What You Need To Know
✔️For many in Ukraine, the topic of Decentralization is directly tied to the war in East Ukraine;
✔️Decentralization of governmental powers has been discussed since independence from Russian in 1991;
✔️Among regular Ukrainians "the decentralization process is considered to be high treason.”
✔️Recent polls show Ukrainians want more rights for the country's provinces.
Since its independence from Russia in 1991, there has been a clear tendency for centralized government, top down communication and top down decision making, says Oleksandr Vodyannikov. Now although the decentralization of governmental powers has been discussed for many years in Ukraine, but the war in Donbass and subsequent commitments made through the Minsk agreements have speed up the process.
Ukrainians fear that decentralization will give special status in parliament to the occupied territories and lead to de facto Russian influence in Ukrainian politics. Politicians are now trying to defuse the situation but there is a lot of misinformation causing confusion among the general public on this issue.
"With the amendments proposed, the local communities would be able to gather a share of their taxes and to use them for their own needs, which is basically a good thing" says Kostiantyn Fedorenko.
The International Republican Institute poll conducted in July 2015, found majority support in Ukraine for the idea of transferring more rights from central to local authorities. It also found that the majority supports the idea of the country remaining a "unitary" state.
Kostiantyn Fedorenko from the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation and Oleksandr Vodyannikov from the OSCE's Constitutional Commission spoke with Hromadske International Sunday Show co-hosts Ian Bateson and Nataliya Gumenyuk.