The interplay between targeted co-operation programmes and Congress' statutory activities, namely monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and election observation, was underlined by President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström at the opening of the Forum for Local Democracy in Ukraine on 4 July 2017 in Snovjanka, Chernihiv Region. She stressed the importance of decentralisation and devolution of powers and financial means for the further democratic progress of Ukraine and pointed to the specific role of mayors, councillors and young leaders in this process. “Several reforms to strengthen local democracy have been implemented by the Ukrainian authorities since 2014,” she reminded. “However, genuine decentralisation does not entail only changes in legislation. It requires local and regional authorities to receive specific capacity-building, and it requires the diffusion of accurate information on reforms towards all stakeholders of local governance and towards citizens. This is the aim of the activities implemented by the Congress, based on peer exchanges,” explained the Congress President. Addressing the participants of the Forum, Vladyslav Atroshenko, Mayor of Chernihiv and Congress member, welcomed the platform of exchanges promoted by the Congress, which enables local democracy practitioners to strengthen each other. The Forum for Local Democracy in Ukraine will gather during four days mayors, councillors, young local leaders and experts to exchange on how to enhance local governance and citizen participation.
“Strengthening the capacities of mayors, councillors and young leaders is essential to build a genuine local democracy in Ukraine”, says Congress President
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