Promoting Local Democracy in Ukraine
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The project “Promoting local democracy in Ukraine” is carried out by the Congress of Local and Regional authorities of the Council of Europe as part of the Action Plan for Ukraine 2015-2017.
It aims to improve the implementation of democratic principles in Ukraine, by enhancing the institutional and leadership capacities of local elected authorities and disseminating best practices in local democracy nation-wide.
The intervention of the Congress is based on Recommendation 348(2013) on local and regional democracy in Ukraine, further complemented by a post-monitoring programme which successfully led to the joint signature of a roadmap with national authorities in May 2015, setting out a timeline for the implementation of reforms.
Throughout the project life-cycle, the following outcomes are expected to be reached:
- institutional and leadership capacities of local elected representatives are strengthened;
- capability of local elected representatives to provide effective support to the implementation of the local self-government reform is reinforced;
- active democratic citizenship is fostered and the implementation of local democratic participatory processes support is supported.
- Increased awareness and skills of mayors and local councillors regarding good practices in local democracy and European standards of local self-government, with a view to implementing the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government;
- increased the capacity of local elected representatives to lead change at the local level;
- establishment of commonly agreed mechanisms and processes promoting effective co-ordination and co-operation between different levels of local self-government, national associations and central authorities for the effective implementation of reforms;
- increased participation of young leaders in local politics and local elections, with a better understanding of the role of local authorities and European standards for local self-government;
- increased participation of women and individuals with an ethnic minority background (leaders of local NGOs and local councillors) in local politics and in promoting democratic changes at the local level;
- implementation of local initiatives on citizen participation, accountability and transparency, and dissemination of the results;
- observation of local elections and dissemination of the report and recommendations adopted by the Congress.
Partners and Beneficiaries
- Local and regional elected representatives (Mayors and Councillors);
- Associations of local and regional authorities;
- Young local leaders;
- Civil society organisations and media;
- Representatives of the national government and the national parliament.
- Members of the Ukrainian Delegation to the Congress
Mayors leaders for change
The aim of the workshops “Mayors, leaders for change” is to provide the participants with the opportunity to exchange experience with Ukrainian and other European peers on local governments’ challenges and in particular on ways to define and lead successful policies, plan strategically, inspire and involve citizens and stakeholders in a positive and effective manner.
- To improve understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the position of mayors;
- To enhance mayors’ leadership and communication skills in the context of local political governance and decision-making process;
- To become more acquainted with democratic tools for engaging citizens into local decision-making processes;
- To improve awareness on ethics in politics and decision-making at local level and to exchange on practical recommendations on how mayors can fight corruption and unethical behaviour
LINKS to PUBLICATIONS ABOUT ACTIVITY
“Mayors leaders for change”, Kyiv 15-16 December 2015 https://go.coe.int/lQzWK
“Mayors leaders for change”, Vinnytsya 2-3 March 2016 https://go.coe.int/EB2YE
“Mayors leaders for change”, Kyiv 18-19 May 2016 https://go.coe.int/XZT3W
“Mayors leaders for change”, Lviv 5-6 October 2016 https://go.coe.int/Ri0Db
“Mayors leaders for change”, Kharkiv 1-2 February 2017 https://go.coe.int/olNBX
“Mayors leaders for change”, Odesa 15-16 February 2017 https://go.coe.int/kj75i
Local Councillors: everyday actors of local democracy
The aim of the workshops “City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy” is to increase the knowledge of local democracy standards, to ensure effective and legal governance within local councils in the public interest, and to support the definition and implementation of successful policies in local communities while inspiring and involving citizens and stakeholders in a positive and effective manner.
- to raise awareness on the principles of local democracy, including the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and its Additional Protocol on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority;
- to discuss the role and responsibilities of local councillors, their relation to the mayor, to the administration and to the citizens;
- to enhance local councillors capacities with a view to engaging citizens in local affairs; and
- to foster inclusive, transparent and ethical decision-making and to exchange on practical recommendations for local authorities
LINKS to PUBLICATIONS ABOUT ACTIVITY
Forum “Decentralisation road to self-governance in Kyiv region”, Kyiv 1 March 2016 https://go.coe.int/N3uiv
“City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Kyiv 15 April 2016 https://go.coe.int/i2zIS
“City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Poltava 7-8 September 2016 https://go.coe.int/ti9rv
“City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Zhytomyr 14-15 September 2016 - https://go.coe.int/ti9rv
"City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Kyiv 6-8 December 2016 https://go.coe.int/z8MCw
"City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Lviv 14-16 March 2017 https://go.coe.int/QG2fm
"City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Kharkiv, 16-18 May 2017 https://go.coe.int/kYfyE
"City councillor: an everyday actor of local democracy”, Odesa, 13-15 June 2017 https://go.coe.int/90XpJ
Young local leaders
The aim of the regional seminars for young local leaders on local and regional democracy is to spread a culture of democracy by raising the awareness of young community leaders on local and regional democracy principles and developing their capacity to engage in local elections in an active and qualified manner. It is intended to generate a spirit of co-operation among a selected group of young people, and - through an exchange of experience which involves members of the Congress and experts - to create an environment where participants feel free to discuss their personal experience and share their perception of the role of local authorities and of citizens.
