Constitutional Changes From President V. Zelensky In The Context Of Decentralization

  • S.V. Volkovetska
Keywords: decentralization, local self-government, constitutional reform, territorial community, powers, prefect.


The article analyzes development of the Ukrainian legislation in relation to local municipalities in the context of the proposed bill by President V Zelenskyi “On Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine (on decentralization of state authorities)”. There has been active debates in Ukrainian society, in particular among legal professionals, on this matter, considering that such changes significantly alter the system of state authorities in Ukraine. This material is the author’s participation in this discussion and an opportunity to express own point of view.

At the same time, the above-mentioned bill and its main provisions are being compared with the similar bill proposed by ex-President P. Poroshenko.

In our view, certain provisions of the bill proposed by President Zelenskyi contain clear risks. This applies, in particular, to the powers of prefect, who, being an official fully dependent on the president and his political force and having the ability, under the bill, to terminate powers of local councils, may apply them at any time not in the public interest, but in the personal interests or interests of the party. The bill does not contain any provisions to counterbalance such possibilities. At the same time, the prefect’s powers can be an effective mechanism to put pressure on local councils and, thus, the very idea of local municipalities with all its benefits may be discredited.

It is also unclear what does the term «coordination work of the state power» means, being one of three prefect’s powers. There is no relevant law, so it is not clear what counterbalances would exist in such situations. Therefore, we would consider it reasonable to develop relevant provisions that would from a balance between the powers of a prefect as a state representative and a local council as a representative of the community.

In this connection relevant recommendations have been developed.