Minister of Community and Territory Development, German Ambassador to Ukraine discuss decentralization and coal region reforms

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Open source

The Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine Oleksii Chernyshev and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Ukraine Anka Feldhuzen hold a meeting on July 6.

According to the minister, Ukraine today is experiencing the largest and fastest transformation in the entire history of its existence, even despite the crisis caused by coronavirus.

“The government has already approved 24 long-term plans at the community level, identified administrative centers, and the definition of districts is in the final stage now. The final meeting with the profile committee of the Verkhovna Rada on areas for which there are certain disagreements scheduled for this week. I am sure that we will find compromise and a base for holding the next local elections in October,” he said.

Commenting on changes to the Basic Law regarding decentralization, the minister noted that the reform is happening faster than the legislation is changing. It is expected that amendments to the Constitution will be introduced in early 2021.

“Local elections scheduled in October will be held on a new territorial basis under the current Constitution, so we expect a certain transitional period to launch a new system of territorial organization of power,” Chernyshev emphasized.

In his turn, Mr Feldhuzen noted that Germany is closely following the reform process in Ukraine, because it invested a lot of time, resources and efforts in this process and that “the successful implementation of the decentralization reform will completely change Ukraine, which will become more European”.

Also during the meeting, the parties discussed other issues of cooperation, in particular, the possibility of attracting German expert support regarding the transformation of coal regions.

“At one time, Germany went through similar transformation processes in individual regions, so its experience and expert support will be very valuable for us. Ukraine needs reforms and transformations of coal regions. This is a rather painful reform that requires strategy and serious funding. After all, the transformation will last more than one year. Now the government already has a separate program for transforming coal regions and a development plan,” Chernyshev emphasized.

Read also: Amendments to Constitution on decentralization to apply to entire Ukraine.

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