17 June 2024

Reorganised municipalities are already functioning, it is high time for rayon functions to be renewed, - Georg Milbradt

In his interview for Ukrinform, Special Envoy of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Ukrainian reform in the areas of governance and decentralization professor Georg Milbradt highlighted his vision of changes progress in the administrative and territorial arrangement of the country, as well as perspectives of decentralization prolongation.


Georg Milbradt international support international experience



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13.08.2021 - 16:05
The most difficult thing in public policy is to stop a bad idea. Once the bad idea gets out it is very hard to stop. Most policy people are afraid to go against the political personalities even when they know they are wrong on the facts and the solution. That appears to the case with much that is said here. First, the PIT being allocated to local governments of the residents who earn the income is not a good solution to this problem. PIT is not a good local government tax to begin with and does not meet the criteria of a good local government tax. It will only distort the true fiscal situation of local governments, cannot be applied in a fair and equitable manner and doesn't really relate to the benefits that the taxpayer receives from the local government where the income is earned. Trying to divide up the PIT between governments where the income is earned and the place of the person earning the income cannot be done on a fair and equitable basis. There are other and better solutions to this problem. Just because this is the approach in European local governments doesn't mean it is any more fair and equitable. Citizens of European local governments are highly taxed and poorly served by their local government units. It is strange that after all this time the idea of reconstituting the districts as some unit of local government is a bit like bolting the barn door after the horse has escaped. Sorry, this idea is too late in the game. Additionally, the emphasis has been on providing local governments in Ukraine with more autonomy and decision-making authority in the Concept of Decentralization. Now the concept seems to be saying well we need some authority to check the authority of the local governments. A bit late in the game. Unfortunately, Ukraine did not get as good international expert advice as it probably deserved and probably ignored most of that advice anyway. That is probably the best that can be said for the information provided here. If Ukraine had a Roadmap for decentralization rather than just a concept many of the legal, financial and other problems associated with the amalgamation could have been identified and possibly avoided. As I have said in recent article dealing with decentralization in Ukraine. Ukraine did no better and probably no worse than any of the other European countries that have undertaken decentralization in the past 20 years or more.
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