Oleksiy Honcharuk

Oleksiy Valeriyovych Honcharuk (Ukrainian: Олексі́й Вале́рійович Гончару́к, pronounced [olekˈs⁽ʲ⁾ij wɐˈlɛr⁽ʲ⁾ijowɪtʃ ɦontʃɐˈruk]; born 7 July 1984) is a Ukrainian politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 29 August 2019 to 4 March 2020[1] following a landslide parliamentary election win. Honcharuk was replaced by Denys Shmyhal during the formation of the Shmyhal Government.[2]

Oleksiy Honcharuk
Зустріч Зеленського з МВФ, 2019, 4 (cropped).jpg
17th Prime Minister of Ukraine
In office
29 August 2019 – 4 March 2020
PresidentVolodymyr Zelensky
Preceded byVolodymyr Groysman
Succeeded byDenys Shmyhal
Personal details
Born
Oleksiy Valeriyovych Honcharuk

(1984-07-07) 7 July 1984 (age 36)
Zhmerynka, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyIndependent
Other political
affiliations
Servant of the People
Alma materNational Academy for Public Administration, Kyiv Mohyla Business School, Aspen Institute

Before this appointment, Honcharuk was a lawyer and the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Zelensky.[3][4] He was also the youngest Prime Minister in Ukrainian history.

BiographyEdit

Early life and careerEdit

FamilyEdit

Honcharuk was born in 1984 in Zhmerkynka, Vinnytsia Oblast (some unofficial sources claim he was born in Horodnia, Chernihiv Oblast, where he finished school).[5][6]

Honcharuk's father Valeriy was a military, served in Iraq. His father died in an accident in 2003.[6] As Honcharuk told journalists, that was one of the reasons why he started an emergency medicine reform, as a PM.[7] This became a top-reform of his Government. They set about 250,000 USD in the State Budget for 2020 for this reform. With this money, the Government was planning to equip 200 emergency departments throughout Ukraine.[8]

His mother, Tetyana Honcharuk, is a doctor. When Oleksiy was 16 years old, she immigrated to Italy and lives there until now.[7] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tetyana served in a hospital near Milan, Italy. [9]

Oleksiy Honcharuk also has a younger brother. [10]

EducationEdit

Honcharuk was a student of the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management from 2001 to 2006.[11] In 2006 he obtained his master's degree in Public Administration at the National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine.[11] A graduate from Aspen Institute Kyiv and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School. [12]

CareerEdit

From 2005, Honcharuk worked as a lawyer and head of law departments of various companies.[6][11]

Oleksiy Honcharuk has more than ten years of legal practice. He has worked as a lawyer in the PRIOR-Invest investment company, afterwards headed its legal department.  In 2008 Oleksiy Honcharuk established law firm Constructive Lawyers, which provides legal services in the field of investment and financing real estate construction.

Honcharuk's last position as a lawyer was being a lead partner at a company that specializes in real estate development.[1] In 2009 Honcharuk became Chairman of the NGO's "Association for Assistance to Affected Investors" and "Union of Investors of Ukraine".[11]

PoliticsEdit

In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Honcharuk unsuccessfully tried to get a parliamentary seat for the Force of People [uk] party (he was placed first on the party's election list[11]).[13] After the election, he became an adviser to ecology minister Ihor Shevchenko and First Vice Premier Stepan Kubiv.[13] In 2015 Minister for Economic Development and Trade Aivaras Abromavičius, with the financial support of Canada and the European Union, created the BRDO office that deals with the simplification of the system of state regulation in the relations between the state and business.[6] The competition for the BRDO leader was won by Honcharuk.[6] Under Honcharuk's leadership, BRDO was mostly involved in business deregulation. [14]

Under the leadership of Oleksiy Honcharuk, BRDO has succeeded in abolishing around 1,000 illegal and irrelevant acts, as well as approving more than 50 decisions in favor of business. The reform of regulatory bodies has been initiated, including their transition to a risk-oriented approach. [14]

Apart from that, there were developed a number of progressive on-line products including the portal of step-by-step instructions for starting your own business, an inspection portal for monitoring the use of funds, and a number of others initiatives. [15]

