by Anastasiia Horina & Lada Verbytska
Is decentralization really useful? If you live in Ukraine your everyday life is connected with it. The debate group of Media Dialogue for Democracy and Peace project wanted to learn more about what decentralization means. And here is the answer:
The Centre for Local Self-Government Development in Volyn region is the organization which works with local authorities. There are more than 900 united territorial communities in Ukraine in general and 51 exactly in Volyn region. That is why it is considered that decentralization is one of the most successful reforms in the country.
In the frame of the project Media Dialogue for Democracy and Peace the acting director of the Centre for Local Self-Government Development in Volyn region, Andrii Pohorilyi, talked about today´s progress of decentralization in Ukraine.
“We have two main achievements of decentralization in Ukraine. Firstly, it is the intercultural subvention – money that a community is received. 13 million Hrywnyas were recieved by the united territorial community in the country in 2018. Then this sum was the biggest community financing. Secondly, 60% of the taxes people pay go not to the country authorities, but directly to the united territorial communities.”
The communication advisor Olena Kuzmich has the opinion that decentralization supports the development of local media in united territorial communities.
“There are some examples of creation new local media in united territorial communities. But according to the law the function of the local press has different limitations. We hope that changes in parliament will fix this problem. However, we make a lot of events for journalists of united territorial communities about fake news, hate speech and propaganda. We explain the representatives of united territorial communities how to work with social media – for example, Facebook.”
In the end we should admit that Self-Government Centres operate in all regions of Ukraine. All spheres of Ukrainian social life are connected with decentralization. Moreover, if the idea of decentralization is initiated by the government in some Europian countries, in Ukraine it has started its work because of the citizens´ desire.