The Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast has all chances to become one of the leaders of decentralisation, if it keeps pace. Moreover, this region is able to systematically implement state policy on mountainous areas’ development, including decentralisation instruments, said Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, during the round table on “Decentralisation. Achievements. Challenges” held in Ivano-Frankivsk on 3 May.
“The word “decentralisation” is long and complicated for perception. I would rather talk about the profound meaning of this reform, the first results of which, agree, are impressive. The one, who can compare how it was with how it has become after the introduction of the first reform stages, understands well that this is a lot. Could the residents of the Pechenezhynska hromada imagine that in the last few years foreign passports would be issued on the territory? And this is an administrative service, to get which they had to go somewhere, wait in queues and wreck their nerves. The same story is with other administrative services. Actually, that’s why there is a local self-government to provide residents with high-quality services: communal, administrative, cultural, educational... The Government created proper conditions for this. Those, who took on responsibility in the field for the reform implementation and achieved results, are able to overcome any difficulties. The most difficult thing is already behind them,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He emphasised that the reform is complex and its task is to create comfortable living conditions and self-fulfillment for every village and city resident.
“The Carpathians make the feature of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. People living there also deserve a decent life. Therefore, the general task of the Government, oblast and local authorities is to provide people, including highland residents, with all the necessary conditions for proper care of their health, competitive education, as well as self-education, for work and recreation, for the preservation of identity and development of culture. Some criticise the Government's adoption of the Concept for the Development of Mountainous Areas of the Ukrainian Carpathians for 2019-2027, emphasising its general character. And I say that this is the start of work on a clear action plan featuring what, where, when, by whom and using what funds should be made, so that the residents of the mountainous settlements receive all the proper basic services. But this should be a joint work of local, regional and central authorities, based on the needs of people,” noted the First Deputy Minister.
Vyacheslav Nehoda reminded that the Government is introducing a new stage of decentralisation to be completed in 2020 with the holding of regular local elections on a new territorial basis of hromadas and rayons.
“There is little time, yet enough for the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast to ensure the omnipresence of local self-government in its new format. There are already 32 amalgamated hromadas in the oblast. The perspective plan foresees the creation of 60 AHs. Almost the same number remains to be formed. And within conditions, where the acting hromadas demonstrate their development success, it is much easier to convince the rest of what it is worth doing than at first steps of the reforms. It is important to remember that amalgamation makes sense, when it really opens the way for hromada development. In parallel, it is necessary to complete the modelling of rayons’ territories,” Vyacheslav Nehoda said.
According to him, the implementation of a new decentralisation phase requires legislative support, and there is a ball in the Parliament’s court.
“I am convinced that the Parliament of this convocation has every opportunity to ensure the further progress of the reform. Much depends on its decisions and also on the initiatives of local self-government,” said the First Deputy Minister.
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