Aspen Institute Kyiv held a second seminar on social contract for members of the Community

Aspen Institute Kyiv continues a series of events dedicated to the topic of the social contract. The second mini-seminar “On the Social Contract” took place on June 4. Members of the Aspen community – leaders in politics, public administration, law, business, and other industries – participated in the event.

As a platform for leadership dialogue, the Aspen Institute Kyiv created a space for the impartial and sincere exchange of views. The seminar participants explored the essence of the concept of social agreement and discussed the basic principles that can become the basis of a new social contract for Ukraine.

Mutual restraint for the common good and productivity of citizens: the principles of the social contract are a priority.

According to the seminar participants, for the formation and further functioning of the social contract, it is crucial that the parties understand the principles of interaction between the state and society and the goals and consequences of the agreement.

Equally important is equality of arms and willingness to limit each other for the common good. For example, a society that elects and controls the government must at the same time abide by laws and effective bureaucratic procedures.

Among other principles that could become the basis of a new social agreement for Ukraine, the participants named:

  • Maintaining a balance between security and the desire of Ukrainians to ensure freedom and justice.
  • Provision by the contract of transparent forms of accountability, conditional “acts of performed works”.
  • Creating opportunities for citizens’ self-expression and development of human potential. The state must ensure the productivity of citizens, and they must pay for it. In particular – their taxes.
  • The direction of the social contract on the architecture of the nation’s future, not the past.

How to form not just a formal agreement but a social contract that will work as a platform for cooperation between the Ukrainian community

The seminar participants named the creation of a formal social contract, which will not be a full-fledged agreement, as one of the threats. There is a risk if the contract is insufficiently understood and worked out. According to the participants, working on it in small expert groups is an effective model for forming a social contract.

The seminar participants called one of the threats the formal social contract creation, which will not be a full-fledged agreement. Such risk exists if the contract is not sufficiently understood and worked out. According to the participants, an effective model for forming a social contract is to work on it in small expert groups.

At the same time, the parties of a social contract must not forgive each other for violating the rules underlying it and do not act on the principle “we do not touch them, and they do not touch us.” In this case, it will be a corruption consensus, not an agreement for the society and the state’s development.

Denis Poltavets, Director of Program Development at the Aspen Institute Kyiv, and Andriy Kulakov, Program Coordinator of the Aspen Institute Kyiv Community, moderated the seminar.

Also, on May 31, Aspen Institute Kyiv held an online discussion “On the Social Contract” for the Community members. The first seminar on the social agreement for the Community members took place on June 2.

The event was held within the framework of the Integrity and Governance project. The Integrity and Governance project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy.