Skip to main content

Decentralization in Ukraine and Bottom-Up European Integration

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Decentralization, Regional Diversity, and Conflict

Part of the book series: Federalism and Internal Conflicts ((FEINCO))

Abstract

Decentralization is one of the most profound reforms undertaken in Ukraine. It includes the voluntary merging of previously independent villages and towns into larger Amalgamated Territorial Communities (ATCs). The European Union strongly supports the reform but does not make Ukraine’s further European integration conditional upon it. In order to study whether decentralization can, nevertheless, contribute to the country’s European integration, this chapter adopts a sociological perspective. It asks whether decentralization has led to an increase in community twinning and participation of Ukrainian communities in transnational municipal networks. It is based on a survey conducted among the leaders of the 159 ATCs founded in 2015, and on publicly available data. The chapter finds that although the respondents generally value international cooperation and new transnational twinning partnerships that emerged after amalgamation, the overall number of such partnerships is relatively low.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. 1.

    While the EU has no common institutional model regarding the public administration of its member states, in 1995 it added an administrative criterion to the Copenhagen Criteria setting forth the conditions for accession. Furthermore, a regionalized system of administration is part of the EU’s Acquis Communautaire on regional and cohesion policy, which had and still has to be adopted and implemented by candidate countries. The EU, however, does not prescribe a particular model of regional governance (LePlant et al. <CitationRef CitationID="CR33" >2004</Citation Ref>).

  2. 2.

    In order to get a more comprehensive picture, the chapter will deal with informal twinning, too. In this case, cross-border cooperation between communities takes place in the absence of a formal agreement.

  3. 3.

    Number of local municipalities in 2012: Ukraine: 11,517; Poland 2012: 2,479; Slovakia: 2,930. Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Members map, https://www.ccre.org/pays/map/id:16, 8 November 2019.

  4. 4.

    Among the 38 ATCs that are members of the network, ten were founded in 2015, 13 in 2016, 14 in 2017, and one in 2018 (Covenant of Mayors <CitationRef CitationID="CR12" >2019</Citation Ref>).

  5. 5.

    I thank Nataliia Larina for her help with the translations.

  6. 6.

    I thank Christiane Grill for many helpful recommendations with regard to this project.

  7. 7.

    I thank Timur Koroliuk for his help with the pre-test.

  8. 8.

    However, it is not possible to ascertain that it was the heads of the ATCs who filled in the questionnaires. Given the rather hierarchical administrative culture in Ukraine, it can yet be assumed that the heads were at least informed about the survey.

  9. 9.

    https://www.unipark.com/.

  10. 10.

    It turned out, however, that calls were often not answered or only busy signals were reached.

  11. 11.

    Since the survey participants were assured of the anonymous presentation of results, only the oblasts in which the respective ATCs are located are mentioned here. To guarantee the anonymity of respondents in oblasts where only one ATC was founded in 2015, the results were aggregated.

  12. 12.

    U-LEAD with Europe: Ukraine Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Programme, https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headQuarters-homepage/27392/u-lead-europe-ukraine-local-empowerment-accountability-and-development-programme_en.

  13. 13.

    Please note that this is not identical with the EU’s technical assistance twinning program: https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/tenders/twinning_en.

  14. 14.

    Both the AUC and the CEMR already support communities in finding twinning partners, among others by collecting and publishing requests for partnerships under http://2.auc.org.ua/page/partnerstvo-mist-tvining and http://www.twinning.org/en/request/ContactDetails#.XdHc8NUxmUk.

  15. 15.

    Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are potentially participating countries.

References

  • Aasland, Aadne. 2018. Mot økt folkelig innflytelse? Desentralisering og lokaldemokrati i Ukraina (Towards Greater Popular Participation? Decentralization and Local Democracy in Ukraine). Nordisk Østforum. vo. 32: 174–194, (in Norwegian).

    Google Scholar 

  • AUC. 2019. Mista-Chleny AMU. [Cities-Members of the Association of Ukrainian Cities] Association of Ukrainian Cities. http://2.auc.org.ua/members.

  • Bartlett, Will, and Vesna Popovski. 2013. Local Governance and Social Cohesion in Ukraine. Barcelona: SEARCH Working Paper WP5/22.

    Google Scholar 

  • Betliy, Oleksandra. 2018. Fiscal Decentralization in Ukraine: Is It Run Smoothly? 4liberty.eu Review 9: 124–137.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bock, Hans Manfred. 1994. Europa von Unten. Zu den Ursprüngen und Anfängen der Deutsch-Französischen Gemeindepartnerschaften. In Gemeindepartnerschaften im Umbruch Europas, ed. Annette Jünemann, 13–35. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brkusanin, Maja, and Sophie Ellwood. 2011. New Twin Manual. Innovation and Practical Ideas for Town Twinning. Rome: CESIE—Centro Studi ed Iniziative Europeo.

