The concept of the reform of local self-government and decentralisation implies that by local elections in Ukraine in October 2020 there should be a new administrative-territorial system. Therefore, we have only about 600 days to make all the necessary decisions by mid-2020. And the Government knows what these decisions should be.
This was informed by Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, during the forum “Effective Local Self-Government as Key to a Democratic and Law-Government State”, held in Kramatorsk.
“By the next local elections in 2020, we need to create a new territorial basis at the level of hromadas and rayons. Without this, decentralisation as a clear division of powers, budgets, responsibility between the Government and self-government, as well as between levels of governance on the ground – will not move further,” said the First Deputy Minister.
In his opinion, the first thing to do is to complete creation of Perspective Plans for the formation of hromadas all over the country. “During the fifth year of the reform, one oblast still cannot submit and approve its Perspective Plan. Most oblasts have hromadas’ development plans not all over their territory. Thus, the model for Perspective Plans’ creation with the participation of oblast state administrations and oblast councils fulfilled its important function and exhausted itself. The Government has to complete this process in agreement with the Parliament. Hromadas cannot depend on insolvency, unwillingness, political or some other interests of the oblast authorities. Neither they nor we have time for this. I hope the Parliament will support us in this direction,” Vyacheslav Nehoda said.
According to the First Deputy Minister, it is on the Perspective Plans that the new administrative-territorial system of the country should be based upon. “The developed Perspective Plans already cover 76% of the country’s territory. This vision of the future of territories has matured over the years and has been formed taking into account the decisions of hromadas themselves. Now we have only to complete this work, where oblast authorities did not manage to do it,” considers Vyacheslav Nehoda.
Besides, according to him, it is important to adopt general rules for the formation of a new administrative-territorial structure (draft law No. 8051), and then develop and adopt 24 separate, or one complex law on the administrative and territorial structure of each oblast.
“We have to do all this by the middle of 2020. If the reform does not end in time, it tirelessly disseminates disbelief and gives grounds for criticism, opposition and blocking. And I am sure that none of the decentralisation supporters is interested in this,” said Vyacheslav Nehoda.
Photo by: Council of Europe Programme “Decentralisation and Local Government Reform in Ukraine”
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