We cannot endlessly wait until all hromadas mature to decentralisation, - Vyacheslav Nehoda

Hromadas have one more year for a voluntary amalgamation. Then, as foreseen in the plan of a new decentralisation stage, decisions will be taken at the central level. Neither the Government nor the residents of cities and villages can wait endlessly until the leaders of all hromadas “mature to decentralisation”. In course of five years, it has become clear to everyone that delaying the reform is losing time and opportunity.

This was stated by Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, on the air of the 7th Channel.

"The hromadas that will amalgamate this year, from 1 January will switch to direct interbudgetary relations with the state budget and will have time to show results before the local elections in the autumn of 2020. And I wonder what hromada leaders, who did not want or did not manage to amalgamate voluntarily, will tell their voters. When others were doing something for people, for hromadas’ development, these leaders were protecting their interests. Why? If not voters, then opponents will ask this question... Thus, those who did not take advantage of decentralisation opportunities, have politically played against themselves,” considers Vyacheslav Nehoda.

He also explained why the decision on the administrative amalgamation was not taken earlier. "Such is a human nature – a decision that is pushed from above, even if it is correct, is not always perceived well. Therefore, we left about 5 years to voluntary amalgamation. We gave the residents of cities, villages and settlements the opportunity to understand the need for the reform, to reach agreement and understand each other. Those who have done this already perceive the reform as their own. There are more active people in amalgamated hromadas, changes are accepted easier, and therefore occur faster,” said the First Deputy Minister.

Vyacheslav Nehoda called activation of hromada residents as the main achievements of decentralisation and hromadas’ amalgamation process. "During public discussions, people tried to deal with issues that they had not even been interested in before. As a result, they made meaningful choices and now demand results from elected officials. In the newly formed AHa, people gather and discuss issues of local significance, forcing the authorities to make decisions, and jointly decide on hromada’s further development. It was even hard to imagine 5 years ago. But precisely this was the goal of the reform – so that AH residents became more active, understood that territory development depends on their voice and their actions, and not on someone from the rayon, oblast or the capital. Active AH residents already understand that the authorities will always be bad if you live according to the principle "you have been appointed, so it’s up to you to decide" - they are interested in the issues of hromada development, they are involved in solving local problems,” said the First Deputy Minister.

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