    Google Scholar 

  • CEMR. 2010. Table Showing the Number of Twinnings in the Wider Europe in 2010. Council of European Municipalities and Regions. http://www.twinning.org/uploads/assets/news/Number%20of%20twinnings%20in%20Europe%20in%202010.pdf.

  • ———. 2019. Introducing CEMR. Council of European Municipalities and Regions. https://www.ccre.org/en/article/introducing_cemr.

  • Council of Europe. 1985. European Charter of Local Self-Government Strasbourg, 15.X.1985. European Treaty Series-No. 122. https://localgovernment.gov.mt/en/DLG/Legislation/Documents/Legislation/122.pdf.

  • Covenant of Mayors. 2019. Covenant Community. Signatories. https://www.covenantofmayors.eu/about/covenant-community/signatories.html.

  • Dudley, William. 2019. Ukraine’s Decentralization Reform. Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik: Working Paper, Research Division Eastern Europe and Eurasia, 1/2019.

    Google Scholar 

  • EU–Ukraine. 2014. Association Agreement between the European Union and Its Member States, of the One Part, and Ukraine, of the Other Part. Official Journal of the European Union L161 (29.5.2014): 3-2137.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2015. EU–Ukraine Association Agenda to Prepare and Facilitate the Implementation of the Association Agreement. As endorsed by the EU–Ukraine Association Council on 16 March 2015. http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/ukraine/docs/st06978_15_en.pdf.

  • European Commission. 1997. A Europe of Towns and Cities. A Practical Guide to Town Twinning. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2014. EU Supports Decentralisation and Regional Policy Reforms in Ukraine With €55 Millions. IP/14/2221. https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-2221_en.htm.

  • ———. 2019. EU–Ukraine Summit: EU Provides Additional Support to Decentralisation, Fight Against Corruption, Empowerment of Civil Society and Accountable and Efficient Governance in Ukraine. IP/19/3811. https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-3811_en.htm.

  • European Commission, and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. 2018. Association Implementation Report on Ukraine. Brussels, 7.11.2018: SWD(2018) 462 final.

    Google Scholar 

  • EU–Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee. 2019. Final Statement and Recommendations. Strasbourg: Ninth Meeting, March 13–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Favell, Adrian, and Virginie Guiraudon. 2009. The Sociology of the European Union: An Agenda. European Union Politics 10 (4): 550–576.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fiedler, Thomas. 2006. Regionale Vernetzung—Innovative Städtekooperationen. In Europafähigkeit der Kommunen. Die lokale Ebene in der Europäischen Union, ed. Ulrich von Alemann and Claudia Münch, 395–411. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Giest, Sarah, and Michael Howlett. 2013. Comparative Climate Change Governance: Lessons from European Transnational Municipal Network Management Efforts. Environmental Policy and Governance 23 (6): 341–353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Government of Ukraine. 2014. “Розпорядження від 1 квітня 2014 р. № 333-р, Київ, “Про схвалення Концепції реформування місцевого самоврядування татериторіальної організації влади в Україні”.” https://zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/333-2014-%D1%80#n8.

  • ———. 2019. “Decentralization reform.” accessed 20 September 2019. https://www.kmu.gov.ua/en/reformi/efektivne-vryaduvannya/reformadecentralizaciyi.

  • Hanushchak, Yuri, Oleksii Sydorchuk, and Andreas Umland. 2017. Ukraine’s Most Underreported Reform. New Eastern Europe, April 4. http://neweasterneurope.eu/2017/04/13/ukraine-s-most-underreported-reform-decentralisation-after-the-euromaidan-revolution/.

  • Interfax-Ukraine. 2016. Over Half of Ukrainians Never Make Trips Abroad. Kyivpost, December 16. https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/half-ukrainians-never-make-trips-abroad.html.

  • International Alert, and UCIPR. 2017. Decentralisation in Ukraine. Achievements, Expectations and Concerns. https://www.international-alert.org/sites/default/files/Ukraine_Decentralisation_EN_2017.pdf.

