"We have passed through the evolutionary stage of the voluntary community association and now we are moving on to the next one - capacity-based amalgamation. We do not need 73% of the subsidized CCs we currently have. Our key objective is capable CCs and available on the level of communities administrative and social services”, Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine Aliona Babak outlined the core objectives of the decentralization reform.
According to The Minister, amalgamation on the sustainability principle of ability-based unification should become the basis for the country's economic growth. Having the old system of administrative structure characterized by division of territory into small parts and old system of organization of power, this could never be achieved. Therefore, the reform of local governance should not be slowed down, but instead be accelerated, activated and yield result.
“We have 6,572 territorial communities to consolidate. By the end of 2020, we will have to complete the process of amalgamation of communities on the basis of sustainability principles and to ensure the local government's coverage. The entire territory of Ukraine should be covered by communities. In fact, there can be formed 1,300 – 1,400 CCs”, she emphasized.
The Minister noted that the next local elections should be held on a new territorial basis for communities and districts.
“The new administrative system will further have three levels, thereby corresponding to the European nomenclature of division of territorial units. The first level is the community, the second is the district, the third is the region”, said Aliona Babak.
According to the Minister, the existing 490 districts need to be enlarged and thus significantly reduce their number. “If we are guided by European standards, our districts must have a population of 100,000 residents. We also should decide what will be the responsibility of the local government at the level of areas and districts and what will be within the responsibility of the central executive authorities”, she said.
Those changes will allow to provide a comfortable environment for people's lives and access to high-quality services, as well as to align the interests of the state and those of the territorial communities.