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The new Law On Principles of State Regional Policy 2015 includes sustainable development based on cultural heritage and regional historical, ethnic and cultural uniqueness.


Cultural infrastructures on the local level are threatened by 2015 Budget plans, as they will have to compete with other vital services for scarce resources.

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Ukraine/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

The basic laws establishing the division of cultural competence between different levels of government in Ukraine are the Law on Local Self-Governance (1997, amended 1998-2010, 2016), and the Budget Code of Ukraine (2002, with amendments 2003-2013, 2017), Law on Amendments to the Budget Code of Ukraine related to Reform of Inter-governmental relations (2015), Law on Collaboration of Territorial Communities (2014), Law on Voluntary Unification of Territorial Communities (2015), and the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “Methodology for formation of capable territorial communities” (2015). 

Article 140 of the Constitution defines local self-governments as territorial communities of cities / towns, villages and settlements. According to Article 143, territorial communities are empowered to approve programmes of socioeconomic and cultural development and supervise their implementation.

On 28 February 2015, the President of Ukraine signed the Law on Principles of State Regional Policy adopted by Verkhovna Rada on 5 February 2015. Article 3 of this Law defines the main principles for regional development, including sustainable development based on cultural heritage and regional historical, ethnic and cultural uniqueness.

One of the main problems related to the cultural development of the united territorial communities is the lack of earmarked state subventions for culture in comparison with existing subventions for education, medicine, social and transport issues, so called infrastructural subventions. It is especially important taking into account the statement from the Ukraine Cultural Policy Peer Review prepared by the Council of Europe in 2017:

“The decentralisation process is the opportunity to review existing structures, management methods, to enhance cultural services with a view to increase access to knowledge; digital technology; preserve the memory of places and traditions (including craftsmanship) but also to celebrate contemporary artistic and creative expressions. Culture is a driver of self-esteem and pride, thus contributing to much needed social cohesion. Equally important, the provision of cultural services should aim to contribute to cultural and creative entrepreneurship to enable local economic development and to offer perspectives to young talent throughout the country. It is also the opportunity to ensure that Ukraine offers its population easy access to culture and knowledge, via a network of public facilities as well as private initiatives serving the availability of books (bookshops), music, theatres or cinematography. In the view of the peer group, the reform should aim at the following objectives: - Clarification of cultural policy priorities (“vision”) with a view to guiding the decentralisation process, as well as to enable the cultural ministry to exercise coordinating, monitoring and controlling functions at local and national level. - Adoption of a reform package aimed at: Empowering local cultural centres to be actors of change and capable of providing cultural services required; attracting private investment and initiatives (in both production and distribution) as well as encouraging public/private partnership. - Better communication on the importance of culture investment, as an agent of economic and social transformation”.

Chapter published: 09-02-2018

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