The Congress Rapporteur on Local and Regional Democracy in Ukraine Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD) participated in the 4th meeting of the European Committee of the Regions Task Force Ukraine, on 8 March 2018 in Brussels. In the presence of Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Vice-Minister for regional development, and Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions, Marc Cools reiterated the Congress commitment towards further reform of state administration and local self-government in Ukraine. In particular, he stressed the importance of the political dialogue with the Ukrainian national authorities within the monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the roadmap, signed in May 2015, to support the implementation of the reforms and the process of democratisation in the country.
Marc Cools also presented the Congress activities on the ground and the results achieved as part of the project "Promoting Local Democracy in Ukraine". More than 135 mayors, 200 local councilors and 150 young activists exchanged views, with Ukrainian and European peers, on important issues related to the development of local democracy and identified good practices for translating legislative changes into their daily work.
"Local elected representatives and their associations are key partners in ensuring the sustainability of project results, and for strengthening local democracy in Ukraine. The Congress is convinced that the success of the decentralisation reform in Ukraine requests more commitment on the part of elected representatives and an increased quality of local democracy in local communities," he concluded.