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October 2021

Self government

The Congress held debates on local self-government in Cyprus and North Macedonia, as well as recovery from Covid-19, hate speech and fake news, territorial integration, opportunities for young people, relations with the diaspora and Roma integration

On the second day of the 41st session, Wednesday October 27, 2021, the Congress adopted reports on local self-government in Cyprus and North Macedonia. The report on Cyprus was presented by Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE) and Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD). The debate was followed by an exchange with the Cypriot Minister of the Interior Nicos Nouris. Zdenek Broz (Czech Republic, ECR) and Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, GILD) presented the report on North Macedonia, which was followed by a statement by the Deputy Minister of Local Self-Government of North Macedonia, Zoran Dimitrovsky, who also answered questions from the floor.

Members of Congress held a plenary debate on “Covid: the road to recovery?” “. The aim was to address the urgent issues facing European cities and regions: how can societies get out of the crisis when the health situation seems to be stabilizing in many European countries? OECD Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard-Knudsen underlined the heterogeneity of the economic and social impact of the pandemic between regions. CEB-appointed Governor Carlo Monticelli underlined the role of local and regional authorities as “valuable allies when it comes to delivering high impact social investments to communities most in need”.

Local and regional elected representatives across Europe are faced with the rise of fake news and hate speech in recent years, especially on the Internet and social networks. As such, a thematic debate was organized by the Chamber of Local Authorities in order to determine the responses to be provided and the tools to be developed to meet the challenge of fake news and hate speech. The project will explore ways to detect these phenomena and possible legal and technical actions against them. At the opening of the exercise of the President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Bernd Vöhringer, drew attention to the increase in hate speech and fake news on the Internet and the impact of these negative phenomena on the working environment for mayors and councilors.

In plenary, Hungary’s State Secretary for Security Policy Péter Sztaray underlined the key priorities of the Hungarian Presidency: artificial intelligence and digitization, protection of national minorities, environmental issues, l anti-Semitism and youth issues during his speech to Parliament Committee of Ministers.

On the same day, the Chamber of Regions debated interregional and cross-border cooperation for better territorial integration in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Congress in particular called on member states to use Protocol No. 3 to the Madrid Convention, which constitutes a legal basis for transfrontier co-operation in Europe. Congress also called for special legal provisions for “cross-border communities” with legal status, to overcome obstacles created by different legal regimes on either side of the border, as well as to strengthen cross-border governance and “horizontal subsidiarity” through the transfer of skills and operational resources to cross-border communities.

The Chamber of Regions also discussed the challenges to expand vocational training and lifelong learning for young people at regional level, shared measures and best practices to address these issues, and considered additional measures. that the Congress wishes to undertake on this subject. This was achieved through a debate on lifelong education to ensure / secure lifelong employment prospects for the younger generations, a challenge for the regions.

Members of the Chamber deepened the role of relations with diaspora communities as a contribution to regional development and regional mechanisms to engage diasporas in order to promote commercial and cultural exchanges, attract foreign investment, facilitate technology and knowledge transfer, and to seize other socio-economic benefits of diaspora ties during its third debate on Wednesday morning.

At the opening of the session, the President of the Chamber of Regions, Harald Sonderegger, called for a re-decentralization of powers and resources to the regions and their better distribution with an improved system of multi-level governance. This is because during the Covid-19 crisis, many powers were recentralized to the national executive and many decisions were taken without proper consultations with regional authorities – despite the multi-level governance that s has proven to be more efficient and flexible in responding to the pandemic. , when it was used.

Also on the agenda is the Dosta! -Congress Prize awarded to municipalities in Portugal, Greece and the United Kingdom for initiatives aimed at integrating Roma and Travelers. The first place went to the Portuguese municipality of Torres Vedras, which has drawn up a unique plan strengthening cohesion between local communities and the Roma. The second place was awarded to the Greek municipality of Argostoli for the improvement of the living conditions of the Roma community, the conditions of school attendance of children, as well as for housing and health care support for the population. rom on the island of Kefalonia. British Salford won the 3rd prize for the implementation of an educational exhibition.

The Chamber of Local Authorities elected John Warmisham (UK, SOC / G / PD) and Oksana Derkach (Ukraine, EPP / CCE) respectively 6th and 7th Vice-President.

Videos of the proceedings: Plenary session | Chamber of Local Authorities | Chamber of Regions

*** 41st Congress Session ***

Agenda – Documents: ENG | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS
41st session webpage: live stream, photos, videos and useful links

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Self government

The Congress will organize debates on local self-government in Spain and the Netherlands, as well as on migration, housing sharing platforms and the projects of young delegates

In his opening communication of the 41st session, on October 26, 2021, Congress President Leendert Verbeek recalled the importance of the European Charter of Local Self-Government as an unprecedented international treaty, unique in the world and testifying to the importance that the Council of Europe and its member states attach to local self-government. At the same time, he underlined the impact of the cuts in the budget allocated to Congress to carry out its tasks. The Bureau of the Congress will continue its ongoing discussions aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Congress to implement its priorities.

