The Reform in the South: the amalgamation is necessary, although the process is not easy

What resources have been given to the amalgamated communities and what difficulties faced the

participants of decentralization reform on the south of Ukraine, discussed today at the debate

"The implementation of reform of local self-government in the south of Ukraine: Present day and

Future Prospects "in Odessa.

The representatives of local councils, amalgamated communities, NGOs, regional

council, scientists from Odessa, Mykolayiv and Kherson regions, attended the event.

In the beginning of the debates, there was held a study poll, which showed that most participants

generally support reform, but see some problems in the process of implementation.

Among the positive aspects of the reform were stated the growth budgets, splash of public

activity, boosting the development of peripheral villages and approach of government to the

people. However, the obstacles were also announced.

According to Mykhailo Zolotukhin, the Chairman of MCPO "Mykolayiv City Development

Foundation":

"There are some benefits of the decentralization process in our single amalgamated community

in Mykolayiv region (Kutsurubska amalgamated community) : the increasing of a budget in 5

times, substantial part of the infrastructure subvention was spent on development of peripheral

villages, the civil society development. However, there is a downside of decentralization, such as

the conflict between the headman and chairman of the community; unwillingness and inability to

develop by their own resources, not just receiving subsidies. Projects, which were submitted by

the State Fund for Regional development, do not have an economic orientation. Although we

have 19 communities, which are going to amalgamate and take part in December elections"

Ivan Mykhailov, Vynohradnenskyy village chair of Bolgrad district, announced that there are

rumours that communities in southern Odessa region do not want to amalgamate.

However, he considers we still have a problem that the residents of the communities do not have

appropriate information about the benefits of the reforms, which can be useful for them to

determine.

Those people, who still remember the collective association, are strongly against the

amalgamation of communities.

Therefore, in his opinion, it is necessary to have legal instruments of equitable budget allocation

between villages in amalgamated community.

Olesya Holynska, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine’s advisor, said that the Ministry has just

introduced such regulatory tools for budgeting the amalgamated community. In her opinion, the

second part of the amalgamation of communities will receive no less financial advantages, than

the first, so the residents of the communities should not doubt.

Dzyupyn Mariia, an analyst NGO "Association for Community Self-organization Assistance"

narrated the reasons of appeals to the Court by community members, who consider the processes

of communities’ amalgamation were held with violations of the law of Ukraine

"In the southern regions five litigation were recorded on this issue. If violations were found by

public activists, local deputies or heads, there is an option to pause the process of amalgamation

through the mechanism of judicial protection. However, she believes that such litigations can be

used for the purposes of manipulation and in actions of certain political forces».

The head of the Black Sea Centre for Social and Political Studies from Kherson Alexander

Moshnyahul reported that there is a lack of professional staff in a single amalgamated

community (Kochubeivs'ka), as community sets ambitious targets that are difficult to reach

without professionals. Therefore, community members have some difficulties in the mastering

of infrastructure subventions.

There Kherson region and discredit reform political parties that have influence on the local

council.

Also in Kherson region is observed the defamation of the reform by political parties, which have

influence on the local council.

Analysts of Association for Community Self-organization Assistance presented a note about the

process of implementation of decentralization reform on the south of Ukraine

The head of the Black Sea Centre for Social and Political Studies from Kherson Alexander

Moshnyahul reported that there is a lack of professional staff in a only amalgamated community

(Kochubeivs'ka), as community sets ambitious targets that are difficult to reach without

professionals. Therefore, community members have some difficulties in the mastering of

infrastructure subventions.

Also in Kherson region is observed the discredit of the decentralization reform which are held by

political parties with influence on the local council.

Analysts of Association for Community Self-organization Assistance presented a note about the

process of implementation of decentralization reform on the south of Ukraine