Ukraine Unitary state


A reform that would affect the country’s local and regional governments is currently under discussion in Ukraine.

A draft reform is currently officially being adopted. Its implementation provides two stages: preparatory (2012) and principal (2013–2015). The former consists of legislative changes aiming at improving the current organisation and advancing local self-government.

In practice, the reform is already half-way implemented. Most of the ministries are represented at the local level. Competences of the central administrations have been transferred to the Executive committees (it remains a transfer of the deconcentration type, as this administration depends on the central government). However, there is no main document to serve as a basis for the reform in the future. The reform provides further enlargement of competences of Executive committees and local governments, as well as territorial changes at the local level, including merging of municipalities on a voluntary basis.

The financing mechanisms of Ukrainian local and regional authorities will be modified as well, as the reform provides for an increase of local fiscal income due to a new repartition of taxes, which are currently perceived only in favour of the state budget. The approach and the way of calculating financial transfers at the different levels will be changed as well.

Furthermore, the reorganisation of services is underway, mainly due to an increase in the number of intermunicipal cooperation associations. Programmes to improve the efficiency of administrations and to reduce public expenditure have been set up in many authorities as well.

The final goals of these changes are economic development, salary growth, reduction of the unemployment rate and the improvement in quality of life. The way to succeed is by strengthening the decentralisation trends.

Local self-government in Ukraine:

The reforms presently being carried out strengthen the political and financial autonomy of Ukrainian local and regional authorities. In addition, the country’s local governments do not seem to have experienced financial difficulties that were too severe as a result of the crisis.