At their plenary session on the same day, members adopted a report on the situation of local self-government in Spain, presented by Bryony Rudkin (UK, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, GILD), and a report on local self-government in the Netherlands, presented by Vladimir Prebilić, (Slovenia, SOC / G / PD).

The report on “Housing sharing platforms: challenges and opportunities for municipalities” was presented by Jelena Drenjanin (Sweden, EPP / CCE), rapporteur and chair of the Governance Committee. The Congress calls on local authorities to adopt a long-term vision of cohabitation practices which must be framed by flexible, simplified and accessible regulations, including various tools such as building permits, town planning, taxation and health and Security. standards.

The Congress also discussed the challenges of migration issues for cities and regions during a debate on “Migration: permanent challenges for cities and regions”, organized with the participation of Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on migration and refugees, and Erini Dourou (Greece, SOC / G / PD), Congress rapporteur on migration issues. The debate highlighted the need for coordination between all levels of government, a clear and coherent legislative framework at European level and support from national governments and at European level to enable local and regional authorities to implement policies for the reception and integration of migrants and refugees.

Members of Congress also reviewed the field projects carried out by the 38 young delegates as part of the “Rejuvenating Politics” initiative that has been running for the past two years. Projects implemented in 2020 focused on youth participation during a pandemic with a particular focus on cross-cultural exchanges, mental health, community bonds and targeting fake news. The objective of the 2021 projects is to promote communication between youth workers and representatives of local communities.

*** 41st Congress Session ***

Agenda – Documents: ENG | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS
41st session webpage: live stream, photos, videos and useful links

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Sovereignty

Self-government banned in new North Westside study | New

A government-funded $ 60,000 study will address the problems of “misinformation” circulating among disgruntled residents of a largely rural area of ​​the central Okanagan.

But the one-year study will not determine whether it is possible or desirable for people living in northwestern communities to separate from the Central Okanagan Regional District and create their own. municipality.

“The study is not an incorporation study – it will not provide detailed technical or financial information on the impact of municipal incorporation,” writes Jodie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, in a letter to the district Kelowna Regional.

The study aims to engage the residents of the North Westside to “understand their concerns and interests” with a view to better integrating them within the existing governance structure of the regional district, Osborne said.

It will also take into account the region’s tax base, business climate and economic growth trends. “The study will address issues of misinformation and education,” Osborne said.

Some of the roughly 1,400 people who live in northwestern communities, such as Fintry, Westshore Estates, Killiney Beach, La Casa, and Valley of the Sun, believe the Kelowna-based regional district offers poor governance for the taxes qu ‘they pay.

Concerns have also been linked to unrest in the fire department and the high cost of various infrastructure projects.

Discontent has been brewing for years, with more than half of all area residents signing petitions in 2017 calling for a self-government feasibility study.

Within regional council there were also divisions over the issue, with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran once calling the idea of ​​a governance study for the Northwest a “futile effort that does not will solve nothing ”.

The spirits were even heated, as when the chair of the board of directors, Gail Given, a councilor for the city of Kelowna berated some of her colleagues about their various memories of a meeting with a former minister of municipal affairs. .

“You better not call me a liar here and now, because I’m going to lose my mind,” Given replied angrily.

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Home rule

Williamson City Council Expresses Interest in Self-Reliance Program | Southern West Virginia

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Independence activist

Veteran Belarusian independence activist Anton Furs dies at 94

MINSK – Anton Furs, a veteran Belarusian independence activist and member of the Union of Belarusian Patriots, an underground Belarusian youth organization after WWII, is dead at the age of 94.

Furs’s son, Yuras Furs, wrote on Facebook early on October 20 that her father died at his home in the northern town of Pastavy. He did not disclose the cause of death.

While studying in the mid-1940s to become a teacher, Furs and his friends started an underground youth organization with the aim of promoting Belarusian language and culture.

In February 1947, Furs was arrested and accused of anti-Soviet activities. He was sentenced to death for his crimes, but the sentence was later reduced to 25 years in prison.

He served his prison term in Turin, a city in the Urals of Russia, and in Karlag, a notorious Soviet prison system near the city of Qaraghandy in central Kazakhstan.

In 1955, Furs took part in a notorious prison riot that spread to several prisons in Karlag. He spent nine years in the brutal Soviet prison system before being granted early release.

