The Government approved the first draft law on local self-government reform

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the draft Law of Ukraine “On Cooperation of Territorial Communities”. It is the first one in a series of draft laws, which Minregion develops as part of implementation of the Concept of local self-governance reform. Initiatives of local experts, who proposed to adopt such a law a few years ago, provided the basis.

“On April 1 the Government approved the Concept of local self-governance reform, which envisions complete decentralization of authority and delegation of responsibilities to communities at the local level. We’ve worked on the changes to be introduced into the Constitution of Ukraine, and submitted them to the Constitutionl commission. These changes also concern authority decentralization, responsibility delegation, definition of financial basis, i.e. taxes, for territorial communities. In order to develop these decisions, today the government has approved the draft Law “On Cooperation of Territorial Communities”, which we will present to the Parliament in the nearest time” said the Minister of regional development, construction, and housing and communal services, Volodymyr Groysman, while presenting the draft law.

Draft Law of Ukraine “On Cooperation of Territorial Communities” will allow for considerable expansion of communities’ efforts, targeted at resolution of joint problems of socio-economical development. These can include, for example, maintenance of hospitals, waste disposal issues, water supply facilitation, etc.

The new law provides for five possible cooperation formats – delegation of certain tasks to one of the communities, followed by resource allocation; implementation of joint projects; creation and maintenance of joint communal enterprises or establishments; even creation of a joint governmental body to fulfill certain duties. The draft law also provides the mechanisms of such collaboration, its financing and control.

Vice Prime Minister informed us that the draft Law provides for state facilitation of cooperation of communities, particularly, through allocation of subventions to local budgets in the top-priority spheres of state policy. In this way the state will get the opportunity to stimulate the strengthening of communities’ capability to perform broader spectrum of responsibilities, and, thus, contribute to preparation of communities for full-fledged implementation of local self-government reform.

Volodymyr Groysman noted, that the Draft Law of Ukraine “On Cooperation of Territorial Communities”, approved by the Government, was preliminarily discussed with 13 oblast’ councils, 21 oblast’ state administrations, Kiev city state administration, State fund for local self-government support in Ukraine, All-Ukrainian association of local self-government bodies “Association of Ukrainian Cities”, All-Ukrainian association of village and urban-type settlement councils. Besides, according to his information, even today a number of communities are already willing to confirm in practice the efficiency of joint efforts, once the Law is adopted by Verkhovna Rada.

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