44 hromadas have already used the mechanism of accession to village, settlement councils to the cities of oblast significance. They joined 19 cities of oblast significance, as reported by MinRegion, referring to the data of the oblast state administrations and the Association of Ukrainian Cities.
10 village and settlement councils joined the city of Lozova; 5 village councils accessed the city of Rzhyshchiv; the cities of Varash, Vinnytsia, Voznesensk, Hadyach, Zhytomyr, Nova Kakhovka, Novgorod-Siverskyi, Novodnistrovsk, Slavuta, Shostka, Novohrad-Volynskyi, Nizhyn were joined by 1 village and settlement council each; Berezan adjoined 5 village councils; Kolomyia – 4 village councils; the city of Bucha was accessed by 3 village councils. Four village councils joined the city of Ternopil, but the decision on accession will come into force after the appropriate changes to the perspective plan for the formation of hromadas of the Ternopil Oblast are made. The same situation is observed with the accession of 1 village council to the city of Berezhany of the Ternopil Oblast.
The positive conclusions of the oblast state administrations regarding the compliance of decisions on accession with the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine were given to the cities of Khmilnyk, Vinnytsia Oblast, Hola Prystan of the Kherson Oblast, and Pokrov of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Each of these cities has joined one village council so far. It is expected that by the end of the year, these hromadas will make final decisions on accession.
5 village councils – Lavky, Shenborn, Pavshyno, Nyzhniy Koropets, Nove Davydkovo – have joined the city of Mukachevo of the Zakarpattia Oblast. However, such accession did not receive a positive conclusion of the Zakarpattia Oblast State Administration and the hromada is not able to implement its rights provided by the law.
MinRegion reminded that over 8.4 million people or 23.9% of the total population of Ukraine (this indicator does not take into account temporarily occupied territories) live on the territory of AHs. Only last month, the number of population living in AHs grew by 1.3 million.
According to Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, 25% of the cities of oblast significance, foreseen by perspective plans for the formation of hromadas’ territories as AH centres, have already used the hromadas’ accession mechanism. 87 cities of oblast significance are still limited by perspective plans in their possibilities to adjoin neighbouring hromadas. And this situation should be changed by oblast state administrations. He noted that cities and their “neighbours” are aware of the fact that each of them will benefit in the socio-economic development from amalgamation into one capable hromada. A responsible decision is just needed.
“In 2015, it was difficult for us to convince on the benefits of AHs. Today everyone has made sure that amalgamation into one capable hromada has a positive effect on the development of territories and, in fact, revives villages and settlements. Those not yet amalgamated and not setting such tasks are short-sighted and deprive their hromada residents of the benefits and development prospects obtained by the newly established AHs. Therefore, we constantly emphasise that today there are many successful examples of the reform’s work. The unwillingness to take advantage of this chance today leads only to losses. People, civil society should work together with local authorities to make responsible decisions,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
According to the Monitoring of the process decentralisation process and local self-government reform, 6971 hromadas have not yet formed and have not joined any AHs. Taking into account the recent statements of the state leaders, such hromadas can be amalgamated administratively in the near future.
Earlier, on 8 November, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman held a meeting on implementation of the local self-government reform and further steps to implement it. He stated that reform requires active and profound continuation, since the point of no return in changes has not yet been reached and there exist processes that jeopardise achievement of the set goals. At the same time, the Head of Government instructed to set up an interagency working group chaired by Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, the tasks of which include development and introduction of amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine on decentralisation and local self-government system, as well as identification of the ways to improve the administrative-territorial structure of the basic and subregional levels, consolidation of rayons within the existing oblasts, including the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
On 12 November, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at the meeting of the Regional Development Council said that “local elections-2020 should take place provided that the whole territory of Ukraine is covered by amalgamated hromadas".
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