At this stage, decentralization is no longer a matter of the number of amalgamated communities or the merging of districts. Human development is a priority. At present, the Government is forming such a policy of standard of accessibility of administrative and social services for people. This was stated by the Minister for Community and Territory Development Aliona Babak during the Freedom of Speech program on ICTV channel.
“We are well aware that nowadays people are not just interested in the economy, construction and even regional development. People are interested in the quality of their lives, and that means the development of communities. It is critical for a person living in the community to be aware of how long it takes for his/her child to get to school, or how long it takes for an ambulance to get to the destination”, Alona Babak stressed.
According to her, the President and the Prime Minister of Ukraine have expressed a clear political will to further pursue the decentralization reform. "We will gradually switch from voluntary community consolidation and move towards the amalgamation following long-term plans. Because there exists certain disappointment when communities are not always formed on the principle of capacity. Unfortunately, currently, 70% of them have subsidized budgets. We must change this situation through amalgamation based on a forecast model that will allow communities to be demographically, socially and economically viable”, said Alona Babak.
According to the Minister, based on the prospective plans, the list of sustainable communities will be changed and a new system of functions of local self-government bodies and executive bodies acting at the level of communities, districts and regions will be shaped.
“The Ministry of Territory Development, together with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Science and other line ministries, forms the boundaries and models the integration of communities, taking into account the standards of accessibility and quality of administrative and social services. The draft perspective plans have already been directed to the regions. The functions of supervision and control over the activities of local governments in terms of compliance with the law, whether their decisions are legitimate, will be assigned to prefectures. In general, the process of amalgamation should be completed in 2019-2020”, Aliona Babak emphasized.