by Ivan

All-Ukrainian Association of Local Government Bodies “All-Ukrainian Association of Communities” (hereinafter: VAG, Association) was founded in October 2009 under the name “All-Ukrainian Association of Village and Settlement Councils”. The association was registered by the Ministry of Justice as an all-Ukrainian association of local self-government bodies on October 6, 2009 .

Membership base

For the period from 2009 to 2020 (that is, until the completion of the territorial reform), 8,326 (more than 80%) village and village councils made decisions on membership in the Association (the list of members of the Ukrainian SSR as of December 1, 2009 is available on the VRU website).

As of March 2023, the currently membership base of the VAG consisted of 866 LGUs, (1420 in total), including: 23 urban councils (5.6% of all), 334 settlement councils (74.2%), 509 village councils (83.4%), of which 378 are members under new decisions adopted in 2021-2023, and another 488 – under previously adopted decisions.

Goal. Priorities

The ultimate goal of VAG activities is the sustainable development of rural areas through the development of self-government in territorial communities.

Since its formation, the Association has been and remains an association of small, mostly rural communities with centers in villages, towns, and small towns. Accordingly, in its activities, the VAG focuses primarily on the development of rural areas. At the same time, the Association’s activities extend to all other important areas of community life. Usually, working in the interests of the entire system of self-government, VAG provides the opportunity to participate in its activities to all interested communities, including those formed around large and medium-sized cities.

In 2019, VAG adopted a short-term strategy for the period leading up to the local elections, which identified priorities for advocacy at the national level, and which was successfully implemented. The discussion of the project of the new VAG Strategy began at the meeting of regional branches in 2021, and was supposed to end this year with the adoption of the Strategy by the General Meeting of the VAG, however, due to the war, this process was interrupted, and the General Meeting was postponed.

Institutional development

The All-Ukrainian Association of Communities is currently at the stage of active institutional development, is expanding its representation in regions and newly formed districts, closely communicates with communities, and constructively interacts with state authorities at all levels.

Starting from 2019, the VAG is actively reforming in accordance with the new challenges of the decentralization reform and the needs of the Association’s members.

In 2019, the Association approved the Concept of its reformation and carried out its first stage: by the decision of the General Meeting of November 18, 2019, important changes were made to the Association’s Charter – membership in the association of city councils was allowed and, accordingly, the association was renamed the All-Ukrainian Association of Communities.

On July 19, 2021, the next General Meeting of authorized delegated representatives of VAG members was held, the decisions of which continued the course of reforming and institutional strengthening of the Association – mandatory rotation of management bodies was introduced and the possibility of participation of local council deputies was opened. The General Assembly was preceded by meetings of all 24 regional branches of the Association, at which authorized delegated representatives were elected, as well as candidates for the Board and for the positions of heads of regional branches.

Also, at this General Meeting, a new composition of the VAG Board and a new management of the Association were elected. VV was elected as the head of the VAG. Kuchma, Kyptiv village head. The VAG Board includes 39 heads of communities and deputies of local councils from all regions of Ukraine, including 24 heads of regional branches of the Association. Nine positions of members of the Board remained vacant.

As part of the Executive Directorate of VAG, which was headed by the new Executive Director I.L. Slobodianyk, three functional departments were formed: regional coordination, international and analytical. Regional VAG coordinators have started their activities in almost all regions of Ukraine. Ten sectoral VAG Committees were formed for all key areas of community life. The activities of the committees are moderated by VAG experts, and the managers and experts of local government organizations take part in them.

Formats and tools of activity

VAG constantly works with the local government of communities of all regions, carrying out both direct and indirect communications with them, involving them in the process of development and implementation of state policy.

Periodically, the Association organizes events on topics relevant to communities with the participation of people’s deputies, government officials, experts (under current conditions – mostly online).

The association uses a number of working formats and tools, such as the work of VAG committees (meetings and telegram chats of committees); work of regional VAG coordinators on the ground; joint remote work in the Worksection project management system; survey of local government; “Puls Hrodam” Telegram channel; Viber-bot “Pulse of communities”; YouTube channel “ProLAND”; Viber groups of regional branches of VAG; weekly digest of legal events; weekly video overview of the main news; video reports about communities (there is a production studio).