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Sovereignty

Application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Turkey

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe makes a monitoring visit to Turkey on 1 December to update its 2019 report on the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in this country.

The delegation led by the co-rapporteurs Vladimir Prebilic (Slovenia, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE) will meet with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu, and the mayor of Ankara, Mr. Mansur Yavaş, as well as with the Turkish delegation to the Congress.

The delegation will also meet representatives of Turkish political parties.

The updated report on the application of the Charter will be examined by the Congress at its next session in March 2022.

Turkey ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1992. 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 fundamental 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.

Photos of the visit

For more information: Monitoring committee

Contact:
Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
+33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84
[email protected]

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Self government

Local Self-Government Forum in Ukraine: a key annual event

What is the agenda for democratic governance in Ukraine and other parts of Europe? What are the main achievements and challenges of the decentralization reform underway in Ukraine? What will be the constitutional amendments on decentralization and reform of state representation at sub-national levels?

These issues were addressed in the framework of the VI Forum on Local Self-Government in Ukraine, held on November 11-12, 2021. Other issues included: the right of association of local authorities; democratic governance in metropolitan areas; the development of mountain areas; protection of the rights of internally displaced persons.

The Local Self-Government Forum has been organized annually since 2017 to discuss the development of local self-government in Ukraine, including in conflict-affected regions (Donetsk and Luhansk). In 2021, the Center of Expertise for Good Governance, together with national partners, widened the target audience, and the Forum became a national level with the participation of local authorities from all over Ukraine.

The 2021 Forum brought together more than 750 participants from Ukraine via an online platform and 65 speakers. In addition, more than 1,100 viewers followed the broadcast live via social media, and National Broadcaster Radio posted 10 interviews with Forum speakers and guests.

In her video address, Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy, underlined that “… the good news is that you are not alone… at your request, the Council of Europe will continue to do its best. to support Ukraine in its efforts to improve democratic governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The event was organized by the Center of Expertise for Good Governance through its program “Strengthening decentralization and reform of public administration in Ukraine” in cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development, Ukrainian Ministry of Community and Territory Development, Donetsk Oblast State Administration, Lviv Oblast State Administration and Luhansk Oblast State Administration.

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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

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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Self government

Local self-government in Armenia: positive developments but still room for improvement

Despite the positive developments of local self-government in Armenia, the powers of the municipalities have not been extended, their role in the provision of public services remains limited and local authorities do not have sufficient funds, says the monitoring report adopted today by the Council of Europe Congress local and regional authorities, which also provides recommendations to the Armenian government on improving the situation.

The report based on a country visit in May 2019 welcomes the fact that Armenia has ratified all the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It also welcomes the consolidation of communities and the government’s legislative initiatives in the area of ​​local referendums, public hearings and financial aid to municipalities.

Despite these good developments, the powers and duties of the municipalities have not been extended to enable them to manage a substantial part of public affairs under their own responsibility. Municipalities have a limited role in the provision of public services, which goes against the principle of subsidiarity.

In addition, there is no legally guaranteed consultation procedure between the State and the municipalities, the local authorities are not adequately involved in the decision-making process concerning their finances and the local authorities are not consulted on the modifications of their territorial limits.


Congress website

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Self government

Congress monitors the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in the UK

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in the United Kingdom from 21 to 23 June 2021.

The delegation was composed of the co-rapporteurs Vladimir Prebilič (Slovenia, SOC / G / PD) and Magnus Berntsson (Sweden, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities in the UK to assess the implementation of the Charter. The previous monitoring report and recommendation on local and regional democracy in the UK were adopted in 2014. All meetings were held remotely due to the current health crisis.

The rapporteurs had an exchange of views on the latest developments in the field of local government in the UK with officials from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government as well as with the Chairman of the Housing Committee, communities and local governments of the British Parliament. Remote meetings were also scheduled with the Statutory Deputy Mayor of London and representatives of the Greater London Authority.

The delegation had also scheduled remote meetings with officials from the Scottish Department of Social Security and Local Government, the Welsh Parliament, the Assembly of Northern Ireland and the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales.

The Congress delegation met with members of the UK National Delegation to Congress, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), as well as members of Edinburgh. Belfast City Council and Mayor.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee at one of its forthcoming meetings.

The UK ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1998. Countries that have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental 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:

Stephanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
Secretary of the monitoring committee
Telephone: +33 (0) 3 90 21 5184
e-mail: [email protected]

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Sovereignty

Local self-government in Azerbaijan: little improvement observed, limited powers and weak financial situation of municipalities need urgent attention

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

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Sovereignty

Local self-government in Armenia: positive developments but still room for improvement concerning the skills, consultation and financial resources of local authorities

Despite the positive development of local self-government in Armenia, the powers of municipalities have not been extended, their role in the provision of public services remains limited and local authorities do not have sufficient funds, according to the report. the follow-up report adopted today by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, which also provides recommendations to the Armenian government to improve the situation.