After that, Furs married Alesya Umpirovich, a Belarusian activist who also served prison time for her beliefs.

Until 1982, the couple lived in Kazakhstan. They then moved to Belarus, where in 1992 Furs and other members of the youth organization were exonerated by a state commission which ruled that the Union of Belarusian Patriots had committed no crime.

His wife, whom he met through the youth organization, was exonerated in 1993. She died in August 2017 at the age of 92.

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Sovereignty

Changes in planning methodology: impact on local self-government institutions in Kerala

Trends in the use of plan funds by local self-government institutions in Kerala from 2012-13 to 2020-2021 are analyzed. Changes to the participatory planning methodology in 2016 resulted in better use of funds after 2017-18.

Kerala will celebrate 25 years of decentralized planning in 2022. It launched the People’s Plan in 1997 by introducing a new approach to decentralized planning with the active participation of the population, especially women and the marginalized population, in the development of programs (Issac et al 1997; Mohanakumar 2002). The model plan was unique; it involved the participation of populations at all levels, from the identification of development problems to the implementation and monitoring of projects. The Kerala State Planning Board had allocated 35% to 40% of state plan funds to Local Self-Government Institutions (LSGI) for project implementation. This campaign also aimed to represent all the muffled voices of the numerically larger sections of the people (Bandyopadhyay 1997; Mohanakumar 2002).

However, the participatory plan was not free from criticism. Das (2000) and Kannan (2000) pointed out some problems in Kerala’s model plan as it was initiated without any proper devolution of powers and an adequate description of authority rules, both administrative and operational. Despite this, all the exercises for preparing the plans were transferred to the hands of people who had no experience in the planning process. Although 35-40% of funds were allocated to LSGIs, they were unable to spend the allocated amounts in the early years (1997-2000). But that did not prevent the state government from increasing the allocation of funds in the following years. In addition, the government never took any substantial steps to assess how much money was spent by local organizations.

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Self government

Local self-government elections will take place in Armenia

The first municipal elections organized under a new local voting format will be held today in Armenia. Before June 2020,

Photo: OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

The first municipal elections organized under a new local voting format will be held today in Armenia.

Before June 2020, multi-day local elections in Armenia resulted in the direct appointment of city mayors. In contrast, today’s elections will see voters elect individual candidates, who will then form city councils which will choose new mayors.

The electoral threshold was also reduced to 4% for political parties and 6% for coalitions, against 6% and 8% respectively. Since today’s election was originally scheduled to take place on an earlier date, two more election days are scheduled for November 14 and December 5.

In the medium and long term, expect that the change in the electoral threshold will strengthen the pluralities of parties and national minorities. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, however, has appointed acting mayors – who are also running for office – as the dates for the current municipal elections exceed the five-year term limits of incumbent mayors. As such, expect deputy mayors to have access to greater administrative resources than their opponents. With Pashinyan’s popularity continuing in rural areas, expect the acting mayors appointed by Pashinyan to receive a large chunk of the rural vote, thus consolidating the administration’s political influence in various municipalities across the country.

Wake up smarter with a review of the stories that will make the headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.

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Self government

Kerala Local Self-Government Department relaxes earth excavation standards for house construction

From now on, the building permit will be sufficient to prepare the specific land for foundation work by earthworks or for leveling the land.

The Department of Local Self-Government has relaxed the standards for land extraction as part of house-building activities. The building permit will be sufficient to make the specific land ready for foundation work by excavating earth or for leveling the land.

In the case of those applying for mining transit passes, details should be submitted with the construction plan when applying for the permit to the respective local body. The applicant must submit the area of ​​the land to be leveled, the quantity of soil to be extracted for construction and the dimensioned plan and sectional drawing.

Local body officials who perform site inspections before approving the building permit should also assess the area of ​​land to be excavated as submitted with the construction plan.

Subdivisions of plots

The previous requirement for a development permit for such excavations has been removed. The development permit is now only applicable in cases where subdivisions are carried out. In such cases, the development permit must also be approved together with the permit and the building plan.

In cases where a mining pass is required, a copy of the building permit and plan must be sent to the district geologist within three days of the permit being approved. During inspections at the plinth level by the officials of the local body, it should be checked whether more earth excavation than indicated in the construction plan has been carried out, in which case this should be reported to the secretary of the local body.

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Self government

Without self-government, Indigenous Peoples Day does not honor the Wabanaki tribes of Maine

The Opinion BDN section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute writing or writing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

Clarissa Sabattis is leader of the Maliseet band in Houlton. Kirk Francis is the leader of the Penobscot Nation.

To celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, you must first appreciate and respect Indigenous peoples. You must understand the importance of the inherent sovereignty which is the backbone of our heritage and our culture. You must trust us for the autonomy. The only real way to celebrate the indigenous people of Maine is to change the system that treats us differently from all other tribes in the country.

Due to a 40-year-old settlement called the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, the Wabanaki tribes of Maine generally have more restrictions on our rights than the 570 other federally recognized tribes across the country. The settlement resulted from a federal lawsuit, based on claims by the Passamaquoddy tribe and the Penobscot nation in the 1960s and 1970s that Maine illegally took two-thirds of state land from tribes in direct violation of federal law.

Finally, in 1980, the land claims of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians were settled amicably through a settlement agreement and state law. , the Maine Implementation Act. At the time, our tribes believed that we would be partners with the state and not be treated as wards of the state. Our tribes believed that we would be able to redeem the lands promised in the laws, build our tribal governments, and uplift our communities and economies.

The Federal Settlement Act states that any law passed by Congress for the benefit of Native tribes after 1980 does not apply in Maine if that law affects state jurisdiction, unless Congress specifically includes them. tribes of Maine. While the Wabanaki tribes are not specifically included, we do not benefit from them, unlike the other 570 tribes recognized by the federal government. Since 1980, there have been 151 beneficial laws for the Indian country. These laws cover the gamut from the protection of Wabanaki women against the epidemic of violence against indigenous women to the protection of the environment and access to safe drinking water.

Maine has interpreted state law, Maine’s implementing law, to place tribes under the control of the state. The intention of federal and state law was for tribes and state to work together and solve problems that the settlement law could not foresee. This is why the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission was created. But unfortunately the commission did not play this role of intermediary between the State and the tribal sovereigns. So what happened instead?

For more than 40 years the tribes and the state have been in costly litigation. The state chose to keep paternalistic and aggressively defend the relics of its colonial power over the tribes. And what did it do? It has caused lasting damage to rural communities by interfering with the ability of tribes to provide basic government services, pursue economic development, and take advantage of the benefits and funding provided by federal law.

For example, the state’s treatment of tribes has encouraged foreign mining companies to target Maine due to the perceived lack of Indigenous rights.

Last July, Ron Little, CEO of Wolfden Resources, a Canadian mining company, said in an investor presentation, “there are no indigenous rights in the state of Maine” and that this lack of indigenous rights ” simplifies the authorization process ”.

In all other states, tribes have a seat at the table and can work with federal, state, and local government to create mutually beneficial results. In Maine we face a government that has consistently fought our efforts to protect the environment and we have it now. We shouldn’t have to fight foreign companies to protect our land and our drinking water. Yet this is what we must do because the state largely ignores the rights of the Wabanaki.

Our sovereignty, our right to self-determination, our ability to grow as a community ended in 1980 and the pain persists today. The tribes could not have foreseen the distress in which future generations would have to live because of the colonization law.

We were personally just children at the time. We are not here to debate the intentions of the people who sat around the table in 1980. We are here to say that now – more than a generation removed from the Settlement Act – the law needs to be modernized.

The Maine legislature has investigated and reviewed the Settlement Act and is about to approve a significant change that will put Maine tribes on an equal footing with tribes across the country. There is currently legislation, LD 1626, in Augusta that would remedy much of what afflicts the tribes of Maine.

LD 1626, if passed, will show that people understand, trust and appreciate the tribes of Maine. When this law is passed and hopefully signed by the governor, we can all truly celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. Until the system is changed, Indigenous Peoples Day does not honor the Wabanaki tribes.

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Sovereignty

The Congress assesses the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Luxembourg

A Congress delegation, made up of rapporteurs Marjorie Crovetto (Monaco, NI) and Christine Chevalley (Switzerland, GILD), held remote meetings with local and national authorities in Luxembourg on October 6 and 7, 2021 to assess the implementation of the European Charter of Local Authorities. Autonomy in Luxembourg since previous monitoring report adopted by Congress in 2015.

The rapporteurs had an exchange of views on the latest developments in the field of local governance in Luxembourg with Taina Bofferding, Minister of the Interior; Fernand Etgen, President of the Chamber of Deputies; Dan Biancalana, Chairman of the Committee on Home Affairs and Gender Equality; Roger Linden, President of the Constitutional Court; and Claudia Monti, Mediator of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Remote meetings also took place with the mayors of Luxembourg City and the municipalities of Wiltz and Consdorf. The Congress delegation also met members of the Luxembourg national delegation to the Congress and representatives of the Union of Luxembourg Towns and Municipalities (SYVICOL).

Luxembourg ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1987. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the essential basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:
Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

+33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84
[email protected]

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