In April 2016, Honcharuk met Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Development, Stepan Kubiv, who invited the BRDO leader to become his advisor pro bono.[6]

At the end of 2018, Honcharuk co-created the right-liberal NGO "People are Important [uk]", which was supposed to grow into a political party.[6] The party was not deemed ready enough to take part in the snap July 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[6]

On 31st August 2020, The Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center announced that Honcharuk would be joining them as a distinguished fellow. The Atlantic Council is a neutral organisation that seeks to promote U.S. leadership and engagement with the rest of the world. It was founded in 1961. [16]

Joining the presidential administrationEdit

On 28 May 2019 Honcharuk was appointed Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.[17][18] In this position he was responsible for the block of economic development and continuation of reforms.[19][20]

A member of the National Council of Reforms. A member of the National Investment Council of Ukraine since June 2019. [21] A member of the National Council on Anti-corruption policies.[22]

During his work in the President's Office Oleksiy Honcharuk was responsible for the implementation of reforms aimed at simplifying business conditions, improving the investment climate, opening up the land market and a number of others . Thus, a number of decrees were signed during his tenure. [23]

The most important of the above mentioned are the decrees on counteracting illegal takeover and smuggling, the introduction of new approaches in infrastructure. In particular, the construction and repair of roads, as well as the improvement of Internet access throughout the country. The minimum payment for notary services has also been abolished simplifying their work and allowing. Notaries will now be able to pay less than 1% of real estate value.

One of the most striking and important decrees was abolition of five-fold fine for violation of cashier discipline.

Upon initiative of Oleksiy Honcharuk a full revision of presidential decrees was carried out, so that 160 of obsolete decrees which prevented businesses from working and created additional bureaucratic barriers were abolished.[23]

Prime Minister of UkraineEdit

On August 29, 2019 The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appointed Oleksiy Honcharuk as Prime Minister of Ukraine. [23]

According to Ukrayinska Pravda, in the spring of 2019, Monobank co-founder Dmytro Dubilet introduced Honcharuk to Andriy Bohdan "who brought him to Bankova" ("Bankova" is the nickname for Ukraine's presidential administration).[24] First aide to President Zelensky Serhii Shefir [uk] confirmed that Bohdan was responsible for the appointment of Honcharuk in the presidential administration.[25] But Dubilet and the Zelensky's campaign staff denied this and claim they met Honcharuk in 2018 in his capacity as BRDO chairman.[6]

On August 27, international media reported that Zelensky would propose that Parliament appoint Honcharuk to the post of Prime Minister of Ukraine.[26] On 29 August he was officially nominated for the post of Prime Minister and the same day the parliament easily approved Honcharuk with 290 deputies voting in favor of his appointment.[1]

The new Cabinet did include several experts - including the Prime Minister - who grew and gained credibility in European-funded programs. [27] International analysts welcomed the appointment of Oleksiy Honcharuk. Impressions of the foreign press on Honcharuk's appointment were extremely positive. [27] The Western press drew attention to the prime minister's young age, his "workaholism" and promises to achieve sharp GDP growth. [27]

Honcharuk is the youngest Prime Minister of Ukraine since he was 35 at the time of his appointment. Before him, the youngest one was Volodymyr Groysman who took the post at 38 and was succeeded by Honcharuk.[6]

In September 2019, the Government of Oleksiy Honcharuk presented its Action Program to the Parliament, which was approved by the Verkhovna Rada on October 4, 2019. [28] According to the media, this was the first Government’s Program of Action, where ministers had clear indicators with specific KPI’s and dates of their implementation. [29]

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Josep Borrell admitted at the annual EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels that the Honcharuk government's reform agenda had been ambitious and had made significant progress in five months. [30]

On 17 October 2019, Goncharuk was photographed attending a concert by Rock Against Communism band Sokyra Peruna, which caused a scandal in Russian media.[31]

In January 2019, after leaked recordings emerging on the internet in which a man with a voice similar to Honcharuk's criticises Zelensky's knowledge of economics, as well as his own knowledge of the subject and competence, Honcharuk submitted a letter of resignation to the President of Ukraine .[32][33] Zelenskiy, who actually does not have power to dismiss prime minister as only the Ukrainian Parliament can do that according to the Constitution, refused to accept the resignation, saying that "Now is not the time to undermine the state, economically or politically”.[34][35][36][37] Nevertheless, on March 2020 Zelenskiy proposed sweeping changes to the government, including the appointment of a new prime minister.[38][39]

On 4 March 2020, the Honcharuk government was replaced by the Shmyhal Government.[11]

Government headed by Oleksiy HoncharukEdit

ReformsEdit

Top-priority of Oleksiy Honcharuk's Government was carrying out market reforms.

The team of the Honcharuk's Government has prepared the country for the opening of the land market — conducted a large-scale audit of state cadastres, for the first time gathered all cadastres into one and began to digitize the entire territory of the country together with the State Geocadastre. [40] That allowed the Parliament to adopt a historic land reform bill on March 31. [41]

Under Honcharuk's leadership, the government launched the largest-scale privatization process since independence. Government has moved more than 1,000 unprofitable state-owned enterprises to the State Property Fund — it’s ten times more than in the previous ten years. [42] That allowed the State Property Fund to sell the first large object at the auction — the Dnipro Hotel in the center of Kyiv for a record 1 billion 111 million UAH in July 2020. [43]

Oleksiy Honcharuk's government was the first in the history of Ukraine to unbundle Naftogaz — the process took 4 months. [44] This decision allowed a new contract for gas transportation between Ukraine, the EU and Russia in December 2019. Thanks to the work of Honcharuk's team, the contract with Russia for gas transportation was signed on favorable terms for Ukraine. [45]

For the first time since Ukraine’s independence, the Government has launched a public-private partnership mechanism and conducted the first transparent and fair concession tenders for the Olvia and Kherson seaports and prepared a dozen other facilities for concession. [46]

Economic politics of Honcharuk GovernmentEdit

In October 2019, the Government of Oleksiy Honcharuk and the National Bank headed by Yakov Smoliy signed a Memorandum of Understanding to achieve sustainable economic growth and price stability. [47]

This memorandum between the government and the National Bank allowed Ukraine in January 2020 to place Eurobonds at the cheapest interest rates in history of Ukraine. Ukraine has issued new 10-year Eurobonds in euros with an interest rate of 4.375% per annum. The funds raised will be used to finance the state budget. Thus, Ukraine attracted 1.25 billion euros. [48]

Together with the National Bank, Honcharuk's team also worked on creating conditions for cheap resources for business.

To support and develop small businesses, together with leading state-owned banks, the Government has launched a program of cheap loans for small and micro businesses. [49]

During his term, the government also changed 20 regional heads of the State Geocadastre and began a complete reset of the state body. [50]

Anti-corruption policyEdit

Oleksiy Honcharuk's government had zero tolerance for corruption. In October 2019, the Government began a complete reset of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention. [51] In January 2020, the government appointed a new head of the agency — Oleksandr Novikov. [52]

The Government has replaced managers at most state-owned enterprises, which have been associated with the corruption scandals in the media for years. [53]

Together with the Ministry of Justice, the Government has launched the Anti-Raid Office, which responds to raids attacks on business within 24 hours. [54]

Together with law enforcement authorities and the State Fiscal Service, the Government started fighting against gray markets —they closed more than 500 illegal gas stations and illegal gambling establishments in the regions. In just one day, thanks to law enforcement officers across Ukraine, more than 5,500 illegal gambling establishments were closed. [55][56]

After the GovernmentEdit

In the first interview after his resignation, he stated that he remains in Ukrainian politics and will continue to work on continuing and implementing reforms. [57]

On 31st August 2020, The Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center announced that Honcharuk would be joining them as a distinguished fellow. The Atlantic Council is a neutral organisation that seeks to promote U.S. leadership and engagement with the rest of the world. It was founded in 1961. In September 2020 Honcharuk left for the USA, as he claimed, to work on building new US Policy on Ukraine and improve Ukrainian-American relationships. [58]

IncomeEdit

For 2019, he declared a salary of UAH 315,369, revenues from entrepreneurship of UAH 315,369, cash of UAH 100,0006 USD 31,000, EUR 10,000, a 2007 Jaguar X-Type car and a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser car.[59]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit