Joint Statement by Bilateral Donor Agencies, Embassies and Multilateral Organisations Supporting Municipal Amalgamation in Ukraine
Kyiv, 28 August 2018
In 2014, Ukraine launched an ambitious decentralisation reform with the ultimate goal of strengthening democratic governance and accountability, enhancing citizen participation, improving the quality of public services and promoting economic development. Ukraine’s international partners highly value this reform and appreciate the considerable progress achieved in many areas, including territorial reform, more specifically the voluntary amalgamation of hromadas and related fiscal decentralisation.
An essential element of the general decentralisation reform in Ukraine is the reform of its territorial administration, in line with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The territorial reform launched in autumn 2015 is an ongoing process, fully supported by the international community, to make territorial administration more rational and efficient. While this reform is still far from completed, it already shows positive effects and is widely supported by Ukrainians.
It is therefore with surprise and concern that we learned about the recent decision of the Central Election Commission to suspend the organisation of local elections in newly amalgamated hromadas, scheduled for October 2018. This decision affects more than one million Ukrainian citizens in over 120 new hromadas who believe in decentralisation and its benefits.
It is urgently necessary to solve any legal and technical barriers so that elections in Ukraine’s newly amalgamated hromadas continue to be organised as needed, and the process of amalgamation continues.
This statement is supported by the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as well as by the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OECD and the United Nations Development Programme.
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