On 14 December, a meeting of the coordination and advisory board on the issue of “Decentralisation in the Zdolbuniv Rayon. Amalgamation of Hromadas” took place in the town of Zdolbuniv of the Rivne Oblast.
Yuriy Hanushchak, director of the NGO “Institute of Territorial Development”, worked together with the heads of the Rayon State Administration and Rayon Council, village heads, deputies of the rayon and town councils, members of the working group on decentralisation, employees of the executive structure of the rayon council and Rayon State Administration, and experts of the Rivne Local Government Development Centre.
The Kyiv guest, invited by the Rayon Council, addressed the audience on “Administrative and territorial reform in Ukraine. Advantages and disadvantages of the decentralisation reform”.
All participants were interested in listening to one of the reform architects, as far as Yuriy Hanushchak took a direct part in preparation of key draft laws in this area and advised the Ukrainian government on the implementation of administrative and territorial reform.
The speaker’s key points were summed up by the fact that local councils have no other option, but establish amalgamated hromadas. The existing administrative-territorial system has run its course and is ineffective. Thus, hromada development requires their consolidation and, at the same time, redistribution of both authority and resources to the local level.
He also spoke about the key factors that influence the establishment of a capable hromada, gave exact examples of the AH work, and answered numerous questions from those present.
According to Mr Hanushchak, taking into account the existing indicators, formation of three AHs with centres in Zdolbuniv, Mizochi and Zdovbyts is the optimal format for the Zdolbuniv Rayon. At the same time, he questioned the capability of the potential Stupnivska hromada, considered in accordance with the current perspective plan as well.
Ruslan Syvyi, director of the Rivne Local Government Development Centre, established with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme, urged the heads of villages not to wait till the state decides for them how to change the boundaries of the village councils, and take the initiative themselves. In particular, he supported the initiative to establish the Zdovbytska AH, that may be the first one in the rayon.
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