Is such a reform necessary for Ukraine? Why now?
Today, we can only regretfully say that such a reform has not taken place before. The central authorities did not have the will, determination and readiness to share the powers and resources.
Post-Soviet and post-socialist countries, that have implemented the reform, are now running significantly ahead of Ukraine in socio-economic development. Due to the reform, they put the interests of people – as the most valuable asset of any state – into action. By contrast, they have removed corruption as the main obstacle to success and prosperity. The reform, which involves transferring of the share of national taxes to local budgets, creates an economic interest of hromadas in the development of new production sites, business support, etc.
Decentralisation and deregulation eliminates artificial barriers for business and entrepreneurship – redundant permissions, institutions and excessive control. Thus, the country will start to revive. In addition, active, capable and interested hromadas are the main engine at the territorial level. They will support the changes the Government is working on. Therefore, without the local self-government reform, all other reforms are doomed to fail – like it used to be in previous years.
Let's take a look at the experience of Central and Eastern European countries. When decentralisation took place in Poland, the economy fell by about 10% annually, and inflation was about 500% per year. There were then Soviet troops staying at the border. Yet Poland has made this reform, and today it is ready to help Ukrainians to repeat successes and not to make mistakes on the way to decentralisation.