  • Joenniemi, Pertti, and Jarosław Jańczak. 2017. Theorizing Town Twinning—Towards a Global Perspective. Journal of Borderlands Studies 32 (4): 423–428. https://doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2016.1267583.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Keller, Eileen. 2018. Städtepartnerschaften—den Europäischen Bürgersinn Stärken. Eine Empirische Studie. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kern, Kristine, and Harriet Bulkeley. 2009. Cities, Europeanization and Multi-level Governance: Governing Climate Change Through Transnational Municipal Networks. Journal of Common Market Studies 47 (2): 309–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kirchhoff, Sabine, Sonja Kuhnt, Peter Lipp, and Siegfried Schlawin. 2010. Der Fragebogen. Datenbasis, Konstruktion und Auswertung. 5th ed. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Köhn, Klaudia. 2006. Von Reformen und Begriffsverwirrungen—Tschechiens Lokale und Regionale Ebene auf dem Weg in die Europäische Mitbestimmung. In Europafähigkeit der Kommunen. Die lokale Ebene in der Europäischen Union, ed. Ulrich von Alemann and Claudia Münch, 458–476. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Langenohl, Andreas. 2019. European Integration, Valuation, and Exchange: Toward a Value Theoretic Understanding of Transnational Sociality in the European Union. Przegląd Socjologiczny LXVIII (68) (1): 77–98.

    Google Scholar 

  • LePlant, James T., Michael Baun, Jiri Lach, and Dan Marek. 2004. Decentralization in the Czech Republic: The European Union, Political Parties, and the Creation of Regional Assemblies. Publius 34 (1): 35–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marciacq, Florent. 2019. Where to Now for Enlargement. Key Challenges to Western Balkans’ Accession into a Brexiting European Union Nice Centre International de Formation Européenne CIFE. Policy Paper No 82.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mayors for Economic Growth. 2017. Introduction to Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG). General Principles and Approaches. https://www.m4eg.eu/media/1787/m4eg-concept-eng.pdf.

  • ———. 2019. Pidpysanty. [Signatories]. https://www.m4eg.eu/uk/signatories/.

  • New Europe Center. 2018. New Europe: What Do Ukrainians Think?, July 10. http://neweurope.org.ua/en/analytics/nova-yevropa-yak-yiyi-bachat-ukrayintsi/ and http://neweurope.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NEC.xlsx.

  • OECD. 2018. Maintaining the Momentum of Decentralisation in Ukraine. Paris: OECD Publishing.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Porst, Rolf. 2014. Fragebogen. Ein Arbeitsbuch. 4th ed. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Rabinovych, Maryna, Anthony Levitas, and Andreas Umland. 2018. Revisiting Decentralization After Maidan: Achievements and Challenges of Ukraine’s Local Governance Reform. Washington, DC: Kennan Cable 34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Richter, Emanuel. 1994. Die Gemeinde als Basis Europäischer Integration—Subsidiarität und Bürgernähe. In Gemeindepartnerschaften im Umbruch Europas, ed. Annette Jünemann, 37–55. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Romanova, Valentyna, and Andreas Umland. 2019. Ukraine’s Decentralization Reforms Since 2014. Initial Achievements and Future Challenges, Ukraine Forum. London: Chatham House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Saito, Fumihiko. 2011. Decentralization. In The SAGE Handbook of Governance, ed. Mark Bevir, 484–500. Los Angeles: Sage.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Sasse, Gwendolyn. 2008. The European Neighbourhood Policy: Conditionality Revisited for the EU’s Eastern Neighbours. Europe-Asia Studies 60 (2): 295–316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Saurugger, Sabine, and Frédéric Mérand. 2010a. Does European Integration Theory Need Sociology? Comparative European Politics 8 (1): 1–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • ———, eds. 2010b. Mainstreaming Sociology in EU Studies. Comparative European Politics 8 (1).

    Google Scholar 

  • Sologoub, Ilona, Olena Shkarpova, and Yar Batoh. 2019. “Decentralization cannot be rolled back because the reform is too popular among people. Interview with Georg Milbradt.” VOX Ukraine 1 July 2019. https://voxukraine.org/en/decentralization-cannot-be-rolled-back-because-the-reform-is-too-popular-among-people/.

  • Swianiewicz, Paweł, Adam Gendźwiłł, and Alfonso Zardi. 2017. Territorial Reforms in Europe: Does Size Matter? Council of Europe: Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tausendpfund, Markus, and Lisa Schäfer. 2018. Town Twinning and Political Support. Local Government Studies 44 (4): 552–576. https://doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2018.1465934.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Umland, Andreas. 2019. International Implications of Ukraine’s Decentralization. VOXUkraine, January 30. https://voxukraine.org/en/international-implications-of-ukraine-s-decentralization/.

  • Woesler, Dietmar M. 2006. Städtepartnerschaften in Neuem Licht. In Europafähigkeit der Kommunen. Die lokale Ebene in der Europäischen Union, ed. Ulrich von Alemann and Claudia Münch, 412–433. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anne Pintsch .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Pintsch, A. (2020). Decentralization in Ukraine and Bottom-Up European Integration. In: Shelest, H., Rabinovych, M. (eds) Decentralization, Regional Diversity, and Conflict. Federalism and Internal Conflicts. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41765-9_12

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics