Maintaining the Momentum of Decentralisation in Ukraine

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This Multi-level Governance Series study focuses on Ukraine’s advances in regional development, territorial reform and decentralisation since 2014. The Government launched a reform to merge local governments and strengthen the decentralisation process, giving additional power and resources to sub-national authorities. In a short period, successful steps have been taken toward achieving municipal mergers and greater fiscal, administrative and political decentralisation, complemented by the State Strategy for Regional Development 2015-2020. The first local elections have been held and more public services are being delivered by certain local authorities. Yet, important challenges remain, ranging from a need to address rising disparities and adjusting multi-level governance practices and territorial structures, to better structuring fiscal decentralisation. This report addresses regional performance and disparities in Ukraine, provides insight into Ukraine’s current territorial reform and approach to decentralisation, explores the impact of fiscal decentralisation measures, and includes a case study of the transport sector. It also provides a set of recommendations for action to support Ukraine in meeting the conditions for successful decentralisation.

English Ukrainian


Assessment and recommendations

The OECD Territorial Review of Ukraine published in February 2014 identified municipal mergers, decentralisation and regional development as mechanisms that could help address a series of inter-related challenges at the territorial level. These challenges included regional disparities; significant shifts in productivity; high unemployment and informal employment; demographic change; poor quality services; and top-down, centralised multi-level governance structures that remain rooted in pre-independence practices. In addition, the conflict in the east that began in 2014 has amplified the territorial challenges and underscored the need to build greater state resilience. The Territorial Review stressed the need first for territorial reform in order to ensure subnational capacity to meet greater administrative and service responsibilities, followed by a comprehensive decentralisation reform.

English Ukrainian

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