On 12 November 2019, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Government's draft law "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Hromadas" (On Simplification of the Procedure for Approving Perspective Plans for the Formation of Territories of Hromadas of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Oblasts)" No 2189 dated 30.09.2019.
An important novelty of the draft law is the norm, which stipulates that hromadas’ amalgamations should take place only under the perspective plan of formation of hromadas of the oblast. This means that any chaotic amalgamation will no longer be acceptable.
The draft law also states that perspective plans will, as they are now, be developed by oblast state administrations and approved by the Government. However, the process of perspective plan creation will no longer involve a stage of approval of these documents by oblast councils.
"This draft law does not contradict the voluntary nature of hromadas’ amalgamation, as some believe. On the contrary, it makes it possible to quickly and efficiently create non-politicised, unbiased perspective plans. We will provide pragmatic, clear-cut benchmarks to hromadas willing to amalgamate voluntarily. Prerequisites are being created to develop perspective plans with higher responsibility, taking into account financial capabilities, infrastructure development, accessibility of services, and the ability of hromadas to deliver these services. In addition, geographical, historical, ethnic, cultural and other features of the territories will be taken into account. As a result, hromadas will have an effective integration model and make informed decisions about how to move forward. It is also important that specialised associations, representing and protecting the interests of local self-government at all levels, will be involved in the development of the perspective plans,” commented Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine.
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