Professor University San Pablo CEU (Madrid)
Along last July, several events and political declarations have coincided that seem to confirm the reformist path initiated by President Savkat Mirziyoyev in Uzbekistan.
During the reception offered for the festivity of July 4, the American ambassador in that country, Pamela L. Spratlen, delivered a speech (published on her website) in which she praised the path of changes undertaken by the new President. The Ambassador recalled, among other details, that many prisoners of conscience had been amnestied and released (some of them have been able to reunite with their families in the US), that child labor has been eradicated and that forced labor (matter highly related to the collection of cotton, the “white gold” of the country) is shrinking.
A few days later, the media published that the EU negotiations with Uzbekistan were being reactivated to renew the cooperation agreement. In the framework of negotiations of this type of partnership and cooperation agreements with the countries of Central Asia, it seems that now its Uzbekistan’s turn. This is what the Council has entrusted to the High Representative of Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, and to the European Commission. As is well known, the EU has put a lot of pressure on Human Rights issues to be reviewed in order to strengthen relations with that country, replacing its current framework of action since 1999 and which had been completely obsolete: neither Uzbekistan is the newly independent country that was then neither the EU considers now effective the cooperation instruments that were contained in such agreements.
Finally, in recent years a series of international conferences, seminars and round tables have been taking place in Uzbekistan that show the country’s openness and its interest in learning from the experience of other countries that can effectively contribute to making a series of smart improvements. This is the case of the international seminar “Improvements in the legislative environment of the Public Administration: experience of Uzbekistan and foreign practice”, held on June 26, and of the international round table “Legislation and parliamentary control on the conditions of democratization of the political system : experience of Uzbekistan “, held last July 15.
Each nation has its particularities, its history, its social development, its political culture and its economic and political system. But it is always posible to learn the way others have done things to improve their own systems. That is what we tried to do in those two occasions mentioned above, very related to each other. In the first one, experts from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, South Korea and the EU examined the draft bill “On Public Administration”. In three round tables, the participants debated recommendations on the legal status, the Civil Service and the competences, as well as the evaluation of the effectiveness of the officials. All of them, matters of great importance in Europe during the recent economic crisis, in which the size of the State Administration has been questioned and the number of institutions, organs, officials, etc. has been questioned. Among the 15 speakers who took part were the Uzbek Minister of Justice, Ruslan Davletov; the President of the Agency for Public Administration Affairs and Anti-Corruption of Kazakhstan, Alik Shpekbayev; ILO’s Director for Eastern Europe, Olga Kuliyeva; ILO’s Employment Specialist, Mikhail Pushkin; Deputy Chief of Staff Management of South Korea; Choi Meng Jin; and EU’s Head of Delegation, Eduards Stiprais.
Finally, in the second round table on parliamentary control, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Kazuki Nakane, said that both countries have been cooperating actively in this field for 25 years and will continue to do so, helping to liberalize the economy and attract foreign capital to the Central Asian country. During the meeting was recalled President Mirziyoyev’s intention to abolish “dead laws”, those completely useless laws that do not influence legal practices at all and that do not have enforcement mechanisms. Thus, the Deputy Spokesman of the Oliy Majlis, the Lower House of Uzbekistan, Sarvar Otamuratov, repeated the message of his Head of State: “We must all be aware that the only source and author of the Law must be the people”. For his part, Rakhim Khakimov, Director of the Institute of Legislative Problems and Investigation of the Oliy Majlis, said that the bill that will improve parliamentary processes is open to public discussion in the website www.regulation.gov.uz.
20/08/2018. © All rights reserved