Ukraine is implementing the decentralisation reform for the fifth consecutive year, and the next years of transformations should give a new impetus to the development of the regional economy and improvement of people's lives. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during the 3rd Forum of Amalgamated Hromadas. The Forum gathered representatives of local authorities from all over the country. A key message of the meeting is to continue the decentralisation reform which allowed to strengthen administrative and financial resources of the regions.
The Head of Government drew attention to the fact that this Forum offered an opportunity to sum up the first results of the changes, because currently there exists accumulation of a critical mass of political will in Ukraine that will allow to carry out the reform. "The system created today is effective in terms of new quality of services in hromadas. People support the reform," Volodymyr Groysman said.
This is precisely why, according to the Prime Minister, it is essential to work on the irreversibility of transformations, not forgetting about the strengthening of the responsibility of local authorities and control over the ongoing processes.
"The reform requires a new phase," the Head of Government said, adding that in November a working group was set up to shape the frame of the necessary decisions.
The Prime Minister stressed that such decisions encompass strengthening of financial sustainability of hromadas, consolidation of the principles of democracy in the part of elections and local referendums, consolidation of coordination of authorities at the level of "centre – regions", including in the segment of powers, as well as the formation of a new the territorial unit according to the formula "hromada – rayon – oblast".
"The issue is not the number of rayons, but the quality. It is better to form 100 capable rayons than to have twice as many rayons, that have shaky finances and opportunities to solve problems of people," Volodymyr Groysman stated.
The Head of Government stressed that there is no necessity to carry out the reform for the sake of the reform. It is necessary to ensure qualitative development of territories that is envisaged by the medium-term planning government policy. "The idea is to solve specific problems of regions, and not to spend money. It is important, for example, not just to build a kindergarten, but to create a whole system of pre-school education on the ground", he underscored.
The Prime Minister stated that there already exist examples of such planning. The tangible results of the regions need to be demonstrated in order to prove the success of the entire reform. "We must defend the reform. The Constitution provides such protection, gives impetus to the creation of opportunities for the development of each hromada. We have been successfully implementing this reform for 5 years, and the next years should be a leap forward in the development of regional economy and improvement of people’s lives", Volodymyr Groysman claimed.
The decentralisation reform has been actively implemented since April 2014. Since then, several legislative acts have been adopted to consolidate the administrative powers and financial resources of amalgamated hromadas (AHs). At present, 874 AHs have already been formed in Ukraine, in some of them the first elections are to take place. In 18 rayons AHs have been established by 100 %. At the same time, there are 99 rayons with not a single AH formed. 665 AHs have direct interbudgetary relations. Local budgets revenues over 11 months of the current year amounted to UAH 18.9 billion UAH. 123 administrative service centres were set up in AHs, the list of which is calculated by dozens. In such ASCs, people can receive various certificates and submit an application for pensions and subsidies without having to go to the oblast centre.
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman stands for enshrining irreversibility of the decentralisation reform in the Constitution of Ukraine. According to him, the process of constitutional changes can start already next year, and in 2020 it will be possible to hold local elections based on new principles. Thus, 2020-2025 will become one of the most successful periods of the state development – formation of a new quality of life of Ukrainians.
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