Ukrainian Bill on Decentralization Criticized by Diplomats

Canada and Germany’s ambassadors to the Ukraine say that the president’s decentralization bill does not strengthen civil rights; on the contrary, it hinders democratic processes. 

“A constitutional amendment on decentralization must strengthen civil rights! The new draft does not meet this requirement. Quality and consensus are more important than speed,” said the German ambassador in a January 15 statement, reported the website zn.ua. Meanwhile the Canadian ambassador indicated that the document should conform to the European Charter on Local Self-Government. The ethnic Hungarian community in SubCarpathia – about 30 percent of the population – stands to be adversely affected by the proposed reduction of the region’s historic 13 districts into three.