“Ukraine is radically changing its public administration system, making it people centred,” said Dr. Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine, as part of the Ukraine Reform Conference’s panel discussion.
“We have made the “Copernican Revolution”. Once the hub of the universe was the government. Now the center is the sun, that is, the Ukrainian people, and the system moves around the people,” she noted.
Mrs Suprun also added that the ministry’s operational concept had changed.
“We have set up five directorates responsible for the policy making. In the past the policy was formulated in Kyiv and downscaled to the regions. Now we first listen to feedback from people and then incorporate it into national policy”, said Dr. Ulana Suprun.
In her opinion, two things are needed to attract high professionals to civil service. First, they must be offered an opportunity to constantly improve their professionalism. Secondly, it is necessary to put in place an inclusive culture enabling civil servants to develop according to their professional profile and mindful of their effective work.
In addition, the acting minister emphasized that reforms must also involve representatives of business and civil society.
However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed that there is still much work to be done.
“We must change the philosophy of public institutions and civil servants. “The government must provide good quality services to the people and should not intervene unless necessary,” the President said.
Speaking at the “Vision – Ukraine as a High-Income Country” panel discussion, Stepan Kubiv, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, stressed that although Ukraine has been experiencing strong economic growth, its pace is too slow to sustain large scale change.
“We can add dynamics to economic development by market opening and liberalization, promoting the entry of private equity into energy sector, agro industry, infrastructure, and financial sector, and creating an enabling environment for private businesses through deregulation, property rights protection, rule of law, fair judiciary, and effective anti-corruption system,” said Stepan Kubiv.
He added that Ukraine must be more ambitious both in domestic politics and in the international arena.
“We can compare Ukraine’s successes to that of other countries but we are all unique. That is why Ukraine is quite capable of making its unique success same as Canada once did,” summed up Stepan Kubiv.
Oksana Markarova, Minister of Finance of Ukraine, had an opportunity to express her opinion and vision of the reform process at the “Ukraine – Sovereign, Secure and Prosperous” panel discussion.
“Real achievements are impossible without a will to change. Since 2014 we have not merely been on the path of reforms, but systematically transforming Ukraine. Our economy has been growing for 14 quarters in a row while a well-reasoned fiscal policy allowed bringing the debt-to-GDP ratio to 52.3%,” said the minister.
Oksana Markarova underpinned that amid the existing situation successful Europe means successful Ukraine and the victory of democracy, European valuesand ideals.
Hennadiy Zubko, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development, informed that the EBRD will further cooperate with Ukraine. He also reported on the achievements to date in the implementation of the decentralization reform, Ukraine’s most successful one.
“The reform has above all changed the governance model. We have set up 913 amalgamated communities and clearly outlined their mandate, financial powers and responsibilities. Amalgamated territorial communities are now a home to nearly 70 percent of the population and cover 45 percent of Ukraine’s territory. There are 40 successful amalgamated community leaders present today in Toronto, who will soon take their seats in Parliament,” said Hennadiy Zubko.
He also noted that decentralization is indeed a change and a new strategy for the amalgamation of regional communities.
Georg Millbrandt, German Government Commissioner, emphasized that successful decentralization strengthens the country and said that “decentralization is a virus that undermines Russia, Ukraine’s eastern neighbour”.
Speakers noted that the Ukraine Reform Conference allowed the international community to demonstrate its support to Ukraine’s reform process.
In particular, representatives of delegations from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Luxembourg and many other countries reassured Ukraine of their commitment to continue supporting its reform agenda.
The third Ukraine Reform Conference held in Toronto from July 2 to 4, 2019 is expected to bring together more than 800 of Ukraine’s friends and partners, representing 37 countries and nine international organizations.