Already 29 cities of oblast significance have used the simplified mechanism of joining neighbouring hromadas. Of these, six cities completed their accession procedures, as reported by the Association of Ukrainian Cities.
Eight cities of oblast significance have received a positive conclusion from oblast state administrations and await final decisions of councils, which sessions are scheduled for September and November.
One of the obstacles to hromadas’ accession to cities of oblast significance is the discrepancy of these processes with perspective plans for the formation of hromadas of the regions. As a result, 87 cities and their neighbouring village councils cannot use the accession mechanism.
Out of 29 initiated accessions to cities of oblast significance 12 are not yet in line with perspective plans.
“In order to solve this problem, oblast state administrations should adjust and refine their perspective plans, and oblast councils should accept these changes. Oblast leadership knows about their such responsibility before hromadas and before the law, but meanwhile the work continues slower than we expected,” commented Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine.
He recalled that a perspective plan is not a dogma and can be changed, if hromadas express their desire to amalgamate in another configuration, that does not violate the law and governmental methodology.
“And if now the oblasts for one reason or another are not ready to offer a complete optimal model for hromadas’ development in their regions, the time will come, when the government and parliament will have to do so, because neither the state nor hromadas should be permanently in a state of uncertainty,” mentioned Vyacheslav Nehoda.
The First Deputy Minister also reminded of the inevitable responsibility of those who deliberately or unknowingly violate the law, creating obstacles to the development of hromadas.
The law on voluntary accession of hromadas to cities of bolast significance came into force in May 2018.
The law allows cities of oblast significance to unite neighbouring village and settlement councils around them and become the centre of a amalgamated hromada without unnecessary bureaucratic procedures, including without elections.
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