The incoming made it possible for six Ukrainian experts on decentralization, municipal management and urban planning as well as public servants to get firsthand information of how the German local government and city management are functioning and how community participation and service delivery can be effectively implemented. Since adoption of the Concept for the Reform of Local Self-Government and Territorial Set-Up of Power (the so-called Decentralization Reform) in 2014, voluntary amalgamation of small communities, the redistribution of authorities and budget decentralization have been taking place. Thus, a lot of effords are to be undertaken to acknowledge a variety of stakeholders of all the levels of decision-making on the opening opportunities for municipal development and ensuring better quality of services for the population.
The delegation had the chance to meet the Deputy Mayor of Leipzig and the Mayor of Borna, local deputies, as well as members of the city council and civil servants. Topics such as the structure and functioning of administration, activities of city councils, obligations of deputies, budgeting, citizens’ participation, urban planning etc. were discussed. Furthermore, Ukrainian experts had the chance to visit sites such as the Stadtwerke Leipzig GmbH, a communal company securing the supply of water and energy, and the “Alte Messe”, a former fairground area which is being transformed into new living, working and recreation space. The program also included the visit of the Borna town. The Ukrainian delegation was impressed by what this town located in a mining succession landscape, has achieved in order to create good life conditions for its citizens and provide a good infrastructure in terms of water and energy as well as in terms of education.
This information visit not only introduced best practices of municipal management and local self-governance but also contributed to strengthening German-Ukrainian cooperation by means of networking. The delegation members as multipliers will be able to use the information contributing to the ongoing decentralization process in Ukraine, as well as distribute best practices in the framework of the planned FES-Ukraine events. Good ties have been established between the participants and first brainstorming about joint initiatives has already taken place.