By Yuriy Hanushchak, Director of the Territory Development Institute
Success in the formation of the basic level of local self-government is observed in spite of the information dirt, widespread horror stories about “village destruction” shared by opponents of the reform and politicians, who are looking for the reasons to remain in the information zone.
First of all let’s understand the definition of rayons. Wikipedia says that rayons are second-tier administrative-territorial units in Ukraine. They were created in the USSR in 1923, by consolidating land management units.
Ukraine has 490 rayons – i.e. 490 rayon councils, plus 490 rayon state administrations. Today, with the formation of a new, effective system of local self-government of the basic level – capable hromadas, most of the powers and resources have been transferred from rayons (rayon councils and rayon state administrations) to hromadas. Then why are such rayon councils and rayon state administrations needed? Someone should honestly say only officials need current rayons, since people need high-quality services and conditions for self-realisation.
It is not true that rayons are liquidated. An old, outdated and extremely inefficient system of rayon administration is liquidated. No one will move service-providing facilities from one place to another, the Earth will not stop rotating, the Sun will rise and set. And for two, three, four hromadas, that still remain non-amalgamated in the present rayon, the whole rayon council and rayon state administration are too many, as they eat considerable taxpayers’ funds and put spokes in hromadas’ wheels. It is more reasonable to direct these funds at the construction of roads, implementation of development projects with added value, at job creation, etc.
What will there be instead of the Soviet system of governance at the rayon level in the new Ukrainian state? We will get the answer to this question, when a package of relevant draft laws is prepared – we will discuss and eventually decide on them. And if someone does not have skills or desire to build a successful country, at least they should not impede.
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