UT continues introducing key speakers of the International Mayors Congress presenting exclusive interviews on the sidelines
This time, UT correspondent was joined by Graham Meadows, former Director General of the Directorate of regional and urban development of the European Commission, who shared his vision on recent urban trends and how local administrations must take responsibility of providing confidence to foreign investors.
Mr. Meadows says an effective regional policy is actually very complex. For example, local government needs to provide a supportive ground like a well-trained workforce as well as a comprehensive confidence-based environment for investors interested in doing business in a region or city.
"A key element is the quality of the administration. If I'm an investor looking for a place to come to Ukraine, I don't want to wait for months while somebody gets the correct certificates. The quality of the mayor's organization in his town or community is extremely important and he's got to make it as modern as he possibly can", Graham Meadows explains.
Mr. Meadows continued about the decentralization process in Ukraine. He implies that it's hard to give even an approximate estimation on its results as long as it takes years to be fully implemented.
"The first thing is on what time scale we're going to judge it by. It will take a generation to change the attitude of the government in Ukraine. You can make a law about forming "hromadas" (communities - UT) and pass all the laws. But it's more about changing how people think, their attitude as well", he says. "You shouldn't let the best be the enemy of the good. Many people in Ukraine look at the decentralization and say this is not the best we could do, there is something better we could do. But it's good. Just do it and you can make it better later".