The European Union is determinant to prolong cooperation with Ukraine. First of all, it concerns the support of reforms, the implementation of a roadmap for the implementation by Ukraine of its Agreement with the EU and the provision of macro-financial assistance. Hennadii Zubko, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services announced on air of Channel 5 while commenting on the results of the XXI Ukraine-EU Summit.
"Key topics of the Ukraine-EU summit were energy security, deregulation, implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Ukraine and the EU. Currently, the trade turnover with the countries of the European Union has already reached USD 50 billion. But, the most important thing is the support for reforms: decentralization and energy efficiency", said Hennadii Zubko.
During the Summit, five new agreements were signed between Ukraine and the EU for a total sum of EUR 119 million. One of those, inked by Hennadii Zubko and the European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, concerned further support for decentralization - the Agreement on Financing the Second Phase of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme to the tune of EUR 40 million.
"The official told that the First Phase of the Program had begun three years ago and among its key goals were the two directions: the establishment of the communities and devising long-term plans, support for community amalgamation and accompanying first months of work. The second area concerned the setting up of centers for the administrative services provision: the introduction of standards for efficiency and quality of work.
"The Second Phase of the Program deals most with the implementation of infrastructure projects and the strengthening of the activity of 24 regional offices, which help to establish cooperation among communities, attract investment and develop the communities themselves", Hennadii Zubko said and emphasized that changes in Ukraine due to decentralization are outstanding. But the key role in them is played by people. "Without their desire, perseverance and daily work, Europe cannot be built in Ukraine", said the Deputy Prime Minister.
He emphasized that at the Third International Ukraine Reform Conference in Canada, it had been the decentralization reform that Europeans assessed as being the most successful. "It was not only about the results of the reform but in the first place, we talked about changes on the ground. The success stories were told by 40 leaders of the consolidated territorial communities who came to the conference, but most importantly, they emphasized their responsibility in this process, which affects changes in the country as a whole", said Hennadii Zubko.