On Tuesday, June 28, the Ukrainian Constitution is turning 26. What state model could IT specialists choose if they could rewrite the Basic Law? Roman Prokofiev, co-founder and CEO of the global job search service Jooble, discusses this in the column for the outlet SPEKA.
First of all, we should ask ourselves why exactly we need changes in the Constitution, that is, what kind of state we would like to build, Prokofiev stresses.
"In the business world, this is called a vision, at the state level, "What is our national idea?".
He further outlines several examples of a national idea, depending on which the Basic Law will be rewritten in different ways.
European Ukraine: Human rights
In fact, the Ukrainian Constitution is as close as possible to precisely this idea — a country with high incomes, free education and medicine, freedom of thought, and mutual respect.
"Our Constitution clearly states that we are a welfare state, that dignity and honor are the highest values," Prokofiev notes.
He adds that in this case there will be few amendments to the Constitution:
- amending the article where only a woman and a man enter into marriage;
- adding paternity protection to maternity protection;
- decriminalizing the use of addictive substances (at present, only the public use of addictive substances is criminalized in Ukraine — Ed. note);
- decriminalizing or even legalizing prostitution (in the latter case, we will approach the German model, because, for example, in Sweden, sex work is decriminalized, but clients and pimping are criminalized — Ed. note).
European Ukraine: Taxes
At the same time, when making other laws according to European ones, it will be necessary to outline strict European taxation standards, the IT specialist warns. For example, the penalty for failure to file an annual return in Germany is 20,000 euros.
Personal income tax of 18%, even with 22% single social security tax over the rate paid by the employer, is less than in most of Europe, where it is between 40% and 70%. It is these taxes, paid by all citizens, that make it possible to build a welfare state.
According to Prokofiev, over the past 20 years, no European country has grown by more than 5% annually, unlike China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
Building the economy according to the principles of the so-called "Asian tiger" will require crossing off the word "social" from the Constitution first article and removing most of the state's social obligations further in the text.
For example, a very limited number of people in China and Indonesia will receive their pension, and in many other Asian countries, it does not exceed $50 per month.
Ukraine in military neutrality
Non-aligned status, which representatives of the political leadership of Ukraine declare from time to time, is also possible — in Switzerland, to take one example.
But in order for a non-aligned state to be able to defend itself, it will be necessary to outline compulsory military service for both men and women, as well as a firearm permit for every citizen.
"In this case, we can gather 20 million people in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in one day ," the author writes.
Civil administration and control
While the idea of citizens running their own country is somewhat idealistic, the IT specialist notes, it would also require every citizen to file their own tax return.
This may increase the requirements of citizens for the services that the state provides them, Prokofiev writes:
"Remember how demanding you are of the commercial companies that you pay money to. You demand attention and first-class service because you pay them. Imagine how the state would change if you were similarly demanding of its services?"
Ukraine as a nation of businessmen
With such an idea, the Constitution could be reduced to one word — "Create," the author writes.
Ukraine as a nation of IT specialists
Here we should introduce the compulsory study of programming and other technical disciplines from kindergarten, and make English a must-have, that is, actually, the second state language.
Expressing his opinion on what state would be comfortable for an IT specialist, Prokofiev noted that it could be an Asian economy, but with European values.
With this model, citizens-entrepreneurs are integrated into the civilized international community, but they themselves run the state and adjust its services.
The state’s social obligations are reduced to a minimum, moderate taxes are imposed, everything related to human rights is legalized, entrepreneurship is advertised at all levels, and English is studied as a state language.
As for Russia, here the IT specialist proposes to legalize firearms in order to protect Ukraine and grant them together with a citizen's passport. Then the occupation of Ukrainian cities will become unlikely, Prokofiev believes.
- has already reported about how the Constitution had been changed in Ukraine during 25 years.