CrimeaSOS: decentralization is an important and inevitable stage of Crimea’s reintegration

6 / 09 / 2023

According to CrimeaSOS lawyer Anastasiia Kalinina, changing the administrative and territorial structure of Crimea is another mandatory step on the way to the reintegration of the peninsula after de-occupation.

“The process of decentralization is an important and inevitable stage of the reintegration of Crimea as an administrative-territorial unit within Ukraine after de-occupation. It is important to start creating bodies that will serve and provide administrative services in the de-occupied Crimea in order to prevent chaos on the peninsula”, — says Anastasiia Kalinina.

On September 4, 2023, the President of Ukraine signed the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding the Resolution of Certain Issues of the Administrative and Territorial Organization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea”. It was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on August 23, the day of the third summit of the Crimea Platform.

The law enters into force on September 7, 2023. It puts into effect decisions on decommunization and a new regional division of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. These decisions were previously adopted by the Parliament in 2016 and 2020.

Decentralization reform has been ongoing in Ukraine since 2014. From January 1, 2021, Ukraine switched to a new system of dividing districts and communities. This process applied to all of Ukraine, except for the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, since the norm was postponed until the moment of de-occupation.

Back in 2020, a new division of Crimea into 10 districts (areas) was developed (previously there were 14). Now, the Government can start the process of creating temporary territorial communities, and in the future – military administrations, which will greatly facilitate the restoration of public power in the territory of Crimea after de-occupation.

The process of decommunization has been ongoing in Ukraine since 2015. Since then, tens of thousands of toponyms, including districts and settlements, have been renamed on the territory of the state. Like decentralization, decommunization bypassed Crimea due to the russian occupation. However, these processes are now a consistent continuation of development and changes in Ukraine.

The de-occupation of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and their subsequent reintegration is approaching every day, so the Parliament should already be developing complex and balanced decisions. This was told by CrimeaSOS advocacy manager Anna Rassamakhina.


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