The First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Korniienko took part in the roundtable “Three Years of the New Administrative and Territorial Structure of Ukraine: Successes, Challenges, Prospects”, organised, in particular, with the participation of the Committee on State Building, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning.

In his welcoming remarks, the First Vice Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament reminded the audience that it was three years ago that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine actually approved a new administrative and territorial structure. According to him, it was not easy, but today certain results of the reform, its challenges and tasks are already visible.

“The main thing for local self-government representatives is to understand that the central government is continuing the decentralisation reform and is ready to further deepen their powers and strengthen their capacity. This is primarily a tool for people to live better on the ground, for local authorities to work better together with the central executive, for greater security and more access to opportunities,” said Oleksandr Korniienko.

At the same time, he stressed that over the past three years, a concrete vision of the reform’s future development has already been built.

“We need to understand what is temporary and what will have a long-term development. In particular, the situation should be assessed in more detail for the sake of a transparent understanding of what constitutes the capacity of communities and what it is spent on. We also need to assess the plans of IDPs – who plan to stay and who will return. It is necessary to clearly define the personal income tax and analyse the likely results of the decisions made,” the First Vice Speaker listed the main emphases.

He also added that these steps will allow us to move the discussion “towards rational arguments and economics, to give incentives for development and shape the future for communities, to make decisions more strategically, and to complete the tasks we set ourselves before.”

Oleksandr Korniienko particularly emphasised the functioning and activities of frontline communities, where the security issue is of utmost importance and will remain the main one for some time to come. 

“We understand that the frontline or de-occupied territories have a completely different approach, which should be adjusted to the real state of affairs. In particular, both the central security agencies and the territorial security forces that have been created should work there. This is so that people understand that they are also responsible for this. Because in our country, responsibility is one of the key issues that lies with communities today and determines their capacity,” said the First Vice Speaker.

At the end of the discussion, he stressed that cooperation between communities and regions is something that the authorities, in particular the Ukrainian Parliament, should think through and build very carefully, especially during martial law.

“The quality and quantity of what we bring to the level of municipal cooperation, to the level of regions, will determine their future. We have to continue discussions and respond to all the challenges that have become even greater in wartime,” said the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and added that the Parliament continues to shape its agenda in such a way that its decisions are useful for the implementation of the reform and a better future for the communities of Ukraine.  

The event was also attended by the MPs from the Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development: Roman Lozynskyi, the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Vitalii Bezhin, Larysa Bilozir, and Oleksandr Aliksiichuk, the Chairmen of the Subcommittees.

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