Decentralisation process in Ukraine – namely, the voluntary amalgamation of hromadas – does not slow down. This is evidenced by the data of oblast state administrations submitted to MinRegion.
16 amalgamated hromadas with a population of almost 150 thousand people are currently expecting oblast state administrations to provide conclusions on compliance of their decisions on amalgamation with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.
Most of these hromadas are located in the Zakarpattia Oblast – the Nyzhnioselyshchynska, Kholmkivska, Zaluzhanska, Horondivska, Velykobereznyanska, Vynohradivska AHs. These 6 AHs with a population of almost 70 thousand people expect the OSAs’ conclusions for more than a year. By the way, according to the legislation, such a conclusion should be issued by the administration within 10 working days from the date of receipt of the draft decision on amalgamation from the hromada.
The Kyiv OSA is in debt of conclusions to 5 AHs – the Terezynska, Shkarivska, Zazymska, Hrebinkivska and Kaharlytska hromadas. Two AHs in the Lviv and Ternopil Oblasts – the Kurovytska and Zabuzka AHs, as well as Viknyanska and Mlynovetska AHs respectively – are expecting for the decisions of the oblast officials. The Dobryanska AH is waiting for a conclusion from the Chernihiv Oblast State Administration.
There are more reasons for optimism in 39 AHs, which have already received positive conclusions from oblast state administrations. Now they are making final decisions on amalgamation to send the documents to the Central Election Commission for the appointment of the first local elections. By the way, already 80 AHs are expecting the CEC to decide on the appointment of the first local elections on their territory.
In parallel with the formation of new hromadas, the process of local councils’ accession to AHs and cities of oblast importance continues.
Thus, eight village councils are at the stage of making their final decisions on accession to six AHs.
Another five village councils complete the formal procedures for joining four cities of oblast significance. More than 180 thousand people will live in these hromadas: the upcoming Ovrtska AH (Zhytomyr Oblastn), Buchanska AH (Kyiv Oblast), Sumska AH (Sumy Oblast), Nosivska AH (Chernihiv Oblast) and Lozivska AH (Kharkiv Oblast). By the way, the Lozivska urban amalgamated hromada was created back in the past year. This year the Smyrnivka village council has decided to join this AH. The Lozivska hromada is one of the largest in Ukraine. Its territory is home to about 80 thousand people.
Summing up the data of oblast state administrations, MinRegion noted that soon the number of amalgamated hromadas in Ukraine will outnumber one thousand. However, the Ministry pays more attention to quality rather than the number of newly formed hromadas, stressing that amalgamation makes sense when the future hromada is estimated to be capable to address local issues. And this is not just about money.
“For the emerging hromadas, funds are important, but human resources – human brain, ideas, initiatives and their implementation – are of no less value. And such hromadas give birth to genuine leaders capable of consistent and responsible decisions. I am speaking now about the experience of the hromadas that have been working within decentralisation for several years,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services.
He also reminded that a new decentralisation stage is currently being introduced in Ukraine, which stipulates that in 2020 local elections will take place on a new territorial basis of hromadas. Vyacheslav Nehoda appealed to those hromadas that have not yet amalgamated, asking them to use the principle of voluntariness in the formation of capable AHs. In the near future, the state will have to amalgamate hromadas administratively.
The First Deputy Minister also expressed his hope that local state administrations will pay more attention to the implementation of decentralisation tasks and will comprehensively support hromadas in their amalgamation and further development.
It should be recalled that 1 April marks five years of the Concept of the reform of local self-government and territorial organisation of power. This document gave rise to a fundamental reform in the country, which today is the most successful one.
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