"The strategic objective for the country is to
introduce a new system of public administration and administrative and
territorial structure. The basis of this system is changes in the Constitution.
To make this system work, we should adopt hundreds of laws that are to be
elaborated now to ensure real decentralization process to the very bottom",
stressed Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a meeting of the Board
of the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities on
Thursday, July 23.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized that the Ministry of Regional
Development should strive “to make efficient, strong and powerful territorial
According to the Prime Minister, a lot has been done in this
direction: "The steps taken by the Government and the Parliament that were
often criticised have shown their effectiveness".
He stressed that budget decentralization became the first
step towards increasing financial resources of local communities and “to make
local government work": "We gave them a fishing rod and after a year
they have caught plus 40% of local revenues. It is an actual result of fiscal
At the same time, he accentuated that a number of duties
that were handed over to communities "are not fulfilled": "Additional
revenues from land rent have enlarged by UAH 14.5 million within the whole
country. This is a ridiculously small sum. That means that local governments defer
carrying out their functions, actually depriving our taxpayers of certain funds.
Failure to carry land inventory, failure to control the use of these lands entails
lack of revenues of local budgets. Hence, there are no additional local revenues, there is no quality schools, hospitals, roads. Although opportunities are provided".
Arseniy Yatsenyuk appealed to the local government bodies "to
use all the opportunities": "If someone thought that decentralization
means we just give away all the funds to lower levels, and from there they will
tell us how to distribute the funds of the central budget, they are mistaken.
This is a bilateral process. You get the local powers, but you get the
responsibility as well."
"We need new quality local communities, new quality
local councils and city management. Including a new electoral system, an
effective one, which should enable implementation of fiscal, administrative and
political decentralization," he accentuated.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk stressed that Ukraine's President and the Parliament
had taken serious measures in the administrative reform concerning transfer of
real powers to the lower levels – "these are amendments to the
Constitution, "No matter who or how they are trying to politicize them,
but it's really a landmark decision to hand over the powers from the centre to
"The regional state administrations that perform today absolutely
inappropriate functions to distribute funds and to intervene in economic
activity should be liquidated as a class. The President will have prefects,
whose task is to supervise the observance of the legislation on relevant areas
and coordination, instead of intervention in the activities of territorial central
executive authorities. The rest of functions should be transferred to the local
authorities, territorial communities," he explained.
The Prime Minister expressed hope that the Parliament in its
constitutional majority would vote for the relevant changes: "This means
that after entering in force of the constitutional amendments we will again have
elections to the local governments, as these changes empower local communities
to perform other functions."
Arseniy Yatsenyuk stressed that in the coming two years we should
"be fully prepared to transition to a new quality government management
system in which citizens would rely on their city mayors, head of the executive
authority, their local deputy. At this, according to him, central authorities
would solve key issues, such as national security and defence, law enforcement,
justice, international activities.
"We are building a new high-quality country. And the
role of your Ministry in this activity is a leading one," accentuated the
Head of Government appealing to the members of the Ministry’s Board.
Moreover, Arseniy Yatsenyuk stressed the importance to
maintain effective communication with citizens regarding the administrative
reform, in particular with the voluntary association of communities.