During the years of ongoing reform of local self-government and territorial organisation of power (decentralisation) in Ukraine, MPs, government officials and experts have produced sufficient materials for its successful completion. And now, with the challenge of completing decentralisation by 2021, there is no need and time to invent something new. It is necessary to use the experience, choose one of the options and make the necessary decisions.
This was stated by Georg Milbradt, Special Envoy of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Ukrainian reform in the areas of governance and decentralisation, in his address to the MPs during the meeting of the Committee on the Organisation of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning.
“Decentralisation is perceived very positively by people, as it is objectively one of the most successful reforms in Ukraine. Capable hromadas received more powers and resources and show significant success. It is already clear that all hromadas in Ukraine must work in a decentralised environment. Therefore, we need to decide how to deal with thousands of hromadas that have been unable or unwilling to amalgamate. You can try to continue the voluntary amalgamation or complete the process by adopting the relevant law. In the second case, incentives for hromadas should be envisaged. It must be “both sticks and carrots”, believes Georg Milbradt.
Also, in his opinion, it is necessary to decide which model of rayon level reform to use. This will still have to be done since amalgamated hromadas have taken over most of rayon’s powers.
“You have to decide what powers hromadas, rayons and oblasts will have in the decentralised governance system, and what functions will remain with the state authorities. In addition, the issue of state supervision over the legality of local government’s decisions needs to be addressed. And all these changes have to be enshrined in the Constitution,” the expert said.
He also recalled that in recent years, the Ukrainian Government, with the participation of national and international experts, has produced sufficient proposals to successfully complete the reform. “So it is not necessary and there is no time to reinvent the wheel. It is necessary to select the proposals that you consider most acceptable and to submit them to the Parliament for the vote,” Mr Milbradt noted.
According to the expert, he is ready to continue to participate in discussions and to assist in creation of a legislative basis for the continuation and completion of decentralisation in Ukraine. “The international community, in particular the European Union, is ready to support you on the decentralisation path, as well as to assist with the training and skills development of local self-government officials and civil servants. We believe that this reform will be able to fundamentally change Ukraine for the better,” summarised Georg Milbradt.
The material was prepared within the framework of the Project of the Ukrainian Association of Rayon and Oblast Councils “Modelling of Administrative and Territorial Structure at Subregional Level”, implemented with the support of the Council of Europe Programme “Decentralisation and Local Government Reform in Ukraine
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