EU supports rural development in the context of decentralization

On 19th April 2016 the International conference on “Rural Development in the Context of Decentralization – Status, Opportunities and Threats” took place in Kyiv. It was organised by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine with the support of the EU and Government of Switzerland. Ukraine has kicked off significant decentralisation reforms which has led to increased funding and development opportunities at the level of local self-governments.

During the conference Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Gennady Zubko stated: “Complete change of management system will allow Ukraine to embark confidently on a path of rapid economic growth. Delegating authority and money to regions, the State actually provides people with a powerful tool for development,” adding that “The more territories are under the authority of local communities, the more financial support they will get from the state. Recovery of the Ukrainian economy is to start from these 169 hromadas, which have already assumed responsibility and are moving forward.”

“Finding the right balance between enhancing productivity and exports on the large scale farms and distribution of benefits to the small scale farmers for the sake of the sustainable territorial development is a crucial task for the current policy makers,” said Berend de Groot, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, during his speech. He added that “Transforming Ukraine into the agricultural superpower, as it wants to be and it should be, requires effective governance by all actors working towards the shared objectives.”

Representatives of both central and local government, the European Union, business, and international organisations took part in the conference. They discussed new opportunities of reforms at the intersection between regional policy, decentralisation and the development of agriculture. Two panel discussions of the conference were devoted to the future of rural areas in Ukraine, including human capital in rural areas, ways to preserve and develop it. During the conference, participants also discussed recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The broadcast of the conference is available at the following link:

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