On October 19, the second meeting of the sectoral working group “Decentralization and Regional Development. Block: Decentralization” was held under the joint chairmanship of the Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine Oleksii Chernyshov and the Head of Reform Cooperation with Ukraine at the Embassy of Sweden Cecilia Chroona.
The meeting gathered together the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development, representatives of the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development, the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine, USAID in Ukraine and embassies of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Denmark and Canada in Ukraine, as well as Special Envoy of the German Government on Governance and Decentralization Reforms in Ukraine, Georg Milbradt.
The parties discussed priority steps to promote decentralization during 2020/21, as well as develop proposals for amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding decentralization.
Presenting the main priorities and objectives for the implementation of decentralization by the end of 2020, Minister Oleksii Chernyshov noted that according to the agreed reform plan for 2020, most of the legislative acts have already been adopted. In particular, the resolution "On the formation and liquidation of districts", which approved a new territorial basis at the subregional level - 136 new districts and the important Law of Ukraine on Amendments to the Budget Code of Ukraine, which changed the legal framework of functioning of the budget system of Ukraine which takes into account the change in the territorial structure of communities and districts (registered № 3614).
The Minister stressed that after the first local elections on October 25, a number of organizational measures should be taken, primarily aimed at holding the first sessions of local councils, approving local budgets and establishing new district state administrations. "Today a current challenge for the reform is the lack of legal mechanisms for the reorganization of local governments and local executive bodies, the succession of property, property rights, obligations, etc. of local governments and local authorities in connection with the formation of communities and districts. The subject of creation and reorganization of district state administrations is also absent in the legislation. In view of this, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine considers a priority the draft law on regulating certain issues of organization and activity of local self-government bodies and district state administrations (Reg. №3651-d) and new versions of the laws of Ukraine “On Local Self-Government in Ukraine” and “On Local State administration," he stressed.
Oleksii Chernyshov stressed that the main goal for next year is to complete the decentralization reform and make it work in practice.
Among the main tasks for the promotion of decentralization reform next year, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development Viacheslav Negoda called institutional assistance to newly formed communities, most of which are formed from scratch and they have no experience, and therefore "need our joint support, from the very beginning of their work. We also plan to hold a series of exercises for newly elected chairmen, deputies, as well as other representatives of local self-government after the formation of new executive bodies of territorial communities. Support for local development, elaboration of community development strategies and preparation of regional development projects, in particular, construction of a network of administrative service centers, will also remain a topical issue next year. And here, too, both methodological and financial assistance from the state will be necessary.
The Minister thanked the international development partners for their long-term, systematic and effective support for the successful implementation of decentralization reform in Ukraine, and noted the effective cooperation for the success of the Decentralization Reform Support Office within the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development.
In turn, Cecilia Chroona, on behalf of the international technical assistance partners, commended the results of the decentralization reform in Ukraine and assured of her further support.