On the Road to Lugano: Decentralization

On the Road to Lugano:

About the conference

The process of preparing for the V International Ukraine Reform Conference 2022 (URC 2022) officially started on October 29, the conference will be held next year in the Swiss city of Lugano.

The conference "On the Road to Lugano: Decentralization" was opened by Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and Vice-President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis.

URC – Denys Shmyhal

Denys Shmyhal

Prime Minister of Ukraine
Denys Shmyhal thanked his Swiss partners for their long-term and fruitful support. Regarding decentralization the head of Government noted the following:
According to our international partners and Ukrainian society, decentralization is one of the most successful reforms in Ukraine. Indeed, we have already created a new territorial basis for the activities of local self-government bodies. All communities in the country were given equal opportunities for development. The state has already transferred to them a significant part of its powers, resources and responsibilities. In particular, financial decentralization made it possible to increase the own revenue of local budgets of territorial communities by UAH 79 billion, to almost UAH 590 billion, within the budget for 2022. In addition, decentralization is also taking place in other sectors: communities have received land resources, creating Administrative Service Centers, developing infrastructure, and so on. But the reform is not complete, there are still many tasks ahead, and some of them require constitutional changes. These changes have already been worked out. Final consultations on the text of the draft law are continuing. We have a plan for further work. I am convinced that our joint efforts will continue to contribute to the successful implementation of the reform
URC – Ignazio Cassis

Ignazio Cassis

Vice President and Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Switzerland
Ignazio Cassis notes the following during his speech:
Reforms are hard work. However, they are very necessary to overcome the challenges of our time and for the wellbeing of people. It is important that everyone is involved in the reforms, because big changes are not made top-down. The quality of the reforms and how they will be adopted depend on consultations with all stakeholders. This process takes longer, but is ultimately more efficient and sustainable. The Government and Ukrainian society should effectively work together for reforms. It is a joint responsibility to achieve shared prosperity. All development partners and Switzerland in particular will continue to support Ukraine's efforts to achieve its ambitious goals
Hard talk on decentralization

The "hard talk" program on decentralization was continued by Vyacheslav Nehoda, a Deputy Minister of Communities and Territories Development and Vitaly Bezgin, a People's Deputy, Head of the Subcommittee on Administrative-Territorial Structure and Local Self-Government of the Committee on the Organization of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning of the Verkhovna Rada.

URC – Hard talk on decentralization

Also during the day, representatives of all branches of government, the academic community, businesses and civil society from different regions of Ukraine discussed
topical issues of the reform:

Search for resources for communities and their effective use
Creating the best conditions for cooperation between community and businesses
Combining the efforts of local self-government bodies and civil society for the development of communities

In addition to problematic issues, the conference participants shared successfully implemented practices and "life hacks" that have already made it possible to accelerate the development of territories and attract additional resources.

The event was held in an online format with a broadcast in Ukrainian and English. During the event, viewers from all regions of Ukraine and abroad had the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from conference speakers.

The conference is being prepared and held in Lugano under the motto "Reforms for All – All for Reforms!". Features of the preparatory process are ensuring a comprehensive dialogue with the participation of various professional communities, maintaining a balanced representation of women and men, different age groups, state government and local self-government bodies, and all regions of Ukraine.

Particular attention is paid to the ideas of constructive support for reforms, results-oriented and shared responsibility of all reform participants to achieve common prosperity.


