, accordingly, in the future, a reduction in contributions to the pension fund.

3. Lack of transparency of the insurance pension system, lack of incentives for the employee to make contributions to the Social Employment Fund ( FSZN ) or pension savings.There is no practice in Belarus to inform a citizen in advance about the amount of the pension. It is extremely difficult for the employee to independently determine the amount of his future pension due to the complexity of the calculations.The majority of citizens do not think or do not know about how the SPF (including the pension fund) is formed. As a result, citizens have a distorted idea that pensions and benefits are paid by the state.The entire sphere of pension insurance in Belarus is monopolized, and there are no alternative proposals for providing old age on the market. In order to officially receive a pension, it is necessary to pay insurance premiums to the Federal Social Welfare Fund or use the service of the state-owned enterprise Stravita or a subsidiary of Priorbank, Priorlife.

4. Constant tightening of the requirements for receiving retirement pension and the "trap of insurance experience."A prerequisite for retirement age and seniority retirement pension is work experience with payment of contributions to the budget. However, in recent years, the state has been constantly increasing the minimum insurance experience. Since 2015, there has been an increase from 10 to 15 years, although back in 2013 it was 5 years. This trend will continue and by 2025 it will be necessary to have work experience of 20 years in order to receive a labor pension.The insurance experience, in contrast to the general one, due to the lack of deductions to the FSZN does not include:

  • Maternity leave;
  • The periods during which the unemployment benefit was awarded;
  • Leave to care for a disabled person / disabled child / person over 80 years of age;
  • Full-time education at a higher and secondary specialized educational institution.

At the same time, a whole group of citizens found themselves in the trap of insurance experience. Some of the employees who, during the period of innovations, reach the retirement age and have sufficient insurance experience under the old rules, do not reach the insurance experience under the new rules. These people cannot receive either an old-age pension on a general basis or a social pension.

5. Low labor pensions for the majority of employees and exceptional pension conditions for certain groups of citizens.

The pay-as-you-go pension system in Belarus is characterized, on the one hand, by a low level of labor pensions, and on the other, by a high rate of insurance premiums.The average old-age pension in January 2020 amounted to 445.90 Belarusian rubles, and the nominal accrued average salary of employees was 1118.10 Belarusian rubles. rub.The ratio of the average old-age pension to the average wage in January 2020 across Belarus was 39.9%.At the same time, the pensions of civil servants, employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the KGB, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and military personnel are significantly higher than that of other pensioners. For example, the pension provision of military personnel is regulated within the framework of special legislation, and payments are made from the republican budget, and not from the pension fund.

6. Unfavorable conditions for the employment of retired elderly people.

About 600 thousand pensioners continue their labor activity in Belarus. These citizens (and the enterprises in which they work) continue to make contributions to the Federal Social Welfare Fund and, accordingly, pay their own pension payments. Pension payments for working pensioners with a higher earnings ratio (above 1.3) are not paid in full. At the same time, they are not exempt from paying insurance premiums to the Social Security Fund, which, as a result, leads to the formation of a gray labor market in which some of the pensioners are employed illegally.

MAIN GOALS / OBJECTIVES OF THE REFORM

  1. Ensuring transparency of the pension system and increasing public confidence.
  2. Ensuring the stability of the pension system and pension fund.
  3. Improving the efficiency of accumulation and spending of funds.
  4. Raising the level of old-age pensions.
  5. Maintaining an acceptable level of insurance burden for the business.
  6. The introduction of a mandatory funded pension system.

KEY MEASURES FOR IMPLEMENTING THE REFORMS

1. Equalization of the retirement age for men and women up to 60 years.

The issue of raising the retirement age is closely related to the preservation of the ability to work, the creation of new jobs in the labor market for persons of pre-retirement age, and a decrease in the unemployment rate. Can work at the age of eligibility80% of people, but at the same time only 1⁄3 - in the previous workplace, and 2⁄3 - with part-time work or doing work at home.

2. Simplification of the system of social security bodies and the merger of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and its local bodies with the governing bodies of the Social Security Fund (SPF) .

This will make it possible to simplify the system of these bodies itself, reduce the number of their administrative and managerial personnel, and channel the released funds into appropriate funds from which social security is carried out

3. Unification of pension legislation and equalization of conditions for pension provision for all citizens without privileged categories.

