Tuesday, 15th July 2008, Donetsk, Ukraine
A conference hosted by the Donetsk Oblast (UA) with the participation of 19 Ukrainian regions adopted a declaration* today that opens the door to more effective multi-level governance in that country.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) organised today’s conference to help the regions of Ukraine – six of which are AER members – explore the diverse models of regional administrative and territorial structures in Europe. Politicians from Ukraine’s regional and state levels heard speakers from Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria present their countries’ diverse regional structures. The conference also encouraged further debate among regional politicians on how Ukraine’s levels of government could better respect the principle of subsidiarity, so that decisions can be taken at the closest possible level to citizens.
Speaking at the conference, AER Secretary-General Klaus Klipp noted:
“The fact that the regions have come together today – regardless of political colour – is a welcome sign that these politicians really care about the future of their citizens. And the fact that they are listening to how other European countries have structured their regions and debating how best to adapt those structures to the Ukraine demonstrates that they believe their regions' rightful place to be within the EU.”
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 260 regions from 33 countries and 13 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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Ukrainian Regions: Building blocks for effective multi-level governance in the Ukraine
Representatives of the regions of Ukraine gathered in Donetsk, Donetsk Oblast (UA), on 15th July 2008, to learn more about the diverse models of regional administrative and territorial structures in Europe and to discuss current developments in their own country. They agreed upon the following declaration on the role of the regions in nurturing strong institutions and multi level governance in the Ukraine:
The represented regions acknowledge the need for reforming the territorial structure of public administration in Ukraine in order to enable state, regional and local authorities to function democratically and effectively in order to strengthen the unity of the Ukraine.
The represented regions express their willingness to contribute to the design, development and implementation of effective sub-national governance structures in a spirit of solidarity and mutual cooperation and to further strengthen the institutional capacity of regional authorities in the Ukraine (within the framework of national law).
The regions of the Ukraine share the belief that effective governance and regional development can only be realised by taking proper account of the principle of subsidiarity, so that political decisions are taken at the closest possible level to citizens.
The participants share the belief that more effective regional governance in the Ukraine will benefit the citizens, since it is the regions that are closest to citizens.
The Ukrainian regions recognise the importance of contributing together to the work of the national government of the Ukraine, in particular the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction, and to contribute to the design and implementation of the new concept of state regional policy.
Likewise the Ukrainian regions ask the national government that they are seen as real partners of the state and, in the future, the EU.
The Ukrainian regions ask the national government to respect regional identities and the principle of subsidiarity, and to encourage them to flourish, by giving regions the responsibility and the financial means to design and manage policies which impact upon regional identities.
In adopting the attached "Declaration of the AER on Regionalism in Europe", the participants express their willingness to further develop, prosper and integrate into the diverse structures of Europe.