Viacheslav Nehoda: Local self-government in Ukraine will become a model for Europe. Ukraine will definitely fulfil all of its decentralisation objectives
“Tempering of the local self-government in Ukraine, which today operates under martial law, will turn it into a high-quality model for the future local self-government in Europe.”
This was stated by Viacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territorial Development, during the round table Together with Ukraine: Mechanisms of Interaction of Local and Regional Authorities in Wartime. The event was organised by the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Association of Ukrainian Cities.
According to the Deputy Minister, municipalities prove the effectiveness of local self-government reform and decentralisation of power every day.
“From the first day of the attack of the Russian occupation army on our country, cohesive, united municipalities, having received more powers and resources thanks to the reform, stood up to protect their communities and entire Ukraine. They put up a worthy resistance to the invader. Such unity of the whole country will certainly lead us to our victory. Next is the reconstruction and restoration of territories, which will require the same active participation and determination of municipalities,” said Viacheslav Nehoda.
It is important that the international partners of Ukraine also recognise the decentralisation carried out in the country as one of the most effective and successful reforms, which was even mentioned in the Conclusion of the European Commission regarding Ukraine’s application for membership in the European Union.
That is why, according to the Deputy Minister, Ukraine should continue the decentralisation and ensure its logical completion.
“Taking into account the success of the decentralisation, the main objectives of the Government for 2022-2025 were aimed at implementing development projects to ensure the sustainable development of regions and municipalities. However, since the beginning of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the local self-governments and the entire country have faced new challenges that require fast decision-making. Acting and responding to difficult situations quickly are necessary for the sake of safety and preservation of people’s lives. Decisions made at the central level to ensure the proper functioning of local self-government were prepared jointly. We maintain ongoing communication with both municipalities and associations of local self-government bodies. Together we will ensure the victory of Ukraine. And then — together as planned — we will complete the decentralisation objectives we have planned,” said Viacheslav Nehoda.
He emphasised that the whole country lives — and the municipalities work — in extremely difficult conditions, and these conditions are tempering the effectiveness of the local self-government of Ukraine.
“Thanks to local self-government, democracy proves to be a real people’s power; only the legalisation of the rights of municipalities and their empowerment give a more concrete meaning to the political and socio-economic rights of the citizens, and the state itself becomes sustainable and stable,” Viacheslav Nehoda noted.
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