MLED Intergovernmental Forum
Thursday, June 16, 2011 (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)
Building cooperation and facilitating dialogue between national, regional and local levels of government as well as private businesses and the public are essential aspects of the MLED project. In fulfilling this objective, an international forum on "Intergovernmental Cooperation in the Area of Regional and Local Development" was hosted in Dnipropetrovsk on June 16, 2011, under the support of the MLED project. The forum participants included top officials of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, honorary guests from Canada (Glenn Hagel, the Mayor of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Barry Gunther, the CEO of Moose Jaw South Central Economic Region), MLED project representatives, government officials and mayors of municipalities of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
In his welcoming speech, the Chairman of the Oblast Council stated that this format of cooperation will open new opportunities for municipal development and thanked the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for the furnished intellectual technology for development of Dnipropetrovsk region. "Our Canadian colleagues have an extensive experience in implementing numerous technical projects aimed at improving various administrative services" said Evgen Udod.
Economic development, attraction of investments on social housing, reforming of housing, utilities and health sector were the key points of discussion during the forum, as these are the common problems for all Dnipropetrovsk oblast (region) municipalities. The region is not capable of solving those problems independently. Canada's local communities however also face the need of donor financing from provincial and federal budgets to implement their own social and economic projects. This was explained to the forum participants in the course of presentations about the respective territories by the Canadian guests - Glenn Hagel, the Mayor of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and Barry Gunther, CEO of the South Central Economic Region of Moose Jaw. In particular, they noted that the word "region" is the key in the development strategy of the Canadian municipalities, that local fiscal system is based on property tax, and most important social and economic projects are discussed and supported by the communities. "Communities operating in the regions are always stronger compared to when they work separately" Glenn Hagel accentuated.
The MLED project is now entering its active phase of implementation in Dnipropetrovsk. Its successful implementation will be enhanced by the fact that the region already has experience in various social and economic development programs, and is ready to adopt the international best practices, create a positive image of the country worldwide and actively participate in international cooperation efforts.
The forum participants used the opportunity to advocate to central and regional legislative and executive authorities, local governments, civil society institutes calling on them: (a) to focus on developing and implementing local and regional economic development strategies under a uniform methodology; (b) to develop innovative models of regional and local economic development, and (c) to consider mechanisms for their financing and implementation of selected local economic development tools in local pilot communities of Dnipropetrovsk region. In particular, there was also discussion on the creation of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Economic Development Agency, organization of an inter-municipal enterprise for solid waste collection and processing, sorting and recycling of solid waste in the Western Donbass region (cities of Pavlograd, Pershotravensk, Ternivka as well as Pavlograd and Petropavlovsk regions of Dnepropetrovsk region); delivering a set of measures aimed at supplying the Western Donbas with quality drinking water from their own artesian wells to reduce the population and local budget expenditures for centralized water and heating supply services and to increase investment attractiveness of the region), etc.
The MLED Project hopes that the established format of cooperation between the Ukrainian and Canadian officials opens new opportunities for the further development of Dnepropetrovsk region.
Link on our web-site: http://www.mled.org.ua/eng/information/latest-news/114-forum-in-dnipropetrovsk-june16-2011
Photos can be downloaded here: http://www.mled.org.ua/eng/information/gallery/category/3-forum-dnipropetrovsk