The Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress debated reports and adopted recommendations on the state of local democracy in Montenegro and Estonia (26 October) as well as on Russia (28 October), following monitoring missions carried out in these countries in spring 2010.
Speakers at the debate
Nigel Mermagen (United Kingdom, ILDG, photo) and Jos Wienen (Netherlands, EPP/CD)
presented the reports on Montenegro and Estonia. The Congress’ representatives noted the progress achieved by Montenegro in reforming the working methods of its local administration, pointing out several shortcomings in the practical application of the Charter such as insufficient staffing and financial resources of municipalities. With regard to Estonia, the Congress’ report concluded that while local democracy in Estonia had improved overall, a few reforms were needed, notably concerning the special status of Tallinn, local tax policy issues and the procedure of consultation of associations.
Christopher Newbury (United Kingdom, EPP/CD, photo) and Knud Andersen (Denmark, ILDG)introduced the debate on the report on local and regional democracy in the Russian Federation. It led to the adoption of a recommendation inviting Russia to reintroduce direct elections for regional governors, to revoke the recent law concerning the dismissal of mayors, and to improve legal safeguards to ensure that local authorities are not subject to excessive supervision by higher levels.