The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe organised the “Regional seminar for young local leaders on local and regional democracy” in Vinnytsya (Ukraine) from 5 to 7 April 2016. This event was part of a series of seminars aimed at spreading a culture of democracy by raising awareness on local and regional democracy principles, and developing the participants’ capacities to engage locally in an active and qualified manner.
Serhiy Morgunov (L, NI-NR), Mayor of Vinnytsya, and Head of the delegation of Ukraine to the Congress, welcomed the 25 young local leaders, representing the Khmelnytsk, Ternopil, Vinnytsya and Zhytomyr regions. Congress members such as Vitaliy Oluyko, Ukraine (R, SOC); Dobrica Milovanovic, Serbia (L, EPP-CCE) and Liisa Ansala Finland (L, ILDG) effectively contributed to the discussions and shared their experience.
Issues such as competencies of local authorities, decentralisation reform and division of powers between different levels of government, which directly affect local self-government in Ukraine, were discussed throughout the seminar. Vitaliy Oluyko, noted that “for decentralisation reform to be successful in Ukraine, we need youth to be more active and participate on all levels to share their visions, aspirations and experiences’’. Dobrica Milovanovic and Liisa Ansala further exchanged with the participants on successful citizen engagement in local decision-making process. Liisa Ansala in particular highlighted that “There are no limitations to participation. Everyone can be engaged’’.
A session on public ethics and prevention of corruption at the local level was of particular importance to the agenda of the seminar, enabling participants to reflect on the outcomes of the seminar and to develop a set of initiatives that they will implement in their communities as a follow-up to this event.
Ukraine joined the Council of Europe on 9 November 1995, ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government on 11 September 1997 and its Additional Protocol on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority on 2 September 2014. Countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter imposes compliance with a minimum number of rights and principles, which are the European bedrock of local self-government. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures respect for these principles.
Marite Moras, Head of the Co-operation Activities Unit, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Tel: +33 3 88 41 22 33
Svitlana Gryshchenko, Project Manager, Council of Europe Office in Kyiv, Tel: +380 50 45 23 118