The draft law “On the Principles of the Administrative and Territorial Order of Ukraine” seems to be simple enough, but the opponents of changes are already ascribing all kinds of calamities to it. One of the most assiduously disseminated myths is that some of the rayons will be liquidated, as soon as the draft law has been adopted.
This statement was made by Vyacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, at the seminar meeting for representatives of local self-government which had been organized by the Ukrainian Association of Rayon and Oblast Council.
“First, this draft law is not set to liquidate or to reorganize anything. It only determines modern principles, rules for the administrative and territorial order of Ukraine which have been missing so far. Second, these new principles stipulate that the systems of administrative-territorial units must retain three levels: oblast, rayon, hromada. They also stipulate that the rayon level shall be better regulated and comply with European standards. However, to change the borders of a rayon, to reorganize or to liquidate it, the Parliament has to adopt a separate decision on that. So, those who predict that this draft law will lead to the liquidation to this or that rayon are wrong or just speculate on this issue”, said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
He also informed that Ukraine already has 17 rayons whose entire territory is covered by amalgamated hromadas. “In such rayons, capable hromadas manage their resources, provide most services to the citizens and take over responsibility for all aspects of life. Rayon authorities have a minimum influence on the activities and development of the respective territories. The main point is that in such cases the main function of the rayon – representation of the common interests of hromadas – is downgraded. Hence, it is obvious that we should reform such rayons in the future. And again, the Parliament will adopt separate laws to liquidate some rayons or to change their borders”, the Deputy Minister said.
He also stressed that the amalgamation of hromadas actually pose a chance – not a hazard, for the rayon bodies. “Only those rayon representatives who have a fear of changes resist the amalgamation of hromadas. Those keen to develop see opportunities in this process. The more capable hromadas are, the more capable rayon bodies they need. Those who want to rule weak and poor entities can’t be interested in development”, said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
Presently, the Decree of the Executive Committee of the Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR No. 1654-X of March 12, 1981 “On the Procedure to Process the Issues Related to the Administrative and Territorial Order of the Ukrainian SSR” is still applied in Ukraine which does not comply with the Constitution of Ukraine.
The draft law “On the Principles of the Administrative and Territorial Order of Ukraine” submitted by the Government is now examined by the Parliament and is one of the most important draft laws needed to continue decentralisation.
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