The report based on a country visit in May 2019 welcomes the fact that Armenia has ratified all the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It also welcomes the consolidation of communities and the government’s legislative initiatives in the area of ​​local referendums, public hearings and financial aid to municipalities.

Despite these good developments, the powers and duties of the municipalities have not been extended to enable them to manage a substantial part of public affairs under their own responsibility. Municipalities have a limited role in the provision of public services, which goes against the principle of subsidiarity.

In addition, there is no legally guaranteed consultation procedure between the State and the municipalities, the local authorities are not adequately involved in the decision-making process concerning their finances and the local authorities are not consulted on the modifications of their territorial limits.

“We have been informed that during the recent merger process some local authorities and residents learned from the press about the mergers of their communities,” said Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE), one of the rapporteurs who presented the report, noting that efficiency and broad communication on territorial reform “was still lacking in Armenia”.

“For the reform to be successful, it is important to give incentives to the merged communities. They need more power and therefore money to execute them, ”stressed Helgesen.

Bryony Rudkin (UK, SOC / G / PD), the co-rapporteur, echoed this concern. “Local authorities continue to lack the financial resources to carry out their own tasks,” she said. “In addition, the State does not make the corresponding resources available to communities when it delegates powers. As a result, many small communities simply cannot cope with the delegated tasks or cannot provide good quality services ”.

Rudkin highlighted other issues, such as the poor working conditions of municipal workers in local government offices and unwarranted state interference in local tasks: administrative oversight of local government decisions goes beyond control of legality and various state authorities have overlapping supervisory powers.

The Congress recommended that the Armenian government accompany the delegation of tasks by providing corresponding financial resources and ensure that local communities have access to adequate financial resources on their own; further decentralize powers to increase the share of public affairs that are regulated and managed by local authorities and to guarantee in law the right of local authorities to be consulted on matters which concern them directly, recommends the Congress. In addition, the “own” competences of municipalities should be revised and clarified, state supervision limited to legality control and the working conditions of municipal employees improved.

The rapporteurs described as “welcome steps” the information on some new legislative initiatives prepared by the government in the field of local referendums, public hearings and financial assistance to municipalities. “We are convinced that all political changes and reform efforts have opened up new perspectives and opportunities for democratic transformation in Armenia to have a positive impact on local democracy and we look forward to continuing the already long-standing cooperation we have with them. Armenian authorities, ”concluded Bryony Rudkin. .

*** 40th Congress Session (second part) ***

File 40th Session – Agenda – Documents: FR | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS – Videos and photos

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Spain

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in Spain, from 18 to 20 May 2021.

The delegation is made up of rapporteurs Bryony Rudkin (United Kingdom, SOC / G / PD) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities in Spain to assess the implementation of the charter. The previous monitoring report and the recommendation on local and regional democracy in Spain were adopted in 2013. All meetings were held at a distance due to the current health crisis.

The delegation met the Spanish National Delegation to Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the Parliament, the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration, the Ministry of Finance, the Constitutional Court and the Court. accounts. They also met the mayors of Madrid, Ohanes and Valladolid.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee in autumn 2021.

Spain ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. 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 fundamental 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, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

See also:

Interview with rapporteur David Eray

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in North Macedonia

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in North Macedonia, from 20 to 21 April 2021.

The delegation, made up of the co-rapporteurs on local democracy, Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, GILD) and Zdeněk Brož (Czech Republic, ECR) met the authorities of North Macedonia at local and national levels to discuss the implementation of the Charter. The last report and recommendation on local democracy in the country was adopted in 2012. All meetings will be held remotely due to the current health crisis.

Meetings were held with the North Macedonian national delegation to the Congress, the Association of Local Self-Government Units of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Parliament, the Court of Auditors, the Ombudsman, the ministries of self-government Local and Finance and Constitutional Court. The co-rapporteurs also met the mayors of Skopje, Vinica and Centar Župa.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

North Macedonia ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1997. 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 fundamental 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, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

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Self government

Leendert Verbeek: “Respect for the European Charter of Local Self-Government is essential for the resilience and sustainability of local democracy”

Addressing the General Assembly of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South East Europe (NALAS), on April 13, 2021, Congress President Leendert Verbeek underlined the importance of the European Charter of local self-government to ensure the sustainability of local democracy and local self-government. -government. He also expressed concern about the negative impact of Covid-19 on human rights, local democracy and constitutional values. “The pandemic has worsened the so-called recurring problems in the application of the Charter. These include the lack of consultation, an inadequate distribution of powers and financial resources and excessive supervision, ”warned President Verbeek.

