The Government proposes to simplify the procedures for approving perspective plans for the formation of territories of hromadas in the regions, eliminating the need for approval of these documents by oblast councils.
On 25 September 2019, the Government approved the draft relevant amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Hromadas” prepared by MinRegion.
The need for such changes is caused by the complexity of the five-year process of local self-government reform, which has identified a number of shortcomings that continue to hamper formation of capable hromadas. Often, oblast councils ignored the criteria for the formation of capable AHs and approved perspective plans where configuration of future AHs did not in any way ensure their ability to provide quality and accessible services. Politicisation of this process by oblast councils complicated the situation. As a result, many regions still do not have perspective plans that would cover their territory by 100%, and many hromadas that amalgamated under such perspective plans have not managed to become capable, since eligibility criteria had not been met.
Only 87.6% of the territory of Ukraine is covered by perspective plans for AH formation in oblasts. For example, the perspective plan of the Odesa Oblast covers only 40% of the territory, that of the Kyiv Oblast – 54%, that of the Vinnytsia Oblast – 76%, Cherkasy Oblast perspective plan covers almost 75% of its territory. In addition, such forward-looking plans do not fully take into account the Methodology for Forming Capable Hromadas. The Zakarpattia Oblast has no perspective plan at all.
Therefore, the Government is forced to take measures that will bring order in this area. Legislative changes will eventually complete the process of voluntary amalgamation of hromadas and move to addressing the issues of administrative and territorial structure of the basis and rayon levels.
The draft law will be sent to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the nearest future.
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