There are already 728 amalgamated hromadas established in Ukraine. Elections in 40 AHs are scheduled for 29 April, and 23 hromadas are waiting for the decision of the CEC. There are 1188 AHs in perspective plans approved by the Government, uniting 72.5% of the territory of Ukraine, informed Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during the teleconference with the oblasts.
According to him, the decentralisation reform has already entered into a stage, where the main criterion is no longer the number of amalgamated hromadas. Instead, qualitative indicators matter, i.e. number of people united, territory covered by AHs in the oblast. After all, larger territory allows implementing more infrastructure projects, and hromada's perspective to attract investments, as well as its competitiveness, depend on this.
"Oblasts-leaders in coverage of territories by AHs include: the Zhytomyr (over half of the oblast is covered by AHs), Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, Ternopil, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi Oblasts. The problem we are currently most concerned about, and which we must solve as soon as possible is that there are 130 rayons (out of 490) with no AH established. And this, first and foremost, discriminates against Ukrainians, who remain limited in funds, resources and opportunities to influence their development and plan the future, while living in the hromada. Therefore, the first and ambitious task is to close this "gap" so that there are no rayons in Ukraine without a single AH," said Hennadii Zubko.
The regions-outsiders include the Kyiv, Kirovohrad and Odesa Oblasts, having the largest number of rayons with no AH established.
MinRegion has developed a ranking of oblasts for the formation of capable hromadas. The ranking is based upon five parametres: number of AHs, area of coverage of the oblast by AHs, number of hromadas that amalgamated, number of AHs with population number less than 5 thousand people, percentage of coverage of the oblast in accordance with the perspective plan. "Thus, we see both the quality of amalgamation processes and prospects. The Zhytomyr, Volyn, Khmelnytskyi, Chernihiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia Oblasts lead in this ranking. Outsiders include: the Kyiv, Zakarpattia, Vinnytsya, Luhansk, Cherkasy Oblasts," the official said.
The Vice Prime Minister cited the example of Germany, which has gone through its difficult path of decentralisation. "The German government clearly understands that complex managerial work needed to create democratic principle of governance in local self-government, state and local authorities. And this difficult path was successful, as today Germany is a united, powerful and European state. This is exactly the way Ukraine is seen in Europe," Mr Zubko said.
Other tasks, discussed at the teleconference, concerned accession to already established hromadas and amalgamation of hromadas around cities of oblast significance. "We adopted law No 6466, which allows to do it. Already 47 cities of oblast significance have expressed their desire for such amalgamation. This is a matter of development of social infrastructure. Cities of oblast significance should be interested in possible adjoining of not primarily the territory, not the land, but people living nearby," said the Vice Prime Minister.
Hennadii Zubko instructed the heads of OSA and heads of regional LGDCs to develop changes to perspective plans for the formation of territories of hromadas of oblasts, providing coverage of the entire area of the oblast and introducing them for consideration of the relevant oblast councils, by the end of May. "The perspective plans are very important, as they allow the formation of the future infrastructure. They should include not only AHs. This includes formation of the primary healthcare network and the network of safety centres, hub schools and ASCs. Thus, these points have to be included in the formation of the perspective plan for each oblast," said Hennadii Zubko.
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