There has always been a lot of debate and, in some places, speculation around hromadas’ capability topic. Therefore, once again I emphasise that the main criteria for capable hromada formation have been unchanged since 2015. And the so-called "new criteria" discussed so much are recommendations, not requirements of MinRegion. For the oblast state administrations and hromadas themselves, these are the benchmarks that, at the final stage of the reform, will help to “weigh the capacity” of each hromada, see its prospects and make a well-grounded, not just emotional, decision on its further development.
That was mentioned by Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories, during the third DOBRE Conference on Strategic Development and Investments.
According to him, the only criterion that is required to form a capable hromada and has not changed since 2015 is that the hromada has at least 250 school-age children and at least 100 preschoolers. That’s all! Everything else is not so critical. “The total population is an important but not the main indicator. Although we all understand that hromada should be built by people and for people. Therefore, the more people there are in the hromada, the higher its capacity and motivation for development are – there are those to choose leaders from, there is someone to work for. Area is also not the most essential thing. But the area is land, which is one of the main resources of hromadas, especially rural ones. The taxability index is, in general, an ever-changing indicator. There are now businesses that pay taxes and then their number may increase or decrease. And the figure changes..., ” explained Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He noted that each of the capability criteria recommended by the Ministry is important because it gives an opportunity to understand and at least roughly estimate the hromada’s prospect. “But no less important indicator of the future success of the hromada is the people who are ready to take responsibility, the leaders who are able to solve local issues. In already amalgamated hromadas, these leaders are for sure. And in most of those 60% of hromadas that have not yet amalgamated, these leaders will be elected by the residents next year. And the task of the state is to make these new leaders work in new hromadas – with equal rights and opportunities,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He also said that no matter how ideal the hromada is in terms of capability criteria, it will not be successful if its management and residents are unwilling to develop. “Only the energy of people is a guarantee that hromada will be interesting for business, attractive to tourists and, most importantly, people will want to live and work there,” Vyacheslav Nehoda summarised.
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