18 December 2015 - 25 mayors, elected in October 2015 came together in Kyiv, on 15 – 16 December 2015, to exchange views and experiences on the current challenges faced by local authorities in Ukraine.
The mayors, together with Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), President of the Chamber of local authorities, Robert Biedron, (Poland, SOC), Mayor of Slupsk, Luzette Wagenaar-Kroon (the Netherlands, EPP/CCE), Mayor of Waterland, Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine, GILD-ILDG) and experts discussed the impact of the decentralisation process on local authorities in Ukraine and in other European countries. In particular, Ukrainian mayors emphasised the importance of more active and inclusive involvement of citizens so they could become active players of sustainable improvement in their communities. New competences and responsibilities transferred to the local level require new skills for elected representatives to lead change, such as developing local projects and communicating with national and regional administrations.
Participants discussed anti-corruption measures and shared best practices on how to counteract such deviating behaviors. “There is a strong need to adopt legislation in line with the European Code of conduct, but what it is even more important is to apply integrated ethical behavior standards to prevent corruption to happen in our municipalities”, they stated. It was highlighted that ethical behavior in decision-making at the local level is key to build trust between citizens and local authorities.
The workshop “Mayors leaders for change” was organised in Ukraine by the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the project “Promoting local democracy in Ukraine” and the Council of Europe Action Plan 2015 – 2017 for Ukraine.