- To raise awareness about European principles on local democracy, in particular the key provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and how these principles should be applied in Ukraine;
- To exchange experience with local elected representatives from other European countries and provide specific recommendations on how local leaders and civil society can unite their efforts for responding better to citizens’ needs;
- To enhance skills on citizens participation and communication in the context of local political governance and decision-making processes;
- To increase understanding on ethics issues at local level (what is ethical and what is not) and to provide practical recommendations on how participants can fight corruption and unethical behaviour.
LINKS to PUBLICATIONS ABOUT ACTIVITY
Seminar for young local leaders, Kyiv15-17 September 2015 https://go.coe.int/JCuZI
Seminar for young local leaders, Kyiv 9 – 11 February 2016 https://go.coe.int/0VyIe
Seminar for young local leaders, Vinnytsya 5 -7 April 2016 https://go.coe.int/BDNS5
Seminar for young local leaders, Chernihiv 5-7 July 2016 https://go.coe.int/lZqIc
Seminar for young local leaders, Lviv 22-24 November 2016 https://go.coe.int/bGbMJ
Seminar for young local leaders, Dnipro 4-6 April 2017 https://goo.gl/sGyDH3
Seminar for young local leaders, Odesa 25-27 April 2017 https://goo.gl/a4P1UG
Encouraging networking and dialogue
One of the goals of the project is to establish commonly agreed mechanisms and processes promoting effective coordination and cooperation between different levels of local self-governments, national associations and central authorities in implementing local self-government reforms. It also promotes exchanges of best practices between the representatives of the project’s target groups: young local leaders, mayors and councillors and their peers from other member countries of the Council of Europe.
Links to publications about activities
Congress President meets Ukrainian local leaders, 2016 https://go.coe.int/F91sI
Andreas Kiefer: “Productive co-operation with national associations of local and regional authorities is a Congress priority”, 9 June 2017 https://goo.gl/Kfo9jW
Gudrun Mosler-Törnström : « National associations are a driving force for good governance, decentralisation processes and democracy », 30 June 2017 https://goo.gl/pXv3P3
Ukrainian mayors and councillors discuss good governance in metropolitan areas, 3 July 2017 https://goo.gl/cR2VgT
Forum for Local Democracy in Ukraine: mayors, councillors and young local leaders commit to strengthen good local governance, 3-7 July 2017 https://goo.gl/n25Wtp
Gender equality at local level: challenges and opportunities in Ukraine 27 February 2018 https://go.coe.int/gzxAv
Observation of local elections
Further to the invitation by the Ukrainian authorities, the Congress deployed an enlarged delegation – including 28 members from the Congress itself, 11 from the Parliamentary Assembly and four from the EU Committee of the Regions – to observe the local elections held on 25 October 2015. From 1 to 3 October 2015 a pre-election visit was organised in Kyiv. On Election Day, 24 Congress’ teams, involving in total 56 observers from 25 European countries, monitored the procedures in some 240 polling stations, aimed at electing Heads, Mayors and Councils at different levels of territorial government. The entire Congress mission was closely co-ordinated with other international organisations, notably OSCE/ODIHR and the observers from the European Parliament
On the whole, the voting and counting processes on E-Day were competitive, well organised and transparent in most of the country and the campaign, in general, showed respect for the democratic process.
Nevertheless, there is a continued need for reform, in particular, due to different factors:
- the complexity of the legal framework for grassroots’ elections including the procedural provisions;
- the practice of arbitrary decision making along political lines by parts of the electoral administration;
- unclear provisions for the funding of political parties;
- the lack of independent media coverage coupled with the dominance of powerful economic groups;
- uncertainties related to the current process of decentralisation entailing constituencies of altered size and form as well as changed competences for the local tier of government.
Report on the results of the observation (in partnership with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) was adopted at the 30th Congress Session in March 2016
For more information please follow the links below:
Council of Europe Congress observes local elections in Ukraine
Report Observation of Local elections in Ukraine
Support to local initiatives
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, within the project “Promoting local democracy in Ukraine”, launched a call for proposals for participants involved in the activities for Mayors as leaders for change.
Five local initiatives on transparency and citizen participation were selected for funding, expert support and peer reviews. The selected local authorities will aim to make their governance more open, inclusive, responsive, transparent and accountable to citizens, whilst ensuring that gender perspective is taken into account.
- Baranivka, Zytomir Oblast, for an initiative to create a citizen council with a diversity of community groups represented.
- Chernivtsi, for an initiative on enhancing the civic control and monitoring of energy efficiency measures in public buildings.
- Kreminna, Lugansk Oblast, for an initiative to strengthen efficiency and transparency by attracting young people to the local policy making and public activities.
- Pervomaysk, Mykolaiv Oblast, for an initiative on accountability through transparent communication between citizens and the local council.
- Fastiv, Kyiv Oblast, for an initiative to create a “Democracy Hotspot” - a place for citizens’ consultations.
LINKS to PUBLICATIONS ABOUT ACTIVITY
Council of Europe to support transparency and citizen participation initiatives in five communities, 5 July 2017 https://goo.gl/fnkF61Political dialogue between Ukrainian mayors and Congress members, 20 October 2017 https://goo.gl/ccHPcz