Representatives from the EU Delegation to Ukraine, together with representatives from U-LEAD with Europe and the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI), visited Zhytomyr to discuss EU support to Ukraine in the areas of decentralisation and anti-corruption.
The visit started with a range of meetings with local authorities – Nataliya Ostapchenko, First Deputy Head of the Oblast State Administration, Volodymyr Fedorenko, Head of the Zhytomyr Oblast Council and Volodymyr Shyrma, Deputy Head of the Oblast Council. Decentralisation, Rule of Law and Fight against corruption were in the focus of the meetings.
Xavier Camus, Head of Operations Section "Good Governance and Rule of Law” of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, highlighted that decentralisation, Rule of Law and Fight against corruption have been one of the most dynamic reforms in Ukraine during the last years and are among key priorities of EU support to Ukraine.
“I was pleased to see on the ground in Zhytomyr Oblast the results of joint efforts of EU flagship programmes: U-LEAD with Europe and EU Anti-corruption initiative in the fight against corruption and promoting integrity for good local governance supporting institutions. I am proud of the numerous tangible results in the area of good local governance, transparency and service delivery achieved for far thanks to a strong partnership between the EU institutions, EU Member States and Ukrainian partners at the Zhytomyr Oblast, City and hromadas levels, as well as local civil society and the business community. With the growing role of local authorities, it is ever more important to combine and coordinate our activities both on decentralisation reform and on anti-corruption. I believe progress in both fields will have a positive cross-cutting effect also on other reform sectors. This is why we will continue supporting Zhytomyr and other Ukrainian regions in these major reform efforts,” noted Xavier Camus.
The region is a good example of the wider and tangible impact of decentralisation that covers various aspects of local life. The Delegation visited U-LEAD’s regional office in Zhytomyr and participated in round table discussions with heads of municipalities in Zhytomyr Oblast. This meeting was organised by U-LEAD with Europe to exchange views on how the potential of decentralisation can be used for promoting integrity and fight against corruption at the local level.
GIZ Programme Director of U-LEAD with Europe Bastian Veigel:
“The exchange with our partners in Zhytomyr Oblast yielded important insights regarding future needs to successfully implement decentralisation reform and to make local self-government sustainable. It also exemplifies the close cooperation between U-LEAD with Europe and the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative to promote responsive, transparent and integer local governance. Moving forward together, we remain a reliable partner to municipalities now and in the years to come.
The Delegation also met with Zhytomyr Deputy Mayor Svitlana Olshanska to discuss the efforts made by the city to fight corruption. Since 2018, Zhytomyr has been participating in the EUACI’s program “Integrity Cities” and is implementing tools to increase the transparency and accountability of the executive branch.
The EUACI Head of Unit Allan Pagh Kristensen:
“We are pleased to note that Zhytomyr is showing progress in enhancing integrity. Supported by the EUACI, Zhytomyr has launched an open data Geoportal, conducted an assessment of corruption risks and developed and approved a Municipal Integrity Plan to address corruption risks.”