Ukraine is implementing the decentralization reform for the fifth consecutive year, and the next years of transformations should give a new impetus to the development of the regional economy and the improvement of people's lives. This was stated by Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman during the third forum of the consolidated communities. The forum gathered representatives of local authorities from all over the country. A key message of the meeting is to continue the decentralization reform which allowed to strengthen administrative and financial resources of the regions.
The Head of Government drew attention to the fact that this forum offered an opportunity to sum up the first results of the changes, because at present, in Ukraine there exists accumulation of a critical mass of political will that will allow to carry out the reform. "The system created today is effective in terms of new quality of services in the communities. People support the reform," Volodymyr Groysman said.
This is precisely why, according to the Prime Minister, it is essential to work on the irreversibility of transformations, not forgetting about the strengthening of the responsibility of local authorities and control over the ongoing processes.
"The reform requires a new phase," the Head of Government said, adding that in November a working group was set up to shape the frame of the necessary decisions.
The Prime Minister stressed that such decisions encompass strengthening of financial sustainability of communities, consolidation of the principles of democracy in the part of elections and local referendums, consolidation of coordination of authorities at the level of "center - regions", including in the segment of authority, as well as the formation of a new the territorial unit according to the formula "community - district - region".
"The issue is not the number of districts, but a quality. It is better to form 100 developed consolidated communities than to have twice as many communities, which are insufficient, with shaky finances and opportunities to solve problems of people ", Volodymyr Groysman stated.
The Head of Government stressed that there is no necessity to carry out reform for the sake of reform. It is necessary to ensure qualitative development of territories that is envisaged by the medium-term planning government policy. "The idea is to solve specific problems of regions, and not to spend money. It is important, for example, not just to build a kindergarten, but to create a whole system of pre-school education on the ground", he underscored.
The Prime Minister stated that there already exist examples of such planning. The tangible results of the regions need to be demonstrated in order to prove the success of the whole reform. "We must defend the reform. The Constitution provides such protection, gives impetus to the creation of opportunities for the development of each community. We have been successfully implementing this reform for 5 years, and the next years should be a leap forward in the development of regional economy and improvement of people’s lives", Volodymyr Groysman claimed.
The decentralization reform has been actively implementing since April 2014. Since then, several legislative acts have been adopted to consolidate the administrative powers and financial resources of the consolidated communities (CCs). At present, 874 CCS have already been created in Ukraine, in some of them the first elections are to take place. In 18 regions, there is 100 % completion of CCs. At the same time, there are 99 districts in which there is not a single consolidated community. 665 CCs have direct inter-budgetary relations. Local budgets revenues for 11 months of the current year amounted to UAH 18.9 billion UAH. 123 centers for the provision of administrative services were set up in the CCs, the list of which is calculated by dozens. In such centers, people can receive various certificates and submit an application for pensions and subsidies without having to go to a regional center.
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman stands for enshrining irreversibility of decentralization reform in the Constitution of Ukraine. According to him, the process of constitutional changes can start already next year, and in 2020 it will be possible to hold local elections on new principles. Thus, 2020-2025 will become one of the most successful periods of state development-the formation of a new quality of life of Ukrainians.