Services to members
The AUC is basically financed through membership fees its member communities depending on the number of inhabitants. Besides, another source for development and new services is formed with donor projects and grants implemented by the AUC and financed by international organizations.
Main AUC’s activities are aimed at the development of the Ukrainian communities and strengthening local government.
In 2009 the AUC lobbied the passage of the Law of Ukraine “On Associations of Local Governments”, which entitled associations having the All-Ukrainian status to participate in consultations with central authorities concerning issues that are in the competence of local governments. In September 2009 the AUC confirmed its status of the All-Ukrainian union of cities. So now it is represented in the process of negotiation with the Government, ministries and agencies.
Besides, the AUC members are represented at the Council of Regions under the President of Ukraine, the consultative and advisory council for local government under the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Council for Regional Development and Local Government under the Prime Minister of Ukraine, in 17 collegiums of ministries and agencies, more than 20 working groups, created by central authorities for planning and implementing sector reforms.
In the Parliament of Ukraine, the group of councilors was formed to support local government development, the Permanent AUC Representative in the Parliament and AUC Representatives in the Parliamentary factions were introduced.
The work on forming regional advisory councils, which unite representatives of local governments, oblast councils and administrations and would work on finding solutions for local problems at the oblast level, was started.
Since its establishment the AUC has been participating in drafting all laws and regulation related to local government, but by no means always its position has been taken into account.
Feeling the necessity to act pro-actively and have the drafted documents ready for submission to the Parliament through the AUC representatives in the parliamentary factions, in 2010 the AUC reformed its work on drafting local government legislation with approving the AUC Law-Drafting Procedure based on two main principles: meeting the needs expressed by local governments and adjusting drafts with local governments at various stages of their development. For this purpose, the AUC created a network of lawyers from the Ukrainian cities able to operatively work on the draft legislation, which is under development or sent for the AUC approval, in the e-regime.
Municipal statistics and analytics
For over 10 years already, as adjusted with the State Statistics Committee, the AUC has been keeping the municipal statistics with a breakdown into 150 indicators of social and economic development and budget support. The information is submitted on voluntary basis, and about 170 AUC members use this service.
Understanding the importance of analysis and prognosis for effective lobbying activities, in 2010 the AUC created an analytical group for making deep sector analysis and defining needs in drafting legislation.
Consultations and legal aid
Legal aid center created under the AUC provides legal consultations to local government officials via E-Consultations web-page on the AUC web-site and by phone. The Center’s staff members work with city lawyers on creating legal service at local governments, and also they publish two professional e-editions “News in Legislation” and “Legal Consultations”.
The training component gained an important place among services provided by AUC to its members. Within the framework of the USAID-funded project, the AUC developed and implemented (through Internet as well) 25 distance-learning courses. It introduced a form of short term advance training of local government officials at thematic workshops. Summer school for mayors became another tradition, and later not just a place for experience exchange and peer-to-peer learning, but for elaborating a joint position and policies on local government. In 2006-2009, over 30 000 local government servants passed training at the AUC and its regional offices.
Exchange of experiences
The AUC has being implementing Best Practices Program since 1999. Today, this database includes over 1000 solutions of local problems found by cities themselves. This is a quarterly edition, distributed among all the AUC member communities: and it is a good guide for local government officials.
For more than 10 years already, the AUC has being publishing a monthly AUC Newsletter, which is sent to all its member communities.
Twin cities search
The AUC keeps and annually updates the database of twin cities – Ukrainian with foreign ones– and cities willing to establish twinning relations. According to the database, 140 Ukrainian cities have 727 twin cities in 58 countries, and about 50 Ukrainian cities are interested in establishing partner relations with foreign cities.
While searching twining cities, the AUC closely cooperates with the Ukraine’s Embassies and national associations of local governments in other countries, and since 2008, it has been actively using the web-site www.twinning.org, i.e. instrument for twining search developed by the CEMR.