Decentralisation reform in Ukraine
With the elections of the mayors and local councils at the levels of hromadas (municipalities), rayons (districts) and oblasts (regions) on 25 October 2020, Ukraine is completing a comprehensive territorial reform at the local level and is creating new large rayons instead of the old smaller rayons and cities of oblast significance (comparable to independent cities in Germany). However, the boundaries of the 24 oblasts, as well as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the cities with special status, Kyiv and Sevastopol, will remain unchanged. The aim of the reform is to create sufficiently large municipalities which are able to carry out their own and delegated tasks independently. The reform is a necessary, but not yet sufficient, condition for the establishment of genuine self-government based on the European model. Pending constitutional amendments and other laws have yet to define the principle and scope of local self-government, but also guarantee and protect it against interference and regulate the relationship between the various levels.