"For the third consecutive year we do our utmost to simplify the process of voluntary association and provide additional powers, which will strengthen the development of united territorial communities. We use all the instruments to make this process voluntary. But in case we see this process is being hampered either because of the influence of political groups, or because of the lack of a leader, or simply because of the unwillingness of the local leader to join the process of amalgamation, we will take an administrative decision", stated Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities of Ukraine Hennadii Zubko in an interview with the European Truth e-magazine.
According to the Vice Prime Minister, Ukraine had already had a negative experience while trying to make a decision administratively, without giving authority, without transferring resources on the ground.
"This year is of paramount importance in terms of using all chances, opportunities and tools. At present voluntary process is essential, but this process cannot be endless. Before the 2020 local elections, we would like to reach the maximum number of united communities. The only question is when it will be necessary to unite compulsorily the remaining communities either after 2020 or before 2020 year. Because it’s impossible when one amalgamated community has resources, powers and responsibilities, and the neighboring one is being financed from the regional administration", Hennadii Zubko emphasized.
According to Georg Milbradt, Special Envoy of the Government of Germany on reforming Ukraine in the spheres of governance and decentralization, Ukraine has all chances to reach 80-90% indicator of voluntary community association.
"Of course, it will not be possible to reach 100% and to close all the "holes" on the map. But it is essential to minimize the number of problem areas. If the remaining number of territories will be 5% or 10% it is not too difficult to complete this reform in one fell swoop. But if the "white spots" make up 50% - we will encounter resistance, thereby the reform will not succeed," Georg Milbradt underscored.