The bill “On the Principles of Administrative and Territorial Structure of Ukraine” is one of the 17 priority bills that are expected to contribute to the decentralization reform in Ukraine. It should be noted that this document is the only one that has not been yet submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for consideration. It should regulate issues related to the process of formation, liquidation, establishment, and alteration of administrative-territorial units, names of settlements as well as their classification into corresponding categories.
According to Hennadii Zubko, the Vice-prime Minister and the Minister of regional development, construction, and housing and communal services of Ukraine, the new bill envisages the establishment of the three-tier system of administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine. The regional level will include the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and oblasts. The sub-regional level will comprise of regions. The basic level refers to communities comprising of one or more settlements. It is also planned to introduce the state registration of administrative and territorial units.
The new bill is expected to help overcome the duplication of powers of regional councils and district state administrations (DSA) with the local government bodies of amalgamated territorial communities (ATC). It will enable to get rid of excessive expenditures on the maintenance of the DSA apparatus and improve the quality of service provision by increasing the financing of the local budgets.
It is worth mentioning that the current law in Ukraine on the administrative and territorial structure was adopted back in 1981 in USSR.