On 14 June 2021, the Ukrainian Parliamentary Committee on State building, local governance, regional and urban development organised a round table on the legal status of national associations of local and regional authorities and discussed the future prospects with representatives of all concerned associations, academics, local and international experts and representatives of international organisations active in this field in Ukraine.
Congress Vice-President Gunn Marit Helgesen emphasised the crucial role national associations of local authorities play in fostering dialogue and consultation between all levels of government. In line with findings and conclusions of the Congress monitoring mission to Ukraine in 2020, she advocated for a comprehensive and stable system of consultation with local authorities and their associations, which can bring a visible impact on decisions regarding local self-government.
Ms Helgesen stressed that national associations of local and regional authorities are key for the implementation of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. In a system of multi-level governance, “strong representative, pluralistic and legitimate associations act as intermediaries between central, regional and local authorities” she highlighted.
The Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on State building, local governance, regional and urban development, Andriy Klochko pointed out the need for building strong partnerships between the central and local levels and improving institutional capacities of national associations.
The participation in the event was organised as part of the project “Strengthening democracy and building trust at local level in Ukraine” implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2018‑2022. The 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 and transparent local governance.