We have identified indicators for the success of the decentralisation reform, and the number of hromadas established is among the key ones. Here the leadership positions are occupied by the Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk, Ternopil, Vinnytsia and Poltava Oblasts. The Zakarpattya Oblast is among the outsiders of the reform. There is a problem with the Kyiv Oblast, informed Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, in an interview with the Internet publication "Apostrophe".
According to him, the situation with decentralisation is also quite active in Donbas. There is a negotiation process between hromadas on ways to amalgamate. In Donbas, there is some specifics connected with the industrial centres. Rural population makes up only 20% in these oblasts, while in the central regions it amounts to 30-40%, and 50-60% in the west. We believe that the law to give "green light" to the oblast cities, will, first of all, affect the east of Ukraine, namely, the Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts.
"The process of decentralisation should be completed in 2020. We have determined that this process is voluntary. There should be a will so that the residents agree and make a decision to amalgamate. Considerable work is being carried out, 25 offices were opened in Ukraine with the support of the European Union, the U-LEAD with Europe Programme. The project for supporting the reform is being jointly implemented with the United States and Europeans. We have attracted a large community of people engaged in hromadas’ implementation. The hromada, as a child, must be born naturally. We create the necessary conditions for the process to become inevitable," said Hennadii Zubko.
The Vice Prime Minister emphasised that it is necessary to show how it is done, so that the first who took responsibility showed others how to implement the projects. "In addition, we must restore the historical memory of hromadas that once were together, though were divided during the Soviet management system. It is important to give the maximum tools for amalgamation, adopt laws that will speed up the amalgamation process, give additional motivation to unite, allow to involve cities of oblast significance, as well as transfer land resources – a tool for attracting investments, planning of territories, etc. There are 17 such priority draft laws. Adoption of the legislative decentralisation route will accelerate the process," noted Hennadii Zubko.
He is convinced that hromadas should control local government: "When the hromada knows that the local self-government receives a certain amount of funds, it seeks to see real roads, projects, and new facilities. There will be less corruption, if the hromada controls the authorities. The draft law "On the Statute of a Hromada" enabling to clearly identify issues that local self-governments must settle and where citizens or NGOs can join, has already been sent to the Parliament. It is also a matter of control and, so to speak, the subsidiarity of authorities. There is no other mechanism than bringing authorities closer to people."
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