No AHs have been formed so far in the Pokrovsk Rayon of the Donetsk Oblast, although there is much work to be done. This rayon is special in its administrative and territorial structure. Four cities of oblast significance: Pokrovsk, Myrnohrad, Selidove, Novohrodivka – are surrounded by settlements of the rayon. Two of these cities have smaller cities subordinate to them – Rodynske is part of Pokrovsk, and Ukrayinsk and Girnyk are part of Selidove.
Every city of oblast significance should become an AH centre. According to the Perspective Plan, Udachnenska settlement AH should also be established in the Pokrovsk Rayon. In general, part of the rayon will go to a separate administrative unit – Kurakhivska AH, most of which is in the Maryinka Rayon.
Solving a bunch of administrative issues to speed up decentralisation in the Pokrovsk Rayon is only part of the problems that need to be addressed when implementing reforms. The Donetsk Local Government Development Centre of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme supports all processes of amalgamated hromadas’ formation in the region, including in the problem rayon.
With regular working visits, the experts of the Donetsk LGDC travelled to the future administrative centres of potential AHs to find out whether and in what format AH formation in the Pokrovsk Rayon is possible.
“According to the current legislation, cities of oblast significance are already recognised as amalgamated hromadas, and the city dwellers are already living in the AH conditions and receiving all the decentralisation benefits,” comments Serhii Ivakhin, director of the Donetsk LGDC. “On the other hand, under the current law, cities must amalgamate with neighbouring territories in order to become an AH. A city can be left alone if the whole rural area is united in a hromada, while the city itself does not amalgamate with any other settlement. They already have the necessary powers, therefore, such a scenario is also possible.”
Valerii Duhelnyi, head of Udachne settlement, states that the territory defined by the Perspective Plan is not suitable for the formation of the Udachnenska AH: there are too far distances from the administrative centre of the hromada to the remote villages, about 40 kilometres.
According to the Donetsk LGDC experts, rural and urban hromadas that intend to amalgamate will have to prove their capability. Formation of AHs is important not in itself, but in order to provide quality services to citizens and create a capable local government. Approach of establishing an AH and continuing to receive services in the city does not fall under the logic and basic meaning of decentralisation.
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