Educational activities of DESPRO covered 2 more oblasts of Ukraine: on September 9, 2015, a panel discussion took place in Mykolaiv, on Septermber 10 – in Kherson.

" /> Discussions in Southern Ukraine

Discussions in Southern Ukraine

Educational activities of DESPRO covered 2 more oblasts of Ukraine: on September 9, 2015, a panel discussion took place in Mykolaiv, on Septermber 10 – in Kherson.

Swiss-Ukrainian project “Decentralization Support in Ukraine” (DESPRO) held public discussions in Mykolaiv and Kherson. The discussions were dedicated to such issues as: decentralization-related constitutional changes, local self-government reformation, impact of administrative and territorial reform upon development of local self-government, involvement of all local authority levels in the process of territorial community amalgamation, consideration of opinions and positions of local self-government, different authority levels and non-governmental sector.

The speakers at the discussions included the key national experts, representatives of central and oblast executive authorities, scientific communities, and council heads of amalgamated territorial communities of Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts. The audience in both cities mainly included representatives if local self-government and executive authorities, non-governmental organizations, analytic centres, leaders of public opinion, and media.

It should be noted that most questions, posed by participants, concerned implementation of prefectures – particularly, the role of state representative, his tasks, competencies, and peculiarities of activity. Serious discussions were focused on the issues of territorial community amalgamation, and the opportunity of introduction of amendments into prospective plans.

For instance, Yuri Ganushchak, director of the Institute of territorial development, tried to dispel some doubts, expressed by discussion participants, and communicate the novelties of recent amendments, introduced into the Constitution of Ukraine, to the audience. Particularly, Yuri Ivanovych commented on the myth of prefect’s authority expansion: «This will be much weaker person in comparison to a present-day oblast or raion administration head. First, a prefect has no budget, and second, he has no opportunity to give instructions to law enforcement agencies. His activity is just coordination and harmonization of actions of territorial executive authorities and monitoring of the situation, because, in fact, a prefect is the eyes of the Prime-Minister and the President on the community territory. A prefect for an LSB is like a father to the children who grow up until they become law-abiding individuals».

As for the process of territorial community amalgamation, a relevant formulation was given by Ivan Dudar, Kochubeivka village council head (Kherson oblast): «We shouldn’t play with the state. We live in this country, and we should play by its rules. That’s why the question: “to unite or not to unite?” must not arise at all. An amalgamated community is a chance to improve our living conditions; a chance, given by the state, and it depends on us only, whether we will use it properly».

The discussion was summarized by Yuri Ganushchak and Lilia Popova, head of department of interaction with local authorities of Department for local self government and territorial organization of authority of the Ministry of regional development, construction, and housing and communal services of Ukraine: «Dear village council heads, you are the pioneers of community amalgamation. You will provide an example for other communities, and we wish you a pleasant journey!»