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Some politicians now say that powers have to be transferred to the level of regions instead of hromadas. Why is it a bad idea?

In the old system of power many issues in the region depended on the head of the oblast state administration – the "governor". He was the absolute authority in the region. Just as practically all the power in Ukraine was concentrated in the hands of the President. Some believe that if such a head is chosen by people, then everything will change at once, and this leader will take care of people. In fact, if someone has a lot of power, then there cannot be any democracy. Thus, we can get the country with not one, but more than twenty princes in their regions.

When the full authority moves to the local level, to the level that is the closest to the people, a genuine decentralisation comes. Only those issues that are common to the hromadas stay at the highest level (rayon, then – oblast, and state). At the oblast (regional) level they include a specialised healthcare, higher educational institutions, roads of oblast importance, directions of regional economic development, etc.

This makes up a fundamental difference in the transfer of powers in terms of decentralisation vs federalisation. In a decentralised, unitary state, two levels of public power – national and local ones – are the most capable. This is a fundamental difference from the federal state, where, on the contrary, the dominant level is regional and the highest powers and resources are collected at the level of the region. This concentration leads to the formation of regional political elites that are not very ready for the national level, but are too ambitious to remain a regional elite. It seems to them that they are more skilled than local or national elites, and that the region has to take on more and more powers. That is how the regional separatism begins.

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