Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, acknowledged the progress of decentralisation reform in Ukraine

Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis

 

Today, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and the Ambassador of the EU in Ukraine Matti Maasikas visited the House of Decentralisation and discussed with U-LEAD’s management the progress of decentralisation reform, U-LEAD with Europe’s achievements as well as the road that lies ahead.

 

Ambassador of the EU in Ukraine Matti Maasikas

 

Accompanied by the EU Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr. Dombrovskis visited the House of Decentralisation – the U-LEAD with Europe Programme office, supported by the European Union and its member states Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Slovenia to accompany the Ukrainian government in implementing the decentralisation reform. GIZ Programme Director Bastian Veigel and Team Leader Helge Arends presented background on the decentralisation reform, U-LEAD’s main contributions since 2016, and the steps ahead in programme implementation.

The Vice President of the European Commission learned about U-LEAD’s support to municipalities, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, also about the cooperation with the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine and other relevant ministries, as well as about the Programme’s activities at the local level through its regional offices in all 24 regions of Ukraine.

“The EU contribution is significant for the successful implementation of Ukraine’s decentralisation reform. Being a multi-donor action of the EU and its member states Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Slovenia, we are closely cooperating with all Ukrainian government agencies and donors involved in establishing capable local-self-government in Ukraine”, - said Bastian Veigel, GIZ Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe.

 

Bastian Veigel, GIZ Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe

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Glendal
25.08.2021 - 08:34
This is another public relations effort without really providing the information that supports the progress. The two things that is always pointed to is that the number of local governments has been reduced to approximately 1500 and their is increase in the fiscal resources of the local governments. These are not the real measures of the success of decentralization. The real success has to be measured in the clarity of the functions assigned to the local government units, the proper legal framework that supports the authorities of the local governments, the sustainability and capacity of the local governments to deliver services assigned, and the fiscal capacity of the local government units exclusive of the transfers from the central governments. A proper assessment of these measures would indicate that Ukraine has not performed that well on all of these. But if you are the international donor community that has spent $200 million USD on decentralization in Ukraine, you can hardly talk about the failures and the shortcomings of this investment. This is arguably the most expensive decentralization process ever initiated by any country of international donors. And it is still not completed after 6 years.
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