Multiple retirement benefits should be abandoned. Thus, seniority pensions and pensions associated with certain types of professional activity should be considered as a type of labor pensions without preferential coefficients

4. Cancellation of the reduction factor and the abolition of contributions to the Social Security Fund for pensioners.

This will stimulate the continued employment of workers at retirement age and the presence of pensioners in the labor market is necessary.

5. Inclusion of the following periods in the insurance experience:

  • receiving benefits for compulsory social insurance during the period of temporary disability;
  • the care of one of the parents for each child until they reach the age of three;
  • receiving unemployment benefits;
  • the detention of persons unreasonably brought to criminal responsibility, and the period of serving the sentence by these persons in places of deprivation of liberty;
  • care carried out by an able-bodied person for a disabled person of group I, a disabled child or a person who has reached the age of 80;
  • Full-time education at a higher and secondary specialized educational institution.

6. Introduction of a compulsory funded pillar while maintaining the basic package of social pensions.

The state retains the solidarity pension system as the base pillar and takes on the responsibility for its functioning. The provision of this type of pension is guaranteed by a separate item of expenditure from funds received in the form of social tax from employers and entrepreneurs to the state pension fund. The amount of this part of the pension corresponds to the minimum subsistence level.

The second pillar is formed by pension savings funds, which are created as independent organizations. Payments to the budget of these funds come from the state and individuals. The work of accumulation funds is regulated and controlled by the state

.7. Redistribution of compulsory pension contributions between the state pension fund of social insurance and accumulation funds.

The reform provides for a gradual increase in contributions to the accumulation fund to the personal account of a citizen of 10% of his salary by 2030 (in increments of 1% per year).In this case, contributions are distributed as follows: 50% of the pension contribution from his salary is transferred to a personal account in the pension fund chosen by the employee, and the state transfers an additional 50% of the amount. By this, the state encourages citizens to participate in the second pillar of the pension system.At the same time, the burden on enterprises in terms of payments to the pension fund is reduced to 24% (in increments of 1% per year).

8. Amendments to tax legislation and benefits for participants in the funded system.

For enterprises, provide for deductions from the taxable base for profits, and for individual entrepreneurs, a reduction in the single tax rates depending on the number of funded contributions, for employees' income tax benefits.

9. Transfer to Accumulative Pension Funds at least 25% of shares of large state-owned enterprises or 25% of funds from the privatization of state property.BODIES WHICH MAKE THE DECISION-

Parliament;- Council of Ministers;- Ministry of Labor and Social Protection;

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS- Development and adoption in the Republic of Belarus of the Code on Social Security.- The Law "On Pension Provision".- Tax code.

The proposals were developed by the expert: Olga Kovalkova.


JUDICIAL REFORM

The main problem with the courts is that they have effectively lost their independence and autonomy.

The essence of the judicial reform is to ensure the proper independence of the courts in the consideration of court cases, to enhance the status of the courts in the system of authorities and to strengthen guarantees of judicial protection of citizens' rights and freedoms.

PROBLEMS THAT THE REFORM SEEKS TO ADDRESS

1. Centralization of ships and dependence on the president.

Judges are appointed (and dismissed) by the President - Head of State. Judges are transferred to the service, and classes of civil servants are assigned to them on the basis of presidential decrees.

In 2013, economic courts were transformed into economic courts and included in the system of general jurisdiction courts. The Supreme Court has been empowered to provide organizational, material, technical and personnel support to the courts. As a result, the centralization of the courts has been strengthened and the role of the Chairman of the Supreme Court has been increased.

2. Intervention by court leaders in the administration of justice.

This is manifested, inter alia, in the fact that criminal trials have begun to have a strong prosecutorial bias. It is as if the courts have merged with the pretrial investigation and prosecution services. However, acquittals have become rare. In Belarus, there are 2-3 acquitted persons per 100 convicts, which is many times less than in European countries.

3. Strict repressive policy of the courts.

This is especially evident in cases of so-called corruption, as well as drug-related cases.

Courts of general jurisdiction consider a large number of cases of administrative offences. About 350,000-370,000 people are brought to administrative responsibility annually. Of these, about 80 per cent are fined and 17-18 per cent are subject to administrative arrest.

4. The politicization of court decisions.

Administrative proceedings in "political cases" are biased, often using falsified materials. A judge's decision may be appealed only in a supervisory procedure, which in most cases is ineffective.

