The Congress and the Association of Ukrainian Cities co-organised on 29-30 January 2019 in Kyiv, Ukraine a round table “Open Government Partnership: A way forward to enhance local self-governance”. This event brought together almost 40 Ukrainian mayors and representatives of local councils, the Government of Ukraine and other national stakeholders to discuss approaches to strengthen transparency, citizen participation and accountability.
Participants shared experiences on open government and e-governance and exchanged views with representatives of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces on the role of national associations in raising awareness and building the capacities of local authorities. “Open government, coupled with e-governance tools, is a resource for local authorities to enhance citizen participation and public accountability and to deepen local democracy” stated in this regard Alberto CASERO, Mayor of Trujillo, Spain.
Ukrainian local authorities showcased successful practices and declared their willingness to take part in the implementation of the Fourth National Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) 2018-2020 as fully-fledged partners to boost its achievements in Ukraine. Serhii NADAL, Mayor of Ternopil, stressed on this occasion that “e-government tools speed up administrative processes, reduce paperwork and increases transparency, thus preventing corruption.”
Ukrainian participants expressed their conviction that enhancing open government practices and policies will help local authorities to strengthen democracy and reach higher levels of transparency in local public institutions, and thus contribute to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially to Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, justice and strong institutions”.
As a follow-up, the Association of Ukrainian Cities will address the Cabinet of Ministers with a Road Map for the development of open government and e-governance at local level in Ukraine, and will call for the Association’s formal inclusion in the co-ordination group, along with national authorities and civil society representatives.
The round table is organised within the project “Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine”, which 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 and transparent local governance. The project is implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018 – 2021.