“Ukraine is at the final and most responsible stage of the local government reform and at the beginning of dynamic sustainable development of communities and regions. The starting point is the 2020 local elections on a new territorial basis of the communities and districts. Therefore, the year of 2020 is a period of deliberate and responsible decisions,” said Viacheslav Nehoda, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development in Kramatorsk, at the Forum Effective Local Government as a Guarantee of the Democratic and Rule-of-Law State.
“What do we want to achieve as a result of completion of the reform? To create conditions in which Ukrainians will have a real opportunity to influence the organization of their space, as the residents of sustainable communities,” said the Deputy Minister.
Among the tasks determined by the Government aimed to complete the reform is to shape long-term plans for areas that will cover 100% of their territory. Regional state administrations have to finish this work in the first decade of December. According to Viacheslav Nehoda, long-term plans will be the basis for creating sustainable communities with optimal networks of public services. He recalled the mandatory criteria for the sustainable communities identified in the Methodology that should be taken into account when formulating prospective plans:
• the continuity and geographical integrity of the community;
• no less than 250 school children and 100 preschool children live in the community;
• a general educational institution of I-III degree is located on the territory of the community, with the capacity of at least 250 students.
The Deputy Minister also focused on the task of forming optimal social infrastructure networks in 100% of territorial communities.
Understanding the importance of involving citizens in the decision-making process, it is planned to amend the legislation on local elections in terms of ensuring representation of residents in the community council and the communities in the regional council. It is also planned to adopt the Law on Local Referendum.
The final stage of the reform, according to Viacheslav Nehoda, involves reformatting local state administrations into prefectures.
The roadmap for legislative support aimed at completing the reform provides that the third quarter of 2020 will be the final stage for the adoption of the necessary laws and regulations.