During 2015, Ukraine implemented a municipal amalgamation process that compares in speed to the reform implemented in Denmark during 2004-06.
In March 2015, a Law on Voluntary Amalgamation was approved with a supplementary regulation, in May/June 2015 amalgamation experts were placed in all regions, funded by the US, and by 25 October 2015, 159 amalgamated municipalities had municipal elections!!! The 159 new amalgamated municipalities comprise approximately 850 municipalities, i.e. a total of 8% of all municipalities in Ukraine. The impressive reform marks an important first step that should be expanded in future.
The amalgamation process is supported by the EU and other donors. Mr. Holger Pyndt of KL was in January 2016 hired by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) to work on the amalgamation process.
To speed up the further process a National Reform Secretariat will become operational around May 2016 and Reform Offices will be opened in all regions.
To provide a basis for the further work on amalgamations in Ukraine, Mr. Pyndt and a local consultant are analyzing experiences from the amalgamated municipalities with a view to collect information and experiences and elaborate recommendations for the next steps of the amalgamation reform. Amalgamations were most successful in the Western part of Ukraine, especially in Ternopil and Khmelnicky regions.
It is expected that Mr. Pyndt will become one of the advisers to the upcoming National Reform Secretariat.