KYIV. April 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s government and the European Commission have signed an agreement on the provision of EUR 97 million for the U-LEAD with Europe: Ukraine Local Empowerment, Accountability and Development Program.
Deputy Prime Minister – Regional Development Minister of Ukraine Hennadiy Zubko and Head of the EU-Ukraine Support Group Peter Wagner signed this agreement, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.
“This is an investment into knowledge and the ability of communities to change, to grow, to establish the new quality of life. As the result of the implementation of this program over the next four years we want to see that we have brought up a new elite of strong and educated people who are willing to take responsibility and be real leaders,” Zubko said.
According to him, EUR 97 million provided by the EU will be spent on training of regional officials in strategic planning, budgeting, monitoring, e-governance, efficient financial management, etc.
The program is designed for four years and is aimed at supporting the local government reform, the decentralization in Ukraine and the regional development.
The U-LEAD program consists of two components: enhanced capacity to implement decentralization and regional policy reforms (education of local authorities of all levels, consultations on different matters, etc) and creating administrative service centres (it envisages the establishment of 600 such centers and training their staff).
The program is implemented in Ukraine by the EU and its member-states Germany, Sweden and Poland through the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Swedish International Development Agency. The funds have been allocated by the EU – EUR 60 million, Germany – EUR 6 million, Sweden – EUR 30 million, and Poland – EUR 1 million.