Effective and strong local government is a major component of democracy, an important factor of enjoying human rights and freedoms, a tool for solving both regional and national problems, President Viktor Yanukovych said in his welcoming address to participants in a meeting on the occasion of the Local Government Day on Tuesday in Kyiv.

Yanukovych said that local authorities is an important driving force in reforming the system of power relations at the regional and local communities level.

He said the government understands the magnitude of the tasks it faces. "We must really expand the rights of local councils, enhance institutional and financial capacities of local government to create an effective system of administrative-territorial structure," he said, UKRINFORM reported.

According to Yanukovych, the key to success in this endeavor is constructive cooperation and partnership relations between the executive authorities, local authorities and their associations. "Now more than ever we must act conjointly. Only through joint and coordinated work we will bring our country to European democratic values, provide a dynamic social and economic progress," he emphasized.

The president stressed that development and strengthening of local government is one of the priorities of public policy. "We are building a country of new opportunities and European social standards, which will provide a decent life for every person," he underscored.

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