Despite some improvements in the work of the municipalities, major concerns remain about a number of factors hampering the development of self-government in Azerbaijan, such as the lack of real powers of municipalities, a statute of institutions of state and own financial resources, says the monitoring report of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, which also provides a number of urgent recommendations to the authorities.
The report prepared on the basis of a remote visit carried out in February this year, welcomes some improvements in Azerbaijan such as the ratification of Article 10.3 of the Charter which provides for the right to cooperate between municipalities and their counterparts. in other states (such cooperation, however, would require authorization from the Azerbaijani state authorities); improving the quality and transparency of the work of the municipalities; the use of delegation of functions to municipalities for the first time in 2020, and the increased representation of women and young people in municipal councils after the last municipal elections in 2019.
However, municipalities in Azerbaijan are not considered state institutions and are part of the overall public administration, but rather an expression of civil society, and their powers are not comprehensive and exclusive, the report says.
Local self-government in Azerbaijan: little improvement observed, limited powers and weak financial situation of municipalities need urgent attention