Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
The “Endless Story” of Local Self-Government Reform: Before the Post-Maidan Challenges
Developing local self-government is the key to Ukraine’s democratic transformation. Many world democracies have undertaken this journey in the past, in particular those European nations which have successfully implemented the respective administrative and territorial reforms. As a result, the role of local self-government bodies has been strengthened, thus achieving a better balance as far as social, economic and cultural development of their national territories and developing a viable civil society are concerned. Regrettably, in contrast to other former socialist countries which subsequently became EU members, Ukraine has not yet managed to drive this process forward. Moreover, over twenty-three years since gaining independence, Ukraine has failed to reform its Soviet-inherited centralized system of government, which today still represents a huge obstacle to the adequate social development of our country. Will the new revolutionary challenges and the threat of the country’s disintegration in the war be sufficient stimulus to push through local self-government reform? This paper attempts to answer that question. In order to understand the reasons and factors behind what might seem to be an “endless story” of local self government reform in Ukraine it is helpful to begin with exploration of the historical conditions, current legislative arrangements and the issues connected to them.
With the adoption of the Ukrainian Constitution in 1996, local self-government was granted official constitutional status, becoming one of the pillars of our country’s constitutional system. The Constitution defines local self-government (LSG) as a “form of government independent from the state and responsible...
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