In order to start effective regional development, implement a new modern regional policy, it is necessary to complete the first stage of decentralisation – the formation of capable hromadas and rayons, stated Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during the Forum of Local Self-Government.
“Regular local elections in 2020 should take place on a new territorial basis. That is, by that time we have to form capable hromadas and rayons. Without this, it will be difficult to develop the territory evenly, implement an effective regional policy in the country,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
According to him, hromadas and rayons are now developing unevenly, apart from regional strategies, and regions often fail to take into account state priorities in their development strategies. “And as a result, we have an aggravation of the problems of certain regions and territories’ development. Interregional disproportion is growing. This leads to a breach in the all-Ukrainian unity, solidarity that holds Ukraine together. We cannot allow some territories to develop rapidly, and others to decline,” says the First Deputy Minister.
In his opinion, local self-government bodies of hromadas, rayons and regions should work together on the creation and implementation of the regional policy, and for this purpose it is necessary to increase their resource and institutional capacity. In this case, specific territory development projects should be elaborated by expert non-governmental organisations.
“We have made sure that state authorities and even local self-government bodies are not the structures that can design projects. The authorities in general should keep away from the development projects of territories. They should set up a policy, and not design projects. Thus, the regions should be interested in the formation of NGOs that would help oblasts and hromadas to create and implement territory development projects. Such institutions may include regional development agencies that already operate in several areas. For our part, in cooperation with international partners, we are also ready to support these agencies,” outlined Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He also noted that state support for regional development should not be distributed according to the formula. “Now we take into account the number of inhabitants and the area of the territory, and according to these indicators we allocate funds to the regions. This is not entirely correct. Regions should compete for state support – to submit breakthrough projects, that are really development-oriented and important for people, for competitions,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
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