The ongoing decentralisation reform is one of Ukraine’s key policy endeavors that has the potential to lay the foundations for a more democratic, prosperous Ukraine with strong municipalities that are able to provide their citizens with quality public services and to promote local economic development, while widening possibilities for citizen participation.
Since the adoption of the Concept on Reform of Local Self-Government and Territorial Organisation of Power in April 2014, many steps have already been undertaken that provided the basis for first tangible results of the reform. The donor community appreciates progress achieved on many fronts, including the optimisation of the administrative and territorial structure and the increasing fiscal autonomy of local self-governments, giving them opportunities for much needed investments in local infrastructure and for enhancing public service delivery.
The donor community supporting the decentralisation and local governance reform in Ukraine would like to emphasise its fruitful cooperation with the Government of Ukraine, in particular the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, during recent years for the benefit of the reform.
With the establishment of a Donor Board on Decentralisation and the development of a Common Results Framework integrating technical assistance and governmental strategies and action plans, this cooperation has recently moved to a new level of partnership.
The international community has been generously providing technical assistance to the reform and intends to continue doing so. The further success of the decentralisation reform, its irreversibility, and the sustainability of the new local self-government system will largely depend on further strengthening the legal and regulatory framework, which should consider the following points:
The reform eventually also needs to be put on a solid constitutional basis.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss the way of resolving outstanding legal and regulatory issues pertaining to decentralisation, local self-governance and administrative-territorial reform of Ukraine with representatives of the Ukrainian Parliament (and other important stakeholders) today. We appeal to the different political factions and indeed all members of the Verkhovna Rada to ensure legislative settlement of the issues that currently hinder further progress of the decentralisation and local governance reform in Ukraine, which is central for Ukraine’s security, prosperity, democratic development and European integration.
This statement is supported by the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA as well as by the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OECD and the United Nations Development Programme.
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