Program and speakers

10:00 – 10:05
Introduction by the moderator
Larysa Hubina, TV host
10:05 – 10:25
Welcoming speeches by the Prime Minister of Ukraine and the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland
Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine
Ignazio Cassis, Vice President 
and Minister of Foreign Affairs 
of Switzerland
10:25 – 11:00
Hard Talk on Decentralization
Viachelav Nehoda, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine
Vitaliy Bezgin, Member of Parliament of Ukraine
11:00 – 12:15
Panel Discussion: Resources for Hromadas: Where to Find Them and How to Use Them Effectively
Ella Libanova, Director of the Ptoukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Anatoliy Tkachuk, Science and Development Director of the Civil Society Institute
Volodymyr Zrazhevskyi, Head of Mezhova Territorial Hromada, Dnipropetrovsk oblast
Olena Kolesnikova, Deputy Director, Federation of Metallurgists of Ukraine
Dmytro Tuzhanskyi, Director of the Institute for Central European Strategy
“Resources for Hromadas: Where to Find Them and How to Use Them Effectively”
It is exactly one year since Ukrainian hromadas have been fully amalgamated. Most newly merged hromadas still face an acute need for resources to address pressing issues of their development. While the demand for financial resources is always strongly articulated vis-a- vis the central government, it is essential also to look into hromadas’ own potential. The panel will address among others the topics of a just distribution of the PIT as a key financial source for hromadas, investment into human capital, as well as responsible and efficient land management.
12:15 – 12:30
12:30 – 13:45
Panel Discussion: Hromadas
and Business – the Power of Cooperation
Bohdan Kelichavyi, Head of Kopychyntsi Territorial Hromada, Ternopil oblast
Natalia Semeniuk, Head of Semenivka Territorial Hromada, Zhytomyr oblast
Svitlana Mozgova, Head of department for human resources, corporate
social responsibility and communications, Astarta-Kyiv
Viacheslav Pokotylo, professor of management and economics, International
Management Institute, member of the Supervisory Board of “Malyn paper factory – Weidmann”
Volodymyr Opryshko, founder of Serhiivka bakery and cheese production, Poltava oblast
“Hromadas and Business - the Power of Cooperation”
At the local level, hromadas and private sector have the greatest financial and organizational resources. At the same time, effective dialogue between them is lacking. The synergy of hromada-business cooperation can provide powerful additional opportunities in overcoming the development challenges that hromadas are facing. This panel will offer a platform for a candid discussion between local self-governments and business community. It will offer a multi-stakeholder assessment of the current situation in interaction between businesses and hromadas. It will present good practices of public-private partnership and will identify opportunities for expanding and amplifying the mechanisms for cooperation between private sector and hromadas.
13:45 – 15:00
Panel Discussion: Civic Initiatives as
a Driver of Hromada Development
Larysa Bilozir, Member of Parliament of Ukraine
Denys Korotenko, Head of Shyroke Territorial Hromada, Zaporizhzhia oblast
Valentyna Yakubiv, Vice-Rector of Science, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Volodymyr Onyshchuk, Director of Koriukivka youth centre “KUB”, Chernihiv region
Lesia Holoyad, Head of Youth Media Centre, Head of Youth Council of Zboriv Territorial Hromada, Ternopil oblast
Anna Dembitska, Student of Ivan Franko Lviv National University
“Civic Initiatives as a Driver of Hromadas’ Development”
Engaging citizens in local development processes ensures hromadas cohesion and provides public support for development initiatives of local authorities. There is already a number of good practices in productive cooperation between local self-governments and civic initiatives or civil society organizations. These practices have not yet become as widespread as they should be. The panel will look into the key principles of good cooperation, will provide recommendations on the ways how to motivate civic engagement, and how to make local development and reform implementation at hromada level a genuinely collaborative and inclusive process.
15:00 – 15:15
Conclusions and closing remarks
Anatolii Kutsevol, Deputy State Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
Simon Pidoux, Ambassador for Ukraine Reform Conference 2022
URC 2021 – Ukraine Reform Conference, Vilnus, July 7-8 2021
URC 2021 – Ukraine Reform Conference, Vilnus, July 7-8 2021
URC 2021 – Ukraine Reform Conference, Vilnus, July 7-8 2021
URC 2021 – Ukraine Reform Conference, Vilnus, July 7-8 2021
URC 2021 – Ukraine Reform Conference, Vilnus, July 7-8 2021
Video of the conference

You can view the event here:

Additional information

More information about
the event can be found here: