Constitutional reform processes in Kazakhstan, Mongolia discussed by European Parliament
Members and staff of the European Parliament, national parliaments of member states, representatives of other key EU institutions, diplomatic corps, academic community, international NGOs and mass media participated in the event held on the initiative of MEP Wlodziemerz Cimoszewicz.
Among others, Chairwoman of the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan Elvira Azimova, Chairwoman of the Committee on Legislation, Judicial and Legal Reform of the Mazhilis Snezhanna Imasheva and Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Brussels Margulan Baimukhan addressed the round table.
In his welcoming remarks, Cimoszewicz underlined Kazakhstan and Mongolia were important partners for the European Union which encourages consolidation of democratic institutions in both countries to support their stable and successful development, noted usefulness of the comparative analysis and experience exchange between the countries of the region taking into account specifics in the development of each of them.
«What is, now I believe, exceptionally important in these countries is to popularise the knowledge about these very important reforms, which are a chance to build stable, working democratic systems,» Cimoszewicz said.
Azimova thanked the organizers of the round table for highlighting the topic relevant for the development of our region and its cooperation with the EU. She informed the participants about the launching of the work and the mandate of the Constitutional Court of Kazakhstan, which was established within the amendments to the country’s Constitution, following the nationwide referendum of 2022 and «ultimately must be the main foundation of the human rights protection system».
«Distinctive characteristic of all constitutional control bodies is the combination of theoretical and scientific approaches with a profound understanding of practical aspects and realities. The Constitutional Court rejects the mere pursuit of justice without considering other crucial factors. It strives to establish a rule of law that addresses contemporary needs of individuals, society and the state, while remaining connected to actual circumstances,» she stressed.
At the same time, «the broadened jurisdiction of the court, which includes the review of normative legal acts based on citizens’ appeals, as well as those submitted by the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Prosecutor General, signifies the humanistic and human rights-focused approach of the constitutional reform in Kazakhstan,» emphasised Azimova.
Eamon Gilmore, Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights, in his statement stressed the importance of constructive interaction between the state and civil society in the implementation of constitutional reforms. «At the heart of the European Union’s partnerships with Mongolia and Kazakhstan are the fundamental principles of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. This means we … support each other in their practical manifestation in legislative changes and in their implementation,» he stressed. In this connection, according to him, in Brussels, they «look forward to the effective implementation of the recent constitutional reforms in Kazakhstan.»
According to Ambassador Baimukhan, «this year, Kazakhstan has completed the initial stage of large-scale political reforms and a systemic transformation of the political system has been carried out, creating a new, more democratic model of government.» In the context of relations with the EU, he stressed that «while our economic and political cooperation is significant, we also believe it is important to continue our strong dialogue with the European Parliament, crucial for us in terms of exchanging best law-making practices.»
Salvatore De Meo, Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament, shared his views about the relevance of the topic of the round table. According to him, «Kazakhstan is facing an important democratic development and search» and therefore «the EU is watching very closely the constitutional reforms undertaken.» To this end, he noted the European institutions were open to substantive cooperation to consolidate democratic institutions through further improvement of the legislation in partner countries.
During the discussions at the round table, among important innovations mentioned were the easing the requirements to the registration of political parties in Kazakhstan, which led to the increase in their number, and the holding of the parliamentary elections on March 19, 2023, which resulted in the noticeable strengthening of political pluralism in the national legislature.
In this context, MP Imasheva presented a review of the key areas of the constitutional reform, implemented with the participation of the Parliament, including the transition from the super-presidential model to the presidential republic with greatly increased powers of the legislative branch, the expansion of citizen participation in the governance of the country and the improvement of mechanisms for the protection of citizens’ rights.
In general, the round table participants noted important positive changes in the dynamics of the institutional development in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, as well as the need to continue substantive and constructive dialogue with the EU on the further implementation of reforms aimed at strengthening the democratic foundations of the development of states and societies in the region.