Law in transition 2017: promoting legal reform for growth

By Mike McDonough

Law in transition 2017: promoting legal reform for growth

Journal focuses on sustainable market economies and commercial law reform

Good governance is an essential component of successful, sustainable development. The United Nations recognises this in its Sustainable Development Goals, which state that “access to justice and accountable institutions” are pre-requisites of economic prosperity.

The EBRD, meanwhile, identifies being well-governed as one of the six desirable qualities of a well-functioning market economy.

Through its efforts to create a better, more predictable legal environment, the EBRD therefore makes an important contribution to sustainable development in the regions where it operates. These efforts are remarkable for their innovation, ambition and achievements on the ground, as well as for the wide range of partners they call upon, from grass-roots civil society activists to prime ministers. The story of these endeavours is told in ‘Law in transition 2017’.

The publication describes, for example, how the EBRD supported Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and the country’s adoption of mandatory electronic procurement for the purchase of goods, works and services by government bodies.

These changes seek to completely transform public procurement in Ukraine after decades of endemic corruption linked to government contracts.

The journal also recounts how the EBRD’s Legal Transition Programme contributed to legal and regulatory reforms aimed at reducing the burden of non-performing loans on the economies of emerging Europe.

It relays the extensive work the EBRD does to raise standards of corporate governance in the region and bring them in line with international best practice; and its support for public-private dialogue on improving governance and fighting corruption.

The links between legal reform and investments in green technology and information and communications infrastructure are explored in depth in the journal.

These and many other stories make ‘Law in transition’ a valuable repository of lessons learned that practitioners can apply to other countries seeking to improve their legal environment, whether in the EBRD regions or beyond.