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Institutional aspects of involving rural communities to the inclusive development of territorial communities


The post-war reconstruction of Ukraine should include not only the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed and damaged during hostilities, material objects of the industrial and social spheres, and all other aspects of the return of the population to a full life in peaceful conditions but also the improvement of social relations, particularly, relations between authorities and self-government and the population. In this context, the continuation of the decentralisation reform should lead to the completion of the formation of conditions under which residents of all settlements, which are part of territorial communities, could influence the resolution of issues of their life activities. The article aims to highlight the institutional limitations for the inclusive development of rural communities related to the representation and implementation of their interests in territorial communities and to justify proposals for overcoming them. Research methods were used: logical-historical (when highlighting the controversy of the process of establishing the institute of starosty (local leader), dialectical and abstract-logical (when analysing the institutional limitations for realising the interests of rural communities as part of territorial communities and substantiating the direction of their overcoming), monographic (when analysing the composition starosty districts). The author reveals the manifestations of the centralisation of local self-government functions at the level of territorial communities, which resulted in narrowing the rights of residents of rural settlements, especially small and remote ones, to representation and participation in solving their problems. The paper establishes the presence of starosty districts with many villages and, accordingly, limited conditions for developing rural communities. The manuscript describes the Polish experience of organising inclusive local self-government at the lower level of the administrative-territorial system and substantiates the expediency of its fuller use in Ukraine: the central place here should belong to the endowment of starosty districts, disaggregated to the level of settlement (in particular, rural) communities, with certain powers to solve their livelihoods problems and the right to use local resources. The study results can be used to improve local self-government reform in the post-war period.

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