From 2020, all small cities will have the powers and resources currently available in the big cities and amalgamated hromadas. Cities of rayon significance will receive UAH 3 billion from the State Fund for Regional Development already in 2019. In 2020, there will be a separate programme to finance local roads, the so-called “Ts” (roads of territorial significance), for UAH 10 billion. From January 2020, the staff of oblast state administrations and rayon state administrations will be downsized by 50%.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman announced these revolutionary initiatives of the Government related to the decentralisation reform at the XV Ukrainian Municipal Forum in Odesa.
Thus, according to him, by 1 January 2021, the rayon centres and cities of oblast significance should receive the status of amalgamated hromadas. “We will make them see, in their own experience, what decentralisation is. We will motivate them to amalgamate and become stronger,” the Head of Government said.
Separately, he raised the initiative to support small settlements. “The Government also initiates redistribution of the SFRD funds in 2019 and sending of UAH 3 billion to small cities that do not yet have their own development resource. This will be fair, and it will be a real care for small settlements,” the Prime Minister said.
He also noted that in 2020 there will be a separate programme for financing local roads, the so-called “Ts”, for UAH 10 billion. “This must be done, since while we are building large roads between big cities, there will be no roads to get to them,” said Volodymyr Groysman.
In the opinion of the Head of Government, the most revolutionary one is another initiative – from January 2020 to downsize oblast state administrations and rayon state administrations by half. Especially in the rayons with 100% of the formed AHs.
“I know this is a long-awaited decision. This will enable those rayons with full-fledged functioning hromadas to live according to new standards and managed by those people whom local residents know. I do not want to appoint people on the ground, because I do not know them,” said Volodymyr Groysman. “But I remain hromadas’ partner, and I am ready to protect their interests.”
He also reminded that completion of the reform requires changes to the Constitution in the part of decentralisation to protect the reform and strengthen its irreversibility, change the system of power at the level of oblasts and rayons, envisage transfer of all land to local self-government bodies, etc.
“What do I suggest to do next? I suggest making proposals for amendments to the Constitution in the part of local self-government. This is the keystone. So we can guarantee the irreversibility of the local self-government reform. I call for a broad discussion of the relevant draft law, which we are ready to make public on the Government’s portal,” said Volodymyr Groysman.
He stressed that the principles of the draft law – omnipresence of power, fixed financial capacity of hromadas, formation of executive committees on an electoral basis, rather than appointment of officials from Kyiv. This will enable oblasts and rayons to be effectively managed.
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