5. The role of the Constitutional Court is insignificant.

The Constitutional Court is included in the judicial system of the Republic of Belarus.

The peculiarity of the status of the Constitutional Court is that its new powers were established by the Presidential Decree No. 14 of 26 June 2008 "On some measures on improvement of the activity of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus". By his act, the Head of State allowed violation of the Constitution and intrusion into the sphere of the judicial organization.

Since July 2008, the Head of State has allowed the violation of the Constitution and intrusion into the sphere of the judicial organization. The Constitutional Court has checked over 700 laws in the order of preliminary constitutional control and, strange as it may seem, has not revealed a single law that would violate the Constitution.

During the last 10 years, none of the authorized subjects (President, Government, Chambers of Parliament, Supreme Court) has approached the Constitutional Court. Such passivity of these subjects is explained, first of all, by their unwillingness to aggravate relations with other authorities. Moreover, the illusion of ideal constitutional legality in the country is being created.

The Constitutional Court is not empowered to consider citizens' applications for violations of their rights and freedoms in the normative acts adopted. The Court rejects such appeals and proposes to address "authorized entities". Those, in turn, refuse to refer them to the Constitutional Court.

6. The judicial system of the Republic of Belarus has not been reformed since the 90s of the last century. The concept of judicial-legal reform in the Republic of Belarus, adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus on April 23, 1992, due to a number of reasons (objective and subjective nature) was not implemented in practice.

MAIN GOALS/TASKS OF THE REFORM

The purpose of the judicial reform is to create a new court system that can ensure quality and objective consideration of cases and guarantee the protection of civil rights and freedoms at all stages of legal proceedings.

In order to achieve this goal, the following tasks need to be completed:

  • To create a new court system on the basis of the former court system;
  • To ensure the real independence of the courts and judges;
  • To include citizens as full-fledged judges in the justice process;
  • to expand the scope of judicial control;
  • to develop the specialization of judges;
  • To elevate the role of the Constitutional Court;
  • to ensure self-governance of judges;
  • adopt new legislation on the judicial system and procedure;
  • reform other law enforcement agencies.

AREAS FOR JUDICIAL REFORM

1. Establishment of a new judicial system.

The new judicial system of the Republic of Belarus should consist of courts of general jurisdiction, specialized courts and the Constitutional Court.

Courts of general jurisdiction will include: inter-district (district) courts; courts of appeal (regional (Minsk city) courts); and the Supreme Court. District (magistrate) courts may be established on the territory of the judicial district to hear minor cases under a simplified procedure.

Inter-district (district) courts will be established in accordance with the division of the territory of the country into judicial districts with approximately equal population size. They should be approximately equal in number of judges (except for large cities, where the number of judges may be higher given their workload).

Inter-district (district) courts should be composed of one judge at first instance; three judges; one judge and a panel of jurors.

Courts of appeal must, in accordance with the established procedure, consider complaints by the parties (prosecutor's protests) against decisions, rulings and sentences of courts of first instance that have not entered into force.

The Supreme Court must verify, on the basis of the supervisory appeals of convicted persons and their defence counsels, the legality of previously adopted court decisions.

2. ensuring the real independence of courts and judges.

Independence can be ensured by electing judges at all levels.

According to the Constitution of 1994, judges of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Economic Court were elected to their posts by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus (para. 7, Article 82). This procedure should be restored, limiting the term of election to five years with the right to re-elect judges.

The same procedure should be established for judges of subordinate courts as well. Representative bodies of local self-government of regions can act as an elected body. The term of election for lower court judges may be 4 years.

For the purpose of qualitative selection of candidates for the posts of judges, training of candidates, including passing the qualification exam, internship, interview and inclusion in the National Register of candidates for the posts of judges of the Republic of Belarus should be provided. Candidates from that roster may subsequently apply for judicial vacancies on the recommendation of the National Council of Judges.

3 Inclusion of citizens as full-fledged judges in the justice process

Provide for the establishment of courts with the participation of jurors (judges from the people) in certain categories of criminal cases. The condition for the establishment of such a court must be that the accused do not plead guilty to a crime. Such court will consist of a judge and a jury.

4. Expanding the scope of judicial control.

It is the courts that are entrusted with the function of deciding on the legality of the detention of persons, as well as on the extension of the period of detention. As guarantors of the protection of citizens' rights and freedoms, the courts are obliged to consider citizens' complaints about violations of their rights and freedoms by State administration bodies and officials. The actions (decisions) of the pretrial investigation agencies must also fall within the scope of judicial control.

