Sergii Chernov, President of the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils, noted during his speech at the meeting of the Committee on the Organization of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, that the process of reforming local self-government has not yet reached the regional and subregional levels.

At the beginning of the speech, Sergii Chernov noted that the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils actively supports continued reform of local self-government and territorial organization of the authorities, as well as the deepening of the decentralization process, since the course of the reform, which started in 2014, has not yet reached the sub-regional (district) and regional level of self-government in Ukraine.

According to Sergii Chernov, the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils expects that the decision to amend the Constitution in the area of local self-government will be expedited. For the Association, changes in the Basic Law concerning district and regional councils are especially important. “The second stage of the reform of local self-government, which so far concerns only the basic level of power - the communities, has not yet begun. These amendments to the Constitution are necessary in accordance with the European Charter and the government’s Reformation Concept,” said Sergii Chernov.

Stressing that 28 political parties are represented in the Association, Sergii Chernov noted that, despite the political processes in the regions, “the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils has not taken and will not make any political decisions. We work only on the issues of the formation of local self-government and regional development. In its activities, the Association is guided by the Constitution, the European Charter, as well as the laws of Ukraine on local self-government, on associations of local governments and others. I hope that the decisions initiated by the Verkhovna Rada of this convocation will improve the legal framework and allow us to move the reform forward,” said Sergii Chernov, addressing the deputies. In his opinion, a convenient platform for discussing future laws related to the development of local self-government should be the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Ukraine, which unites the All-Ukrainian Association of Rural and Village Councils, the Association of Cities and the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils.

Sergii Chernov expressed the Association’s point of view on holding elections to local councils, that there is no need to rush to hold them. “We do not want to preserve our tenure for another three to four months. But we believe that amendments to the Constitution should be made, that it can be possible in February. On the basis of the new constitutional provisions, legislative acts have been adopted, especially those relating to the foundations of the administrative and territorial structure, eliminate competition between the competencies of authorities, and improve the electoral process in local councils. Therefore, there is a request for people's deputies to expedite the adoption of such decisions. Holding local elections in October will make possible all the necessary changes in national legislation,” argues Sergii Chernov.

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