International recognition of decentralisation in Ukraine is in many respects the merit of hromada leaders, - Vyacheslav Nehoda
The leaders of hromadas, that have supported decentralisation and benefited from it, have also taken responsibility for this reform. Due to their readiness for change, success of their hromadas, it is almost impossible to deny the effectiveness and the need for decentralisation in Ukraine.
This idea was shared by Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, during the fifth meeting of the EU Committee of the Regions – Ukraine Task Force on Decentralisation.
“Local leaders have taken on great responsibility for the future of their hromadas, and hence for the future of the reform. And we see that they are ready to continue bearing this responsibility. Obviously, none of them wants to return those times, when local authorities had to apply to the state for every penny. They are already attracting money from different sources, and are also learning to formulate development strategies that allow hromadas to earn their own funds. Foreign colleagues are more eager to help them obtain this experience,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
“I am pleased to hear that our international partners consider decentralisation one of the most successful reforms in Ukraine. Your experience and words of support are no less important for us than technical assistance. Your assessment inspires us and instills confidence in local leaders, that they have done the right thing, when they started decentralisation,” the First Deputy Minister addressed the representatives of the international community.
He also emphasised the importance of the “Peer-to-Peer” initiative, which has been implemented for almost a year with the support of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.
“Today, during the presentation of the interim results of this initiative, we saw that Ukrainian and European regions and communities can develop joint projects for the development of rural areas, tourism, business, etc. Such projects bring our countries closer together than any high-level calls and slogans. By exchanging experience in peer-to-peer format projects, we strengthen trust to each other, and thus, pave the way to a common European future,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
The “Peer-to-Peer” initiative is developed within the framework of the EU Committee of the Regions – Ukraine Task Force. It is aimed at developing partnerships between local and regional authorities of the EU and Ukraine, as well as exchange of experience, that fosters regional development.
EU Committee of the Regions proposed to its members and their administrations (local and regional authorities of the EU) to cooperate with Ukrainian counterparts. Therefore, five equal partners from two regions of Ukraine and two regions of the EU, as well as three municipalities – amalgamated hromadas – from Ukraine and three cities from the EU member states, were selected.
Participants from Ukraine: the Kharkiv and Khmelnytskyi Oblast Councils, as well as the Chemerovetska, Shyrokivska and Veselivska amalgamated hromadas. Participants from the EU include Wielkopolska Region (Poland), Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Zarasai (Lithuania), Barleben (Germany), Rakvere (Estonia).
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