Decentralization reform is one of the key political steps of Ukraine, laying the foundation for a democratic, prosperous country with strong communities capable of providing its citizens with high-quality services and promoting Ukraine's economic development. Vice Prime Minister/ Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities of Ukraine Hennadii Zubko stated at a meeting of The Donor Board on Decentralization Reform in Ukraine.
"We should focus not just on consolidation of communities, but on improving the quality of service delivery. This primarily concerns administrative services, education, healthcare, social protection, infrastructure planning. Presently, due to the decentralization reform, financial capabilities of local self-government have been expanded, which is a real way towards improvement of the quality of daily life for people in these communities," stressed Hennadii Zubko.
The Vice Prime Minister thanked international partners and organizations for their active role in the implementation of the decentralization reform in Ukraine and the establishment of a Coordinating Donor Council on Decentralization. "Our cooperation has shifted to a new qualitative level. There have been already set up 10 working groups that engage in work along particular directions. And for us, constant communication between the stakeholders of the process is important not just regarding the tasks, but primarily regarding the results of the implementation of the decentralization reform," the official said.
According to Hennadii Zubko, further success of the reform will largely depend on further strengthening of legal and legislative framework. "Since the beginning of the seventh parliamentary session a judicial and educational reforms have already seen approval. The MPs have a healthcare reform and a number of decentralization bills for consideration that require immediate adoption. It is a demand of the society and, above all, communities", he said.
The Vice Prime Minister stressed the international community provides significant technical assistance to promote the decentralization reform and other areas, and expresses commitment to prolong this activity. This concerns programs for Donetsk and Luhansk regions, support for forced migrants and reconstruction of the East of Ukraine, an energy efficiency reform, and in particular the Energy Efficiency Fund.
During the event, Hennadii Zubko presented to international partners monitoring of the process of power decentralization and local self-government reform, a brand book and a single logo of the reform, as well as options for change of the administrative-territorial system.