For the first time ever, the mission of the
International Monetary Fund is keen on the process of the decentralization
reform in Ukraine. This is the very reform that completely changes the
governance system within the state, financial capacities and the potential of
the regions. This was stated by Vice Prime Minister/ Minister for Regional
Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities of Ukraine Hennadii
Zubko during the presentation of monitoring of the
decentralization reform for the IMF representatives.
"Decentralization does not only mean an
increase in local budgets, but it also includes motivation of local
self-government bodies to leverage investments for community development and to
implement infrastructure projects. The reforms being carried out in the country
are a kind of 3D model. After all, the reform of any branch – in the medical,
educational or social sphere alike – is transferred to the level of each
particular community, all of which are now undergoing a transformation phase as
well. Each particular reform should be verified at the level of communities",
stressed Hennadii Zubko.
The Government has already completed the first
stage of financial decentralization: amendments have been made to the Budget
and Tax Code of Ukraine regarding devolution of additional budgetary powers to
local governments and consolidation of stable sources of earnings to ensure
their implementation. As a result, a significant improvement in the financial
position of local governments is observed.
The Vice Prime Minister stressed that within
three years since the beginning of the decentralization reform, revenues of
local budgets of Ukraine grew by UAH 102.1 billion or 2.5 times - from being
UAH 68.6 billion in 2014 to UAH 170.7 billion in 2017 (plan for 2017 contains
the figure UAH 170.7 billion, forecast – UAH 190 billion).
"The country is facing a number of
challenges. We must, as soon as possible, strengthen a legal framework of the
decentralization reform and include changes to the Constitution. The state
should have controlling functions to determine the principles of
decentralization and the capacities of local self-government, while the
executive functions should be transferred to the communities," he said.
Among the issues raised at the meeting with
representatives of the IMF were a further vision of the development of reform,
in particular the financial aspect and sectoral
dimension; legislative support for community consolidation, as well as adoption
of amendments to the Constitution; increasing the level of autonomy and self-sustainability
of the amalgamated communities in decision-making as a result of reforms; realization
of the reform on the ground, etc.