He called on the member states of the Council of Europe to support local communities in their fight against the pandemic without compromising local autonomy, which is essential for building democratic and sustainable societies. “It is our responsibility, as local and regional elected representatives, to be alongside our citizens, to preserve democracy and to create an environment conducive to the sustainable economic development of our cities and regions”, underlined the president. .

The General Assembly of NALAS was opened by the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the President of the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova, Tatiana Badan, and the Mayor of Chisinau and head of the Moldovan delegation to the Congress, Ion Ceban . They welcomed the cooperation with Congress, including the post-monitoring roadmap and the technical assistance provided for various projects.

President Verbeek underlined that the partnership between the Congress and NALAS plays a key role in the discussions on decentralization and local self-government in the South East European region. He also underlined the excellent cooperation with the Moldovan authorities and the importance of the post-monitoring roadmap to be signed with the authorities.

See also:

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Sovereignty

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Cyprus

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Cyprus from 29 to 30 March 2021.

The delegation was made up of the co-rapporteurs on local and regional democracy in Cyprus, Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD) and Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities to assess developments concerning the application of the Charter since the last monitoring report and recommendation adopted in 2016. All meetings were held online due to the current health crisis.

The delegation met the national delegation of Cyprus to the Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the Parliament (House of Representatives), the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance, the President of the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman and the Court of Auditors. They also had meetings with the mayors of Nicosia and Pegeia.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

Cyprus ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. 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 fundamental 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, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

See the agenda here

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Self government

Scottish law incorporates the European Charter of Local Self-Government

The European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) bill was incorporated into Scottish law after Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) voted unanimously to approve it.

Introduced by Andy Wightman MSP, the bill aims to strengthen local government in Scotland, made up of 32 councils.

The European Charter of Local Self-Government was established in 1985 by the Council of Europe and sets out 10 principles to protect the basic powers of local authorities with regard to their political, administrative and financial independence, and was ratified by the UK in 1997.

The Council of Europe is an international organization which promotes democracy and protects human rights and the rule of law across the European continent and the UK is one of its 47 member states.

Mr. Wightman said that the incorporation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government The Bill in Scottish Law would allow the Charter to be directly relied on to settle matters in Scottish courts and would allow individuals and organizations to challenge the Scottish Government in the courts if its laws or rulings are inconsistent with the chart.

The bill also contains a section which places a general duty on the Scottish government to promote local government.

Commenting on Twitter, Mr Wightman said: ‘Delighted that my European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) bill is passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. Thanks to all the supporters. The culmination of decades of efforts by COSLA and others.

Chair of the Scottish Local Authorities Convention (COSLA) Councilor Alison Evison added: “I am absolutely delighted, it is a long-standing ambition of COSLA to see this charter incorporated into national law.
“This is a major achievement for local government and for communities.

“This means that the status and position of local government as a democratic representative of local communities will be strengthened by enshrining international legal rights in Scottish law.

“This in turn will strengthen the voice of our local communities and help achieve better results, the agreed results, with and for them.

“It will mean parity between government partners as we work together, for example on the national performance framework.

“The incorporation of the charter will formalize and integrate better partnership work and ensure that subsidiarity is a flaw in policymaking through the democratic system.

“Most importantly, it will help us achieve the lasting change around empowering communities that we seek.

“Finally, I would like to express our thanks to Andy Wightman MSP for bringing forward a private member’s bill on the charter, his role in bringing us here today cannot be overstated. “

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Sovereignty

Congress monitors implementation of European Charter of Local Self-Government by Azerbaijan

A Congress delegation monitored Azerbaijan’s compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government from February 23 to 25, 2021.

Two co-rapporteurs on local and regional democracy in Azerbaijan, Bernd Vöhringer, Germany (L, PPE / CCE) and Stewart Dickson, UK (R, GILD) focused on developments since the last follow-up in 2012.

Due to the current health situation, the rapporteurs had online meetings with the national delegation of Azerbaijan to the Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Relations of the Assembly State, the Constitutional Court, the Court of Auditors and the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan.

They also met with the Deputy Minister of Justice, the head of the Center for Work with Municipalities, Baku Executive Power and other local authorities.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

Azerbaijan ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 2002. 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 fundamental 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, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel: +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84, email: [email protected]

Meetings program

Pictures:

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