During XIV Samopomich Party Congress held in Kyiv on March 17, Samopomich MP Liubomyr Zubach spoke about the key priorities for the development of communities in Ukraine.
Samopomich is the party that was born from local self-government. It has managed to prove – by deed, not by word – that public administration in Ukraine can be successful. Having gained people’s trust during the parliamentary elections, it was the Samopomich faction in the Verkhovna Rada that initiated budgetary decentralization and the transfer of powers and finances to the local governments,” he said.
The MP cited the data from recent sociological surveys. During a study conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology commissioned by the Council of Europe’s program “Decentralization and Territorial Consolidation” in October-December 2017, 61% of respondents noted there were improvements in their locality or that they were expecting them. 46% of Ukrainians expect that decentralization will help improve the situation in Ukraine as a whole.
“We must meet people’s expectations and protect local self-government from attempts of revenge, which have recently become more frequent. It is the loss of the opportunity to pull strings and to manage funds individually that is the main reason why the authorities are so resistant to the decentralization process announced after the Revolution of Dignity,” the MP noted.
Liubomyr Zubach listed the key priorities of the party aimed at the development of local self-government and communities:
- “To give an opportunity to work peacefully, without the threat of a drastic change in budget legislation. We will propose a moratorium on any changes that will impose additional costs on local government or otherwise will harm it.
- It is necessary to take into account the interests of villages and cities. Villages need to have at least some basic infrastructure and services restored (educational, medical, communal ones, etc.). If the unification of communities is carried out for this purpose, then it must be supported (unfortunately, very often united territorial communities are formed to suit the needs of local oligarchs). It is obvious that we have to restore the communities’ right to dispose of land. Cities should also ensure a proper quality of services. But, apart from this, their mission is to restore economic growth in Ukraine. Our requirement is the introduction of urban agglomerations, which will attract a significant amount of investment, create jobs, build a modern infrastructure.
- Introduction of the inclusive democracy. Citizens should participate in the management of society not once in five years during elections, but constantly “keeping their finger on the pulse”. This should be done through the use of local democracy mechanisms: public hearings, local initiatives, electronic petitions, reports of deputies and officials, public budget. To this end, each community should develop or amend its Charters, in which these important instruments of public control and public participation should be envisaged.”
Liubomyr Zubach is convinced that local self-government in Ukraine has a future, “And a strong community means a strong and successful state! Even in the conditions of war with the external aggressor and internal struggle against total corruption.”