5. 5. Deepening the specialization of judges.

It is proposed that posts of administrative, juvenile, labour and social court and other categories of judges should be introduced in inter-district (district) courts.

The economic courts are to be re-established. Economic courts are called upon to consider disputes between economic entities (individual entrepreneurs), business entities' bankruptcy cases, complaints by economic entities (individual entrepreneurs) against decisions (actions) of State administrative bodies, and claims brought by State administrative bodies against economic entities in connection with their illegal activities.

The system of economic courts should consist of the Supreme Economic Court, courts of appeal, economic courts of regions. For consideration of certain categories of economic cases specialized courts can be created.

6. Enhancing the role of the Constitutional Court

Its powers need to be expanded, as well as the range of persons entitled to access it. These persons should include: the President, the Chairman of Parliament, groups of at least 30 deputies, the Government, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Economic Court, the Prosecutor General, the Commissioner for Human Rights, regional representative bodies, political parties and other public associations.

Citizens of the Republic of Belarus also have the right to appeal to the Constitutional Court if their rights and freedoms are violated in normative acts issued by state bodies. An advocate or a certified lawyer must represent the interests of a citizen in the Constitutional Court.

7. Ensuring the self-government of judges.

The following may act as organs of self-governance: the Congress of Judges of the Republic of Belarus; the Republican Council of Judges; regional conferences of judges.

The Republican Council of Judges should act as a permanent judicial self-governing body. Its composition must be formed by the Congress of Judges of the Republic of Belarus, taking into account the quotas for representation.

One of the important functions of the Republican Council of Judges should be to recommend candidates for the posts of judges from among the persons included in the National Register of Candidates for the post of judge of the Republic of Belarus.

8. Development of new legislation on the judicial system and legal procedure.

The legal basis for developing a package of laws may be the Concept of Judicial and Legal Reform in the Republic of Belarus, adopted by the legitimate Parliament.

The Constitutional Act on the judicial system and status of judges in the Republic of Belarus should become a fundamental act in this area. It should consolidate the task of the courts, the judicial system, the principles of their organization and activities, the foundations of the legal status of judges, and issues related to the activities of the courts and judicial self-governing bodies.

9. 9. Reform of other law enforcement agencies.

Judicial reform can be successful if law enforcement agencies are modernized. These include bodies conducting initial inquiries, preliminary investigations, the Procurator's Office, the State forensic examination service and bar associations. In this regard, it is necessary to simultaneously carry out reform of courts and law enforcement agencies.

BODIES THAT MAKE DECISIONS

Parliament.

According to the Constitution of 1994, such Parliament is the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus. It should be restored in the course of the previous constitutional transformations.

Steps on implementation of the reform

1) Adoption of a resolution of Parliament "On the Concept of Judicial and Legal Reform in the Republic of Belarus". It should indicate the goals and objectives of the reform, the main directions and steps for its implementation, measures for the transformation of courts and other law enforcement bodies.

2) Establishment of a commission responsible for the implementation of the judicial and legal reform. It should include deputies of the Parliament, heads of the Constitutional, Supreme and Supreme Economic Courts, heads of relevant ministries and departments, well-known legal scholars. The Chairman of the Commission may be the Minister of Justice ex officio, and his deputies may be one of the deputies and a law scholar.

3) Adoption of the State Programme on the Reform of Courts and Law Enforcement Bodies in the Republic of Belarus. It should define a list of laws needed to implement the provisions of judicial and legal reform, indicating the persons responsible and the time frame for preparation. At the same time, provision should be made for budget subsidies. In particular, the development of draft laws, their expertise in scientific and training centres and the invitation of foreign experts should be paid for.

4) The development of planned draft laws and their adoption by the Parliament.

5) Implementation of new laws and necessary changes.

