The irreversibility of decentralisation as one of the most successful reforms of the Government needs to be enshrined at the legislative level, first of all in the Constitution, so that there is no temptation to redistribute powers or budgets again in favour of the central authorities, said Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during a round table meeting on local self-government reform.
The Head of Government stressed that the pace of change at the local level is noted not only by 9 million Ukrainians living in amalgamated hromadas, but also by the partners of our state. And this despite the fact that the reform was being discussed for a decade – until 1 April 2014, when the Concept of the reform was approved and the first steps were taken to amalgamate hromadas.
“For me personally, this is a key reform. I did everything to ensure the decentralisation reform was included in the state development agenda. The Concept, approved by us on 1 April 2014, has become a real Action Plan,” said Volodymyr Groysman. “We have already over 800 AHs with new financial resources of local budgets, we have gained unique experience of success. And now we can enshrine the irreversibility of the reform in the Constitution of Ukraine.”
The Head of Government reminded that in November he initiated the creation of a working group on the implementation of the updated Concept of the reform and directly changes to the Constitution. “There is time when reforms must be generated, then implemented, and subsequently protected. There is still no irreversibility of decentralisation. It holds on to the leadership positions (of the Government officials). And I will be the first to protect the reform. But it is necessary for it to be protected by the law,” noted Volodymyr Groysman. “There will always be a temptation to make redistribution, including in the financial sense, from local budgets to central ones. Therefore, we need a balance.”
The Prime Minister expressed the proposal to start the constitutional changes already next year. “We can start this process next year. When politicians compete for seats, it’s good for politicians, and when they compete for change in the system – it is beneficial for the country.”
Photo: Ukrainian Association of Rayon and Oblast Councils
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