Almost 900 amalgamated hromadas (AHs) exist in Ukraine as per 10 May 2019. 66 of them will have their first local elections on 30 June, with 25 other hromadas awaiting the decision of the Central Election Commission. These figures were reported by Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, when commenting the data of the decentralisation process and local self-government reform monitoring prepared by the MinRegion (DOWNLOAD).
“The amalgamation process is underway. 33 cities of oblast significance have already merged with neighbouring hromadas. The top five regions in the decentralisation process remain unchanged. The Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts continue to be the top-performers in establishing capable hromadas,” Hennadii Zubko said.
The Minister pointed out that 2019 would be decisive for the amalgamation of cities of oblast significance. He also mentioned rayons where not a single AH has been established so far. There are 94 such rayons for the time being. “Some entities misunderstand the principle of voluntary amalgamation. For someone, this means the opportunity to dodge the reform, which is wrong. In 2020, the local elections must take place according to the new territorial structure of hromadas, and it will come as planned,” Hennadii Zubko emphasized.
The Vice Prime Minister expects the Verkhovna Rada to adopt the key draft law No. 8051 “On the Principles of the Administrative and Territorial Order of Ukraine” this week. This draft law is set to remove the duplication of powers causing conflicts between rayon councils, rayon state administration and local self-government bodies in AHs, to remove the excessive spending for rayon state administrations and to improve the quality of public services by increasing funding for local budgets concerning the establishment of hospital districts, the new education environment, etc.
“Ukraine is fully equipped for the further successful decentralisation. However, we must stipulate decentralisation in the Constitution to make the reform really irreversible,” Hennadii Zubko said.
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