Over 5 years + of the reform in Ukraine, as of August 10, 2019, 936 Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs) were created, involving 4,330 local councils at the grassroots level, or 39% of the total number of councils. Community amalgamation on a voluntary basis took place in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Communities”. ATCs switched to direct budget relations with the state and obtained new powers and resources for their fulfillment.
Yet, more than 6.6 thousand local councils at the grassroots level, or 61%, still did not join any ATC. Therefore there is much talk today about the need to proceed to the next stage of the reform, in particular, administrative consolidation of communities.
A key document for planning the process of community amalgamation by the state is The Perspective Plan for the Formation of Territorial Communities (hereinafter referred to as the Perspective Plan, or PP), which is developed for each oblast and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. According to the initial idea, this document was supposed to specify the configuration of future ATCs designed with due consideration to ensuring their resiliency.
Experts from the Association for Community Self-Organization Assistance conducted an evaluation to develop justified practical recommendations as to how to introduce policy changes and evaluation of community capacity in Ukraine based on reasonable criteria.
The report provides insight into the following aspects:
● Guidelines for formation of capable territorial communities in Ukraine: do we have clear criteria?
● European experience: how to apply criteria to the enlargement of municipalities
● The role of perspective plans in the formation of resilient territorial communities in Ukraine
● Evaluation of community amalgamation and perspective plans by regional experts
● How to engage stakeholders to participate in the development of perspective plans
● Judicial practices in the field of community amalgamation
● Conclusions and recommendations
This publication was prepared by the NGO “Association for Community Self-Organization Assistance” within the framework of the project “Perspective Plans: How will Ukrainian communities continue to amalgamate?” with the financial support of the International Renaissance Foundation.