14 March 2017 the memorandums of cooperation were signed between representatives of 12 amalgamated territorial communities and SKL International with respect to the establishment of administrative service centres in those communities.
During the event, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine а Viacheslav Nehoda noted: "The decentralisation as any other reform has no sense if no positive changes take place in the life of the community residents. The proximity of qualitative services to people is precisely the changes awaited mostly and already experienced by many communities. Quick fixes in this area became possible, among other things, due to the government support and assistance from our international partners".
According to Viacheslav Nehoda, administrative service centres established in the amalgamated communities should differ from those centres that are already operating, for instance, at Rayon (District) State Administrations. Since the communities have wider powers of their own, they are in a position to provide not only the best in the quality of administrative services but communal and other services as well. Those services may be more accessible. For this purpose, it is important to create remote and mobile workspaces for experts of administrative service centres in villages of the amalgamated communities, engage village headmen for the provision of services.
"Also, it should be noted that this event is attended, along with heads of amalgamated communities, by representatives of some Rayon (District) State Administrations. Consequently, there is understanding at the Rayon level that the amalgamation of communities is the only prospect and that it would be better to support this process rather than block it", the First Deputy Minister said.
Martin Hagström, Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, believes that reaching and maintenance of a high living standard of ordinary people is the ultimate purpose of the decentralisation reform in Ukraine. The provision of high-quality administrative services for all individuals and the private sector is an important aspect of the reform. According to Mr. Ambassador, "the EU and its member states, including Sweden, are committed to the implementation of the decentralisation reform in Ukraine, which reform, among other things, provides for the expansion of local communities' potential".
Hugues Mingarelli, Ambassador, and Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, believes that by signing the partnership agreement the leaders of communities are assuming today the obligation regarding a very complex task of establishment of administrative service centres in their communities. That will mean a lot of work and efforts. But, according to the Ambassador, the task will reward. Smoothly-running administrative service centres might become a symbol of reforms on the way to the new quality of local self-government in Ukraine: a friendly and transparent office ensuring the corruption-free provision of services to all residents of the community.
The following communities were shortlisted for receiving assistance in the establishment of administrative service centres:
1. Irshanska amalgamated territorial community (Zhytomyr Oblast)
2. Krasnopilska amalgamated territorial community (Sumy Oblast)
3. Mykolayivska town amalgamated territorial community (Sumy Oblast)
4. Starosyniavska amalgamated territorial community (Khmelnytskyi Oblast)
5. Chemerovetska amalgamated territorial community (Khmelnytskyi Oblast)
6. Hlobynska amalgamated territorial community (Poltava Oblast)
7. Kalytianska amalgamated territorial community (Kyiv Oblast)
8. Severynivska amalgamated territorial community (Vinnytsia Oblast)
9. Veselivska amalgamated territorial community (Zaporizhia Oblast)
10. Mokrokalyhirska amalgamated territorial community (Cherkasy Oblast)
The shortlisted community for receiving assistance in the establishment of a remote workspace:
Bilozirska amalgamated territorial community (Cherkasy Oblast)
The shortlisted community for receiving assistance in the establishment of a mobile workspace:
Slavuta (Khmelnytskyi Oblast)
In SKL International, they noted that, within the framework of the Memorandum, in those 12 communities it was scheduled to renovate and equip the administrative service centres, as well as conduct training for relevant specialists and carry out awareness campaigns on the activities of such centres by the end of the year.
As it is known, SKL International implements the Initial Phase of the U-LEAD Component 2 project "Establishment of Administrative Service Centres and Raising Public Awareness on the Local Self-Government" in terms of the development of administrative service centres. The U-LEAD is a joint programme of the European Union and its member states - Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Poland, and Sweden.
According to the U-LEAD Component 2, it is planned to open not less than 24 administrative service centres in the already established amalgamated communities by the end of 2017 and more than 600 centres, by the end of 2020.
The total amount of funding is EUR 800 million.
As it was reported, on 24 January 2017, the first 14 amalgamated communities signed memorandums with SKL International with respect to the establishment of administrative service centres.
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