Canadian Embassy in Ukraine is concerned about bill No. 2598 amending the Constitution regarding decentralization of power and calls for public consultations.

“Canada shares the concerns of many mayors, heads of local governments, civil society and experts over the proposed DL No.2598 constitutional amendments that limit democratic processes. We encourage inclusive public consultations on proposed changes and alignment with ECLSG (the European Charter of Local Self-Government) principles,” the Embassy of Canada said on Twitter on Wednesday.

As reported, on Dec. 13, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky registered in parliament bill No. 2598 on amending the Constitution of Ukraine on decentralization of power.

The bill proposes introducing a new list of administrative and territorial units: a community, a district, a region, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Moreover, the community is defined as the primary subject of local self-governance and a legal entity.

At the constitutional level, the community’s right to the direct execution of local self-governance is secured through elections, local referenda, local initiatives and other forms determined by law. The creation of representative and executive bodies of local self-governance is envisaged: district and regional councils, their executive committees. It is stipulated that the change of their borders, the name and renaming is carried out taking into account the opinions of local residents.

The material and financial basis of local government is consolidated. In particular, it is determined that land, movable and immovable property, natural resources, other objects, in the communal property of the community; objects of joint ownership of communities controlled by district and regional councils; local taxes and fees, and other revenues of local budgets are claimed to be such a basis. At the same time, it is proposed to determine that the state ensures the proportionality of financial resources and the powers of local authorities.

It is proposed to introduce the institution of prefects for administrative supervision of the observance of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine by local authorities, coordination of the activities of the territorial bodies of central executive bodies and the implementation of supervision of their observance of the Constitution and laws.

On Dec. 18, the parliamentary committee on legal policy recommended that the Verkhovna Rada include in the agenda of the session and send to the Constitutional Court bill No. 2598 on amending the Constitution of Ukraine on decentralization of power with a view to compliance with Articles 157 and 158 of the Basic Law.

On December 28, Zelensky recalled the previous one and sent to the Rada a new improved bill amending the Constitution of the country regarding decentralization of power, which takes into account the recommendations of relevant parliamentary committees and lawyers.

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