On October 1st
2015, the Verkhovna Rada
(Ukrainian parliament) passed the law on decentralization.
In the Ukrainian context, decentralization means the transfer of considerable amounts of authority and funding from central state bodies to the autonomous local governments, so that as much responsibility as possible is given to these local bodies, where they can have the greatest impact.
The levels of local government are: regions (oblast'
), districts (raion
) and communities (hramada
The decentralization process will work as follows: local government officials will finally be effective in carrying out their work, while populations will create local governing bodies at the community and regional levels, through elections.
The local self-governance bodies (community, raion and oblast) will in their turn have real decision-making authority and the necessary resources to meet their responsibilities. The local self-governance bodies will be held accountable by voters for the efficiency of their work, and by the central state regarding the legality of their actions.
A key aspect of the reform is the grouping of municipalities (villages or cities) within communities (hramada
) to increase budgets and local resources, and therefore improve public infrastructure in the regions.
In some cases, the central government will allow communities to generate their own revenue, for example through the regulation of municipal leasing prices, and 60% of these taxes will go to the local budget.
Communities are also looking for new sources for funding, using local resources and attracting investors. This money will go to the community's budget instead of the national budget.
But the road is long. The central government's support to regions was simplified but has not fundamentally changed. To obtain the expected amount of budget, a community must still go through a long administrative process, with both the regional and national governments.
Therefore, in several areas of Ukraine, decentralization still has not yet begun.
To learn more about decentralization visit the website of the Swiss-Ukrainian decentralization support project DESPRO
, which supports local self-goverment officials in preparing for reforms.