Monitoring allows the evaluation of the implementation of the European Charter of self government
The core mission of the Congress is the effective monitoring of the situation of local and regional democracy in member states by assessing the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, adopted in 1985. To be effective, this monitoring must be regular, and it should not be limited to the production of reports and recommendations. It must also be part of an ongoing political dialogue with the different levels of governance in the country.
Through this process of monitoring, the Congress contributes, at territorial level, to the main objectives of the Council of Europe, which are to advance democracy and human rights on our continent.
How does the Congress monitor local and regional democracy?
The Congress undertakes:
- regular general country-by-country monitoring missions;
- the examination of a particular aspect of the Charter;
- fact-finding missions to look into specific cases of concern; and
- the observation of local and regional elections.
The Monitoring Committee, one of four statutory Congress committees, is responsible for preparing reports on the development of local and regional democracy.
Following monitoring visits, