The signing of the memorandum is a “logical continuation of the long-standing co-operation with the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC) and shows our determination to join forces for the improvement of local democracy in Ukraine, and towards a stronger partnership” stressed Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress. He reiterated the Congress’ full support to “the irreversible process of reforms in Ukraine, a process over which the Ukrainian actors at national, regional and local level have taken full ownership”. He also indicated that “the Congress and the AUC will work together to strengthen the capacities of the Association to better advocate for the interest of its members” and “to ensure a constructive dialogue and promote a partnership culture and synergies between central and local authorities in the spirit of multi-level governance”.
“The decentralisation reform in Ukraine is close to the point of no return, but requires further efforts to be successfully implemented. Our aim is to create efficient, transparent and accountable local authorities that strive to meet the needs of their communities”, stated Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv and President of the AUC. “The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding is a major step towards a structured support to all reform processes that have been initiated in Ukraine”, added the President of the Association.
The Memorandum of Understanding is signed within the project ‘Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine’, implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities as part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2021. This project aims to improve the quality of local democracy in Ukraine by strengthening institutional frameworks and by supporting local authorities and their national associations in their efforts to promote ethical decision-making and more citizen-oriented, inclusive, responsive and transparent local governance.