There were held first local elections in 159 united communities in 9 regions of Ukraine . That is, these communities passed one more stage of decentralization.
Now they have united representative local authorities – councils and, accordingly, heads of communities. Elected officials of newly united communities received extra resources and powers; have to start to improve the living conditions of their inhabitants.
There is vast majority of priority objectives in united community councils. It is necessary to pass state re-registration, to make diagnosis of the community, to start work on forming its budget and its strategy for integrated development, investment passport, upgrading areas of social and administrative services, and others.
However, the heads of these communities are currently facing a paradoxical situation: united community were created, but the required legal and organizational conditions for their further development – no!
- Today the mechanism of registration of local governments in united communities as legal entities is unexplained because there were not adopted the bill number 3106 “On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine regarding peculiarities of state registration of local governments as legal entities”. 159 newly created community councils at its first session must be registered as legal entities of public law. This means that those communities, who wish to voluntarily unite outside perspective plan, will receive financial aid from the state for its development only if the long-term plan will be amended accordingly.
- Decentralization of land relations is stalled. Nowadays the question of delegation of powers in land management is being spirited discussed. Of the combined local communities today cannot analyze the existing resource base, primarily land resources, in order to start the strategic planning of development of these communities. It should also be mentioned that the land decentralization was the main motivating factor for community associations to start unification, but today the newly formed community still have not received these powers. This situation is not very simple and rural, also for mayors who were in favor of decentralization. They promised their communities new resources and opportunities, but whether they will receive these resources in the near future – is very sharp question.
- The government at the legislative level has not embedded the conditions for the development of local participatory democracy. It is hampered the adoption of the revised draft Law “On self-organization bodies» (№2466 from 03.24.2015), Draft Law “On General meetings (conferences) of members of the territorial community of residence” (№2467 from 03.24.2025). Also today is not legally fixed and the procedure for local referendums.
On the central government level:
- Accelerate adoption of the necessary (mentioned above) regulations in decentralization, including amendments to the Land Code of Ukraine, the laws that will promote participatory democracy. These changes should be introduced to the list primary priority because in the absence of a clear legal framework newly created community will be in “limbo situation.”
- Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine should develop a methodology for united local communities for local governments. Where it would consistently explained the logic of further reform, concrete regulatory, organizational steps that should be done to ensure the capacity of the community.
On the local government level:
- At the level of newly local governments of united community it is essential the accept the Statutes of these communities, which should clearly defined mechanisms of interaction between community and local government, communities between themselves and secured mechanisms for public participation. Thus, at the Statute level may be regulated an important for community issues that are not regulated by law now.
- Offices of reforms should permanently monitor the problems of united communities and requiring urgent government regulation, and adequately communicate this information to the public authorities.