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS

-Suspension of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus "On the Concept of Judicial and Legal Reform in the Republic of Belarus";

- Resolution of the Supreme Council and the Government of the Republic of Belarus "On Approving the Staff of the Commission on the Implementation of the Concept of Judicial and Legal Reform in the Republic of Belarus";

- The Decision of the Supreme Council and the Government of the Republic of Belarus "On the State Program on the reform of courts and law enforcement agencies in the Republic of Belarus";

Laws of the Republic of Belarus:

Laws of the Republic of Belarus: "On the judicial system in the Republic of Belarus";

"On the procedure for appealing to the courts against actions and decisions that violate the rights and freedoms of citizens of the Republic of Belarus;

"On the procedure for and conditions of detention of persons in custody;

"On the transfer of the Department of Corrections of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus (to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus);

"On the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus;

"The Courts of General Jurisdiction Act;

"The Courts of Economic Affairs Act;

Jury trials"; "Jury trials in Belarus";

"Court bailiffs and court bailiffs";

"On the Office of the Procurator-General of the Republic of Belarus;

"On the Bar in the Republic of Belarus;

"On a notary in the Republic of Belarus;

"On forensic activities in the Republic of Belarus;

"On Internal Affairs Bodies in the Republic of Belarus;

"On the National Security Service of the Republic of Belarus.

The proposals were developed by the expert: Mikhail Pastukhov.

Housing

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Among the main drawbacks of the existing system of housing and communal services (HCS) is a constant increase in costs for maintenance of this sector, growth of tariffs for housing and communal services (HCS), unprofitability or unprofitability of HCS enterprises, their low efficiency and loss of resources, and a high degree of depreciation of production facilities.

As measures to improve the condition of the housing and utility sector, independent experts propose changes in three areas: investment in the economic use of resources, provision of housing and utility companies' operation on a competitive basis and introduction of a system of accounts providing targeted assistance.

PROBLEMS, WHICH THE REFORM IS AIMED AT SOLVING.

Neither the growth of tariffs for housing and communal services, nor the increase in budget subsidies for their coverage, nor the efforts of the relevant authorities practically affect the improvement of the quality of services, given the difficult financial and economic situation of housing and communal services enterprises.

1.Failure to manage the industry and the management system.

In independent Belarus, since the Soviet times, there has been a practice where the goals and objectives of policy documents differ from reality and are not implemented. For example, the National Housing Program was declared outdated in 2003 and its results were not satisfactory. It was replaced by the Concept of Housing and Communal Services Development up to 2015, which also failed to yield positive results, and the Concept was liquidated in 2013, despite the fact that significant funds were spent during attempts to implement it. From 2014 to 2017, the country did not have a Concept for Development and Reform of the Housing and Utilities Sector.

The new Concept for the Improvement and Development of the Housing and Utilities Sector until 2025 does not provide for the solution of the main tasks of eliminating monopolism, ensuring competition, as well as effective operation of the housing stock and utilities infrastructure; improving the quality and reducing the cost of housing and utilities services.

Constraints in the management of the industry are caused by a large number of management units at the level of regions, districts and cities. They often duplicate top-level management functions, which creates an inflated administrative apparatus. Excessive regulation of the sphere manifests itself in double subordination of organizations. In terms of norm-setting, they are subordinate to the Ministry of Housing and Communal Economy, and in the performance of their activities - to local authorities: city, district and regional executive committees.

2. Monopoly of the state for provision of housing and communal services and lack of competitive relations.

The combination of the state's functions as the owner of the housing stock and economic activities leads to the lack of incentives to improve the efficiency of housing stock management, maintenance and repair. Until now, about 80% of the housing stock is serviced by the state communal enterprises. Only about 1% of the market is occupied by representatives of private business in this sphere, and another part of the owners' association and developers' organizations carry out technical maintenance of housing on their own. At the same time, as of 2018, about 95% (241.4 million square meters) of the total housing stock is privately owned (256 million square meters).

The structure of housing construction financing in Belarus is, as before, oriented towards the public sector. The role of private investment and market-based financing of housing construction remains insignificant. State-owned companies and banks play a major role in both housing construction, maintenance, reconstruction, management and financing of housing construction. The entire housing and communal infrastructure of the country is owned by local authorities.

Tariffs for housing and utility services are constantly growing, and the population's coverage of housing and utility costs remains at around 50%. Already in 2000-2005 the growth of tariffs for the population on housing and utility services outstripped the general inflation rate. While consumer prices grew 6.1 times in 2000-2005, the tariffs for housing and utility services increased 50.7 times. As a result, the level of coverage by the population of expenses on housing and utility services, except for electricity and gas supply for a standard two-room apartment, increased from 12% in 2000 to 42.4% in 2005. At the same time, the share of housing and communal services in the consumer spending of the population increased from 3% to 9.1%.

Large energy losses and high energy consumption of the housing stock.

