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Ukraine and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
03 June 2020 10:10

 As part of its statutory functions, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (hereinafter referred to as the "CLRA") monitors the implementation by CoE member States of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and observes local and regional elections in these countries. These two areas are key in the CLRA's cooperation with Ukraine and determine the content of the consideration of Ukraine-related issues within this Council of Europe's advisory body.

Since the beginning of the first cycles of monitoring the state of local and regional democracy in Ukraine in 1999, CLRA has called on the Government of Ukraine to reform local self-government. The need to adopt relevant legislation in conformity with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government was also reflected in the CoE Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1179 (1999) «Honouring of obligations and commitments by Ukraine» (http://www.assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=16671&lang=en).

The topic of local self-government reform that will lead to decentralization of power in Ukraine was one of the main issues during the CLRA urgent debate on the situation in Ukraine held on 25 March 2014.

Amending the Constitution of Ukraine with regard to decentralization of power based on all available CLRA accomplishments remain an important part of the constitutional reform in Ukraine as well as one of the most relevant areas of cooperation between Ukraine and CLRA, especially due to Russia's military aggression in Donbas.

In order to monitor the implementation by Ukraine of its obligations under the European Charter of Local Self-Government CLRA undertook a number of monitoring visits to Ukraine.  As a result of one of them (in two phases - 21-23 May 2012 and 22-23 April 2013), CLRA adopted on 31 October 2013 the Report and Recommendation “Local and Regional Democracy in Ukraine” (https://rm.coe.int/local-and-regional-democracy-in-ukraine-recommendation-mr-marc-cools-b/168071a834)

This document contains an analysis of the situation and pressing issues of local and regional democracy in Ukraine as well as proposals for their solution, in particular through the early implementation of local government reform . In June 2014 post-monitoring cooperation between Ukraine and CLRA and Ukraine began, ended with the signing on 20 May 20 2015 of a Roadmap for Ukraine (https://rm.coe.int/168071b522 ) aimed at implementing the CLRA recommendations on local and regional governance. During the last monitoring visit of the CLRA delegation to Ukraine on 4-6 March 2020, a number of meetings were held with representatives of Ukrainian central and local authorities, independent institutions (in particular Office of the President of Ukraine; Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; Ministry of Finance; Ministry for Communities and Territories Development; Kyiv City Administration; Associations of District and Regional Authorities, Ukrainian Cities, Village and Settlement Councils, United Territorial Communities, etc.) as well as academia and the diplomatic corps accredited in Ukraine. Relevant CLRA recommendations are expected to be presented at one of its next sessions.

Cooperation on the observation of local elections in Ukraine carried out, at the invitation of the Government of Ukraine, by the CLRA delegation on 25 May 2014 and 25 October 2015 was also constructive.

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