The text of the governmental draft law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Hromadas (concerning simplification of the procedure for approval of perspective plans for the formation of hromadas of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblasts)” No 2189 as of 30.09.2019 is published on the website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
If the bill is passed, amalgamated hromadas will be formed solely in accordance with the perspective plan which, as now, will be developed by the oblast state administration and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. However, the procedure will no longer involve a phase of approval of perspective plans by oblast councils.
“The process of voluntary amalgamation of hromadas has been on for five years. It took exactly so long for the regions to create high-quality perspective plans covering the entire territory of the oblasts, and for the hromadas, proposed in the plan, to meet the capability criteria. But not all of them have coped with this task, although most oblast state administrations and oblast councils had a responsible approach to this task,” commented Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine.
He noted that even where the perspective plan fully covers the territory of the oblast, there are questions about capacity of some formed hromadas or those planned to be formed, to the prospects for their development. “At the final stage of building capable hromadas, we must quickly show those, who have not yet taken advantage of the reform opportunities, their prospects, optimal integration plans, and most importantly, the infrastructure networks of future hromadas that will provide accessible and quality services for the residents of these hromadas. There was enough time to find compromises on the ground. It is no longer possible to wait for pragmatic decisions from local politicians. Thousands of hromadas have been deprived of development rights other AHs possess because of various forms of blocking by local politicians. The time has come to make a decision,” Vyacheslav Nehoda said.
The explanatory note to the new governmental bill states that the practice of implementing the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Hromadas” has identified a number of shortcomings that impede the formation of capable communities. In particular, oblast councils do not always make timely and rational decisions on the approval of perspective plans for the formation of territories of hromadas in the oblasts, often politicising this process... Also, by ignoring the criteria for forming capable hromadas, oblast councils approve perspective plans that envisage possibilities of formation of amalgamated hromadas unable to provide high-quality and accessible public and other services to residents.
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