On 9 October 2019, the Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development recommended the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to adopt as a whole the Government's draft law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Hromadas” (regarding simplification of procedures for approval of perspective plans for the formation of territories of hromadas of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblasts)” No 2189 as of 30.09.2019.
It was reported that, if this draft law is adopted, amalgamated hromadas will be created 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.
«Most deputies of oblast councils have always been constructively inclined to create qualitative perspective plans. And we are grateful to them. Where it was successfully done, opportunities for capable hromadas’ emerged quickly, and they, by their example, inspired and pushed the actions of others, thus moving the reform as a whole. But after five years of amalgamation, there are still white spots on the perspective map of hromadas, because political compromises have not been found somewhere at the regional level, or because there has been decision blocking for some other reasons. Therefore, in our opinion, it is time to make more pragmatic decisions. We do not remove the representatives of local self-government bodies from the formation of capable hromadas, since creation of perspective plans will involve specialised associations representing the interests of LSG bodies at all levels,” commented Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories.
According to him, in 2015-2019, the plans managed to cover 87% of the territory of Ukraine. At the same time, the perspective plan of the Odesa Oblast covers only 40% of the territory, that of the Kyiv Oblast – 54%, Vinnytsia Oblast – 76%, Cherkasy Oblast – 75% of the territory. The Zakarpattia Oblast approved its perspective plan just several weeks ago and had not yet submitted it to the Cabinet of Ministers for consideration.
It should be reminded that 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 revealed 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 capable hromadas’ formation, oblast councils approve perspective plans that envisage establishment of AHs unable to provide high-quality and accessible public and other services to their residents.
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