Cross-border cooperation plays a major role in the regional development of Lviv Region. However, its potential has not been fully implemented. One of the key reasons could be the fact that the policy on Lviv regional development, as well as Ukraine’s policy on the whole, have failed to consider cross-border cooperation as an important component, and have ignored its role as one of the most efficient tools for regional development.
In a context of decentralisation and restructuring of all areas of public life in Ukraine, including the state regional development policy, there is a need to develop new approaches to forming and implementing a policy on Lviv regional cross-border cooperation.
For this policy brief, we have used relevant analytical research studies on regional development, cross-border cooperation, decentralisation, and 2015-2016normative documents, which have enabled us to pinpoint key changes in the approaches to forming and implementing the state regional development policy in Ukraine, and analyse the main factors influencing Lviv regional cross-border cooperation. A new model is proposed accordingly, the essence of which lies in the idea that a cross-border cooperation policy must be an integral part of regional development policy. Its key features are as follows:
- cross-border cooperation, as a strategic goal Open Borders of the Lviv Regional Development Strategy 2020 (hereinafter referred to as the “Strategy”), is a linear process passing through other strategic objectives;
- cross-border cooperation is implemented through specific projects stipulated in the Strategy Implementation Plan;
- the Department of Economic Policy of the Lviv Regional State Administration is responsible for regional development policy, which includes international technical assistance and cross-border cooperation facilitation, coordinates with other key regional development players during the initial phase, and later delegates part of its plenary powers to the newly-created Regional Development Agency.
We propose targeted recommendations for implementing the selected model in 2016-2017, including as follows:
- In accordance with the five strategic objectives of the Lviv Regional Development Strategy 2020, five working groups shall be created to draft a Strategy Implementation Plan 2016-2018 to be approved by the Lviv Regional Council as soon as possible.
- The Department of Economic Policy of the Lviv Regional State Administration shall approve the draft of the Strategy Implementation Plan with regional activities/projects, projects related to Cross-border Cooperation Strategy 2014-2020 in Lublin Province, Lviv Region, Volyn Region and Brest Region, and plans for the social and economic development of associated territorial communities.
- The Department of International Technical Assistance and Cooperation of the Lviv Regional State Administration shall review the coordination mechanism for the Procedure for Co-Financing International Technical Assistance Projects from the Regional Budget and regional programmes related to the Strategy Implementation Plan 2016-2018.
- Members of the Lviv Regional State Administration shall examine the redistribution of functional responsibilities between the Department of Economic Policy and the Department of International Technical Assistance and Cooperation with regard to responsibility for cross-border cooperation and delegation of some plenary powers to the newly-created Regional Development Agency.
- The Lviv Regional Council and the Lviv Regional State Administration shall jointly promote the immediate creation of the Regional Development Agency with the participation of the Reforms Office and leading non-governmental institutions working in the field of regional development.
- The Lviv Regional Council, and international programme experts and think tanks, shall monitor and evaluate regional development programmes in terms of coordinating their activities/projects with priority international technical assistance programmes and priority programmes from the State Regional Development Fund, and prepare relevant amendments to the programmes for 2017, based on the aforementioned.