Local self-government reform was one of the key engines of development in Poland – B.Komorowsky

No authority – central or regional – can be successful without the reform of government decentralization – the level of trust to authority will fall, while negative tendencies increase. This statement was made by the Chairperson of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman, during his meeting with the President of Republic of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowsky, on Thursday.

During the meeting, the Parties exchanged their experience of reforms of local self-government and decentralization of authority in Ukraine and Poland, respectively.

According to the head of Parliament, Ukraine is presently going through the “time, when in-depth reforms can be implemented, and one of the basic reforms is the reform of local self-government and authority decentralization”. This reform, he said, involves subsidiarity, ubiquity of local self-government, financial self-sustenance of communities, enhancement of their capacity, and increase of liability of local self-government bodies before the community and the state.

According to V.Groysman, Verkhovna Rada has already made the first steps on the way of legislative support of government reform, particularly, the steps concerning financial decentralization, creation of foundations for unification of communities and implementation of regional development policy.

The main task, which should be fulfilled before October this year, i.e., before local elections, according to the Chairperson of Verkhovna Rada, is the introduction of the “first block of changes” into the Constitution of Ukraine, regarding authority decentralization and extension of local self-government competency. At the same time V.Groysman noted, that the new functions of local self-government bodies could not be exercised at once, and, as a result, the amendments to the Basic Law could provide for a transitional period, during which the legislation would be harmonized with constitutional changes.

V.Groysman also says, that presently, the Parliament is working on the system, according to which the local elections are going to be held.

In this regard he also told about the first meeting of the Constitutional commission that would work on respective changes concerning decentralization of government, improvement of constitutional principles of justice, and constitutional regulation of rights, freedoms, and duties of an individual and a citizen.

Speaking about reforms, the Chairman of Verkhovna Rada noted: “This is not simple, the system is opposing, but the critical mass of population, longing for change, is increasing, and, thus, speeding up the reformation processes”. “Ukraine must turn from a post-Soviet, centralized, corrupted country into a European state”, he said. V.Groysman noted that before the end of April it was intended to complete the development of the Plan of legislative support of the reform in Ukraine.

In his turn, the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski expressed an opinion that Ukraine could be interested in Polish experience in reformation of local governance. “We are absolutely confident that this reform was one of the major triggers of the Polish development. We improved the system of state management and this allowed us to free energy sources and sped up the process of formation of new state and oblast elites,” he said.

The President of Poland noted that the Polish Parliament “created a powerful off-party lobby for reformation of local government.” The Head of the Ukrainian Parliament called the creation of such a lobby in Ukraine a “very good” idea, having noted that each deputy faction “has proponents of local governing. Thus, such a support should be expanded.”

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