European Union commits further €40 million to supporting Ukraine’s decentralisation reform

At the 21st EU-Ukraine Summit on 8 July 2019 in Kyiv, Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, signed a new support package with Ukrainian government counterparts. The package focuses on decentralisation, the fight against corruption, supporting civil society and technical cooperation for supporting key reforms and implementing the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. In decentralisation, Commissioner Hahn and Hennaddii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Building and Housing, signed an agreement on further financing U-LEAD with Europe: Ukraine – Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme. The document was signed in the presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. The document commits a total of €40 million in EU assistance to decentralisation reform implementation activities and supporting amalgamated hromadas.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn commented: "Our new support will help Ukraine implement key reforms that will have a tangible impact on people's lives and that will improve relations with the EU. Ukraine has advanced in a number of important demanding reforms over the years, and it is important that there will not be any roll-back, in particular on issues such as decentralisation." Vice Prime Minister Hennadii Zubko thanked European partners for their systematic support to decentralisation: "Today's signing testifies to the EU’s appreciation of the reform.”

The EU has supported decentralisation through U-LEAD with Europe since 2015 and contributed to one of the most successful reforms carried out by the Ukrainian Government. The decentralisation reform enabled voluntary amalgamation in local communities, the transfer of power closer to citizens in all local affairs including budget and improved delivery of services at local levels. The EU will top up the current Programme to reinforce administrative capacities at local, regional and national administration level. The additional financing is aimed at adapting elected officials and civil servants to their new responsibilities and strengthening citizens' trust and involvement in policy making at various levels of government. The Programme will further advance multilevel governance in Ukraine, so it is transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of citizens. 

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