Creation of a new territorial basis for the activities of local self-government bodies, division of powers between local self-government bodies and executive authorities (sectoral decentralisation), and involvement of citizens in the adoption of managerial decisions of local importance are the main priorities of power decentralisation, defined by the Government at this stage. And many issues of implementation of these priorities depend on the decisions of the Parliament, noted Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services.
“The Parliament has more than ten draft laws, adoption of which will significantly accelerate the reform of local self-government. Thus, we expect decisions of the Verkhovna Rada, that has already repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to decentralisation. Hundreds of hromadas with millions of people are waiting for the changes envisaged by the draft laws, so we cannot delay them,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
Vyacheslav Nehoda called the extension of hromadas’ powers in management of land resources one of the most anticipated decisions. “It is necessary to finally dare and transfer the land of state ownership to the jurisdiction of amalgamated hromadas. It will serve as a strong incentive to unite for those communities that have not yet amalgamated. The Parliament has several options for resolving this issue, and we hope that one of them will be supported in the nearest future,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
The First Deputy Minister said the draft law on community accession to the cities of oblast importance should be adopted as soon as possible, so that large cities eventually become centres of territories’ development.”
Besides, according to the First Deputy Minister, it is important to eliminate duplication of powers of amalgamated hromadas, rayon councils and state administrations. “It is especially relevant in the rayons, where all communities have amalgamated. There are already 15 of them, and their number will rise. Therefore, the rayon division of the country needs to be improved. The further fate of draft laws, allowing to solve this problem, depends on MPs, thus, the Parliament will have the last say,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
The list of all major draft laws for accelerating decentralisation is as follows:
Draft laws necessary to accelerate decentralisation:
No 6466 Draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine on Voluntary Amalgamation of Local Hromadas concerning Voluntary Accession of Local Hromadas of Villages, Settlements to Local Hromadas of Cities of Regional Importance. It will unlock the process of forming capable hromadas around cities of oblast significance, equal the cities of oblast importance to capable amalgamated hromadas and introduce a mechanism for voluntary accession of hromadas to these cities.
No 7308 Draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Hromadas” Regarding the Parties of Voluntary Amalgamation of Hromadas. It allows AHs not sharing a common border and territorially "torn apart" ones to amalgamate, with the established common infrastructure, a number of economic, territorial, historical, cultural, ethnic, social and other factors that unite them.
No 5483 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding Appeal against Decisions on the Voluntary Amalgamation of Hromadas”. It provides the electoral rights of citizens during the preparation and holding of the first elections of deputies and heads of amalgamated hromadas.
Draft laws necessary for the formation of an effective rayon level of the administrative-territorial structure:
No 6636 Draft Law on the Procedure of Creation, Liquidation, Designation and Changing Rayons Borders. It determines the grounds and procedure for reforming new effective rayons. It envisages that the formation of new rayons, establishment and change of their boundaries is carried out by the Verkhovna Rada.
No 6641 Draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Establishment, Reorganisation and Elimination, Naming and Renaming of Local State Administrations”. It entitles the Cabinet of Ministers to change the administrative-territorial structure at the rayon level, to create, reorganise, liquidate, name and rename the relevant local state administrations.
No 4165 Draft Law “On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine on the Functioning of Rayon Councils”. It eliminates the duplication of powers of the two representative bodies – the rayon council and the council of amalgamated hromada – within the territory of one rayon.
Draft law necessary for the formation of an effective service in local self-government bodies:
No 2489 Draft Law “On Service in Local Self-Government Bodies”. It increases the attractiveness of service in local self-government bodies and professionalism of employees. It provides more autonomy to local self-government bodies in determining salary conditions, allowing to involve professional servants.
Draft laws required to ensure the omnipresence of local self-government and spatial planning:
No 6403 Draft Law on Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Regulation of Urban Development”. It provides AHs with the only documentation on spatial planning - the plan of amalgamated hromada. It also broadens the powers of the AHs on regulation of the territory development, and creates a mechanism for the consideration of public interests in the development and approval of urban planning documentation.
No 5253 Draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Extension of Powers of Local Government Bodies of Hromadas to the Entire Territory of the Respective Village, Rural Settlement, and Urban Hromadas". Local self-government bodies are empowered to carry out improvement, territory planning, control over the territory exclusively within the settlements. The draft law extends the jurisdiction of local governments to hromadas of villages, rural settlements, cities outside settlements.
Draft laws necessary for the extension of the powers of local self-government bodies on the management of land resources:
No 7118 Draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Land Resources Management within the Territory of Amalagamated Hromadas". It expands the powers of local self-government bodies in the field of land relations, gives AHs the powers to dispose of land within its entire territory, including outside the settlements..
No 7363 Draft Law “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Stimulating the Creation and Operation of Small Farms and Deconcentration of Powers in the Field of Land Relations”. It grants the right to AHs to receive the communal ownership of land of state ownership within their territory. It will allow hromadas to receive additional funds for infrastructure development, and encourage the rest of the village, rural settlement and city councils to amalgamate.
Draft law necessary for the formation of urban agglomerations:
No 6743 Draft Law “On Urban Agglomerations”. It defines the organisational and legal principles for the formation of urban agglomerations by hromadas of villages, settlements and cities, including amalgamated hromadas, principles and mechanisms of interaction of hromadas within urban agglomerations, as well as forms of support of urban agglomerations by the state.
Draft Law necessary for the development of starosta institution:
No 4091 Draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on the Election of a Starostas”. It entitles the AH local council to determine the list of villages and rural settlements, where a starosta is elected for the term of office of the local council.
Draft laws necessary to involve citizens in solving local issues:
No 7297 Draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Charters of Hromadas”. It regulates the issue of participation of hromada members in implementation of local self-governance, relationship between local authorities and civil society institutions, and status of population self-organisation bodies.
No 7453 Draft Law “On Public Consultations”. It establishes the procedure for carrying out public consultations during the preparation and adoption of draft acts by the authorised parties. It promotes the involvement of stakeholders in drafting projects to balance public and private interests. It introduces modern standards for the preparation of decisions mandatory for the state bodies and local self-government bodies.
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