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Top news

04 December 2017, 17:45

Chairman’s statement at 2nd All-Ukrainian Forum

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

Statement by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy at the Second All-Ukrainian Forum of the United Communities “Life-changing initiatives”

I am sincerely glad to welcome you to the Second All-Ukrainian Forum of the “Life-changing initiatives”,

I remember the decentralization process began in Ukraine back in the fourteenth year when Ukraine was passing its biggest test.

This was the period when, after the Maidan, the President and the Prime Minister left Ukraine, the Ukrainian treasury was empty, and the invader came to our lands. The enemy first entered the territory of the Crimea, and then into the territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

The country broke up between the problems that arose every day and every week – for example, financial security and the defense of the country from the enemy. Then we realized – the main force of this country – its citizens, who during the Maidan and ATO created a gigantic volunteer movement, in particular the movement of support for the army. Then the leaders of the state understood – it is necessary to rely only on their own citizens.

It seemed that when the external aggression and occupation begin, the state must fully centralize its efforts. In the times of such tests – the state must cement the central authorities. But then it was decided to choose the path of decentralization, which became our asymmetric response to external threats and internal challenges. I am convinced that the Russian aggressor did not expect such a reaction from us.

Ukrainian decentralization in its current incarnation is not only a firm determination to withdraw from the Kremlin matrix of constructing a hierarchy of power.

It is a cross-linking of all the diverse Ukrainian space through the combination of hundreds of capable territorial communities from all regions of Ukraine.

Thus, a common Ukrainian space of harmonious combination, both national and local interests, is formed on the basis of the Ukrainian democratic spirit, the joint overcoming of external challenges and the desire for a joint, successful future. This is how the mighty, modern, Ukrainian state is created.

Decentralization has become the latest Magdeburg right for Ukrainian local communities.

 

We have made significant progress in reform implementation. Newly formed united communities are a decisive factor in the development of significant Ukrainian territories, key investors in local infrastructure and human capital development.

Budget decentralization, which became possible by the concerted action of the President, the Government and the Parliament in December 2014, not only gave the territorial communities greater resource, but also made Ukraine one of the most decentralized countries in Europe. And most of these decisions, which were adopted for decentralization, took place through the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Each of these Laws, each of these stages of decentralization, was the result of very large, sometimes very complex discussions among the parliamentary factions, among the deputies when making each of these decisions. Sometimes community leaders ask me why some decisions are delayed? This is not due to the fact that the Parliament pays little attention to the development of local self-government. This is often the result of very long discussions. Sometimes we have to work hard to overcome the old understanding and old awareness that has been shaping for decades in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, this year, we were able to adopt the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine (regarding voluntary adherence of territorial communities)”, the draft law №4772, which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 9 February 2017, with the aim of establishing a mechanism for the regulation of public relations arising in the process of joining territorial communities of villages, settlements to already existing united territorial communities.

We were able to pass the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the peculiarities of the voluntary association of territorial communities located on the territories of the adjacent areas” №5520.

I remember how many disputes there were over how to unite communities, settlements that are in different regions, and how the election logic is lost. It was not easy, these were expert discussions. But I am proud that we were able to reach a common position and were able to make a decision on this law, which opened the way for the creation of a large number of new communities.

I am convinced that many more important steps must be taken to complete the reform by the President, the Parliament and the Government. In particular:

 

To resolve the issue of extending the jurisdiction of the local self-government bodies of the STC to its entire territory.

At present, the issue of developing documentation for spatial planning for united territorial communities, which includes different settlements, is not regulated. We know that there are such STCs, which include 50 settlements.

By adopting in the first reading the draft law №6403 on amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On the regulation of urban development", the Verkhovna Rada approached closely to resolve this issue. After the adoption and entry into force of this law, STCs will have the opportunity to spatial planning of their entire territory.

I hope that we will soon be able to approve this draft law as a whole. Preparations for the second reading are being held, but the result of voting in the first reading gives us all the reason to think that we can accept it positively in the second reading. The adoption of this draft law together with the draft law №5253 “On Amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the extension of the powers of local self-government bodies of territorial communities to the entire territory of the respective rural, town and city territorial communities” must legislatively establish the idea of ??“universal” local self-government, which has been literally hovering in the air for many years, but has not been realized yet.

I consider it a great success that the Verkhovna Rada adopted the draft law №6466 “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On voluntary association of territorial communities” on the voluntary adherence of territorial communities of villages, settlements to territorial communities of cities of regional value”.

According to the Methodology for the formation of capable territorial communities, the priority administrative centres are, first of all, cities of provincial status (which are a priori the most capable territorial communities).

The draft law №6466 allows local communities to join regional cities without first elections throughout the territory. Approval of this draft law is expected by 187 cities of provincial status.

We understand the importance of this draft law and how much it will contribute to the formation of new communities. If the committee is to work efficiently and quickly, then I think we will be able to pass this bill this or next plenary week. I am convinced that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is ready for this. I think that before the newyear this draft law will become a law and will become another step towards the development of Ukrainian local self-government.

On 7 December 1990, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the first convocation adopted the first law “On Local Councils of People's Deputies and Local and Regional Self-Government”, which started the restoration of local self-government in Ukraine. Since 7 December has become the Day of Local Self-Government.

I take this opportunity to congratulate all those present on this great holiday, which we all will celebrate in a few days.

On 5 February 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the VIII convocation adopted the Law “On voluntary association of territorial communities”, which laid the foundations for a profound reform of local self-governance in Ukraine, which is now called “decentralization”.

Perhaps in a few years, when we successfully complete the reform, this date will be the “Day of decentralization”. Building up strong, self-sufficient, effective united territorial communities we create a mighty Ukraine! Thank you for your attention! Glory to Ukraine!