The political systems in Central and Eastern Europe underwent major changes in the 1990s affecting the whole economy including the water sector. In particular the decentralisation process involving the transfer of responsibilities for the provision of public services to municipalities led to major modifications in how the water sector was managed and operated.
Decentralisation is promoted worldwide as it can contribute to more responsibility and better planning. But the process of decentralisation may also be questioned as the implementation of it can lead to problems, in particular when the process is implemented in a haste and the legal, economical, institutional frameworks are not properly functioning or are not in place at all.
Furthermore, decentralisation can lead to a fragmented structure of the water service sector, i.e. of small water utilities providing public services to a relatively small number of consumers.
On April 23, 2009 a fist Steering Group Meeting under the EUWI National Policy Dialogue in the water supply and sanitation sector of Ukraine was held. This meeting was focused on analysing the impact of decentralisation and measures to cope with over fragmentation in the water sector.