About one third of all heat generated in the country is allocated for heating and hot water supply. At the same time, almost 95% of residential buildings have an energy consumption level of more than 160 KWh per m2 per year. This is significantly higher than in developed European countries with similar climatic conditions.

MAIN GOALS/TASKS OF THE REFORM.

The main goal of the reform of the housing and utilities sector is to reduce costs while maintaining optimal quality of housing and utilities services and break-even functioning of the system without budgetary financial injections.

Objectives:

-Development of the competitive environment in the housing and utilities sector through demonopolization and development of private enterprises;

-Improvement of the housing and communal services management system at all levels;

-Development of energy and resource saving technologies in the housing and communal services system;

-Improvement of the system of benefits and differentiation of payments for housing and utility services depending on the quality of residential premises and their location;

Removal of utility companies from operating non-core facilities, the operation, maintenance and security of which brings huge costs to business entities.

Implementation of the reform is planned in two stages.

At the first stage, the following transformations should be carried out during 2020-2021:

Step 1: Create the necessary regulatory and legal conditions for privatization and the activities of private organizations, which will ensure competition in the provision of services.

Step 2. to rid the housing and utilities sector of non-core objects. Transfer services such as hotel facilities, baths, household waste processing, street and road maintenance, and funeral services to private businesses.

Step 3 Create conditions for the expansion of non-state organizational forms of exploitation of the housing stock - associations of owners, joint homeownership and other forms.

Create a national union of private homeowners, which will simplify the process of reform, as well as reduce possible tensions and allow for wider consideration of citizens' opinions. Housing unions/associations can provide substantial support in legal and regulatory/methodological support for housing enterprises.

Step 4: Division of functions and contractual relations between the owners of housing stock, housing and communal services and contractors. This will create a competitive environment through sufficient and timely funding for the maintenance and repair of the housing stock, as well as a parallel reduction in the operating costs of housing and communal services enterprises.

Step 5: move to competition in the performance of all contract work on the repair of the structural elements of residential buildings and capital repair of the housing stock in Minsk and regional centers of the country, and by 2023 - in all other settlements.

Step 8: Take a set of measures to reduce energy consumption by the housing stock.

To bring all infrastructure facilities into proper condition, to start installation of less energy-consuming equipment, to use progressive technologies, to complete provision of sources and consumers with water meters and heat regulation devices. Bring thermal insulation of heat chambers and heating networks to proper condition, partially switch to decentralization of heat supply, including in rural areas.

Step 9: segregate the provision of services to rural localities into a separate, economically independent and economically autonomous area with its own management and financing.

Step 10. Establish water supply and sewerage facilities in districts and cities with the rights of a legal entity.

This will make it possible to modernize the existing water supply and municipal sewerage systems more effectively, improve the management of the water supply and sewerage sector, and reduce unaccounted expenses and water losses.

Step 11. Create a full-fledged system of professional training for the housing and utilities sector, taking into account the expansion and development of non-state organizational forms of housing stock.

At the second stage (2022 - 2025), take the following measures:

Step 12. to carry out optimization of the management apparatus with liquidation of various departments of housing and communal services at regional, mountain and district executive committees.

Savings from improvement of management structures should be directed to strengthening of social support of the least wealthy groups of the population. Along with reducing budget subsidies, technical regulation of housing and communal services issues will be transferred to the Ministry of Construction and Architecture during the liquidation of the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services.

Step 13. To increase the share of housing stock serviced on a competitive basis up to 80% through the creation and development of private enterprises.

Step 14. To cover not only urban and rural settlements, but also garden associations with regular collection of municipal wastes and landfills for their disposal. Collect, export, process and preserve municipal waste in all settlements of the country only on a competitive basis by enterprises of different ownership forms.

Step 15: take measures to build communal waste treatment plants with up to 50% recycling of municipal waste from their total collection by 2025, using investments.

Step 16. Ensure the development of urban electric transport.

Create electric transport networks in cities with a population over 100 thousand people by 2025.

Step 17. Complete the thermal modernization of the housing stock built-in 1960-1990. This will allow reducing specific heat consumption in panel houses by 30-40% and, accordingly, tariffs for housing and utility services.

DECISION MAKERS

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS

Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus "On the Concept of Development of the Housing and Communal Services of the Republic of Belarus until 2015".

The proposals were developed by the expert: Grigory Kostusev.