MEPs urge Ukraine to backpedal on controversial urban planning reform
The European Parliament. Photo via EPA

The European parliament called on Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy not to sign the draft law on urban development activity that has been widely criticised by civil society and local authorities.

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In a resolution on supporting Ukraine’s reconstruction and Euroatlantic integration, MEPs warned "against using the future reconstruction efforts to amend legislation in such a way as to benefit certain vested interests at the expense of a level playing field and of transparency".

The EU parliament "calls on president Zelenskyy not to sign draft law 5655 on urban development activity", it further reads.

MEPs urge Ukraine to backpedal on controversial urban planning reform

Adopted last December, the law provides for amendments to almost three dozen legislative acts, including the Land, Civil, and Commercial Codes and laws in the field of construction.

Its stated goal is to address chronic problems in urban development – including construction without permits, construction on land of improper designation, etc. – reduce corruption risks, and build a transparent system of urban planning control and supervision.

However, the draft law, which is strongly supported by the central government, has faced significant opposition from civil society as well as local governments.

Prior to the vote, the mayors of Ukraine's largest cities – Kyiv, Lviv, and Dnipro – called on the Verkhovna Rada not to support the draft law, saying it effectively deprives local governments of the ability to control and supervise construction and is in the interests of developers.

In the same resolution, the European parliament supported Ukraine's invitation to join NATO immediately after the war.