Contributing to the Council of Europe Joint Mission to Kyiv (Ukraine), carried out on 24 and 25 February 2020, Congress’ constitutional advisor prof. Francesco Palermo, member of the Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government (GIE), participated in an exchange of views organised in the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council of Ukraine) with members of the Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development. The discussions focused on the current constitutional reform and consequences for local self-government in Ukraine.
Via Skype call, Mr. Palermo addressed several issues that are, from the Congress’ perspective, fundamental to bring the constitutional amendment under discussion in Ukraine in line with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. He stressed that the regional consultations currently under way in the whole country constitute “a new and commendable mechanism for an inclusive process regarding changes at the constitutional level, and existing as well as planned legislation.” He pointed nevertheless to the absence of the proportionality principle concerning administrative supervision in the current draft of the constitutional amendment while emphasising the importance of this principle for a meaningful local self-government. “I strongly advocate for some more trust building in local self-governance which is a basic condition and will be beneficial to the further democratic development of Ukraine”, Mr. Palermo said.
The Congress’ expert also proposed that Ukraine could find inspiration in the EU classification system of regions, the so-called “NUTS” (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics), which could be relevant for Ukraine’s path towards further co-operation with the European Union. Referring to the current discussions about changes to the law regarding the capital city Kyiv, Mr. Palermo underlined that also such an amendment should follow the basic principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, notably regarding the proportionality principle and consultation, and thus be brought into a common frame.