For several years, the Ukrainian government has been consistently strengthening local governance through decentralisation, that provides new opportunities for managing and developing regions from its bottom level – the level of hromada. The Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman mentioned this during his meeting with representatives of small cities and amalgamated hromadas participating in the all-Ukrainian “Small Cities – Great Impressions” Contest for cultural projects. The contest is taking place for the second consecutive year, and this year’s winners include 74 projects from all over Ukraine, with approved funding amounts UAH 41.3 million.
The Prime Minister emphasized that such cultural initiatives resulted from decentralisation as well. Development of the cultural heritage of Ukraine is now possible not only at the central government level, but also at the regional and local levels.
At the same time, the risk of retracting these processes has become visible.
“In the autumn of 2020, we have to prepare all hromadas for amalgamation and then in October 2020 to conduct the local elections on the new basis. When it all happens – the country will be consolidated, the hromadas will become capable, and we will be facing the bright future, – Volodymyr Groysman said. – But what can we hear now? Pre-term elections are being considered! It will not be a catastrophy, if it happens; but it is wrong from the system point of view. Two thirds of the country will be developing, while one third is stuck in the old system. I cannot accept this.”
The Head of Government stressed that he had been and remained a staunch supporter of local governance and, despite all the challenges, will fight to protect the interests of the hromadas. "We will fight for the interests of the hromadas. We will fight for the preservation of fiscal decentralisation in the budget for 2020 and fight for the removal of barriers (which are often posed by rayon and oblast administrations) to amalgamate hromadas. We will adjust everything", said Volodymyr Groysman. "Decentralisation should be enshrined in the Constitution. We will exert every effort when it depends on our team."
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