Vyacheslav Nehoda received the Jerzy Regulski Award
Today in the Polish city of Lodz, Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine, received an award from the Jerzy Regulski Foundation in Support of Local Democracy, one of the authors of the Polish local government reform.
“This award belongs to everyone who by their actions and deeds proved devotion to European values – and this is a huge team of like-minded people in both Ukraine and Poland – local self-government and state leaders, government officials, MPs, scientists, public figures,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda during the award ceremony. “A great contribution to the development of an effective system of local self-government in Ukraine belongs to the Jerzy Regulski Foundation in Support of Local Democracy. Over the past 15 years, the Foundation has implemented dozens of projects in Ukraine aimed at supporting local government reform, training, rooting transparency in local government, building civic position and many other areas.”
According to him, every advice of the Foundation’s experts, every word in the draft laws was not in vain, as well as every study visit of representatives of Ukrainian municipalities to Polish gminas.
“We trusted your experience and took into account the peculiarities of Ukraine, we learned from your and our mistakes, which could not be avoided, but we never regretted that we chose the path of painful transformation. Because we knew what we wanted and where this path would lead us, we had a good example to follow in the face of Polish gminas and municipalities in other European Union countries. We wanted the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which, by the way, was signed on behalf of Poland in 1993 by Mr. Jerzy Regulski, to be implemented in Ukraine’s reality, as it once was in Poland,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He noted that in the end, Ukraine managed to break the old, inefficient system of local government inherited from the Soviets and create conditions for the formation of a viable system of local self-government. The nation woke up, the local elite of villages and cities became more active, new leaders of local self-government were born in the reform.
“We still have work to do. But we had no idea that the system of local self-government, which we had been so meticulously building for 8 years, would turn into a real army capable of resisting even the war, hostile and occupying armed bandits. It is no exaggeration to say that today the local self-government of Ukraine is in one set the army, the weapons, the reliable rear of the country, and the strong support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Vyacheslav Nehoda said.
Founded in 1989, the Jerzy Regulski Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FRDL) remains the largest non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting the development of self-government in Poland. FRDL consists of a network of regional training and advisory centers with branches (14 cities in Poland) and the Office of the Board in Warsaw, which coordinates the work of the organization.
One of the projects implemented by the Foundation in Ukraine is participation in the Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) Program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by an international consortium led by Global Communities. Under this program, FRDL is responsible for a component related to supporting 100 Ukrainian local governments in the preparation of strategic development plans, which are elaborated through the method of citizen participation.
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