Today, a legislative decentralisation roadmap comprising 17 priority laws has been developed in cooperation with the international partners, European Union and local self-governments. Their adoption will resolve two key directions – simplification of tools of amalgamation and accession around cities of oblast significance. It is also a powerful motivation for hromadas to increase their capabilities, powers, revenues and resources. Therefore, in order for the reform to proceed further and to keep pace, we need to strengthen it legally, stated Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during the Parliamentary briefing.
"Today, the Parliament is to consider two important draft laws – No 2489 “On Service in Local Self-Government Bodies”, allowing to change, improve and strengthen the competence and professionalism of employees of local self-government bodies, and the second critical and essential draft law No 6466 “On Amendments to the Law On Voluntary Amalgamation of Hromadas” on voluntary accession of hromadas of villages and settlements to hromadas of cities of oblast significance. Therefore, I urge parliamentarians to unite and adopt key laws as a basis and as a whole," said Hennadii Zubko.
The Vice Prime Minister explained that today hromadas surrounding the cities of oblast significance cannot make their decisions on joining the cities. Amalgamation does not happen because of the objective reluctance of city mayors and city councils of the cities of oblast significance, representing mainly large or very large hromadas, to go to new local elections in order to amalgamate with small rural and settlement hromadas. And draft law No 6466 solves this problem.
"The amalgamation procedure remains completely voluntary. Only a joint decision of a city and a settlement hromada, willing to amalgamate, will allow it to happen. All myths about the city's absorption of villages and, as a result, their disappearance has nothing to do with reality. The Tyachivska urban amalgamated hromada is a striking example, having invested more than UAH 10 million in the development of the accessed village only in the infrastructure in the course of the last three years," said the official.
Hennadii Zubko reminded that the decentralisation reform is the very reform that changes the system of management in the country, transferring funds, powers, opportunities and, most importantly, responsibility to the ground. "Today it is gaining momentum. It is no longer the number of hromadas, but first of all, their quality, capacity, opportunities coming to the forefront. And the involvement of cities of oblast significance in this process can directly strengthen the direction of decentralisation and transfer of powers to the ground" he said.
According to him, 47 cities of oblast significance are awaiting the adoption of the draft law today in order to become involved in this process, including 25 million people living in 150 cities of oblast significance and about 1000 surrounding hromadas.
"Decentralisation laws have always united the Parliament regardless of political preferences. So today, we need consolidation and support in the session hall more than ever. I appeal to MPs for support. Let's not close the window of opportunities for hromada development and building of a new quality of life for Ukrainians," noted Hennadii Zubko.
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