Local self-governance in Ukraine prior to the Euromaidan: precursors of the decentralization reform in Ukraine

The following article examines request for decentralization during accession to independence in Ukraine, as well as it emphasizes lessons that Ukraine had learned during its previous – often abortive – attempts to strengthen local self-governance. Starting from 1991 Ukraine endured the conflict between request for decentralization and the state policy, oriented towards centralization of power.  Consequently, in 2013 the level of centralization of state power in Ukraine became the highest in Europe, yet the state capacity in public service delivery was extremely law, while the regional discrepancies were only increasing.  Attempts to implement decentralization have collapsed due to the lack of political will or experience, supported by positive results. Starting from 2014 internal request for decentralization, political will for changes and proper external support finally resulted in changing the trend from centralization towards decentralization of state power.

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Authors: Andreas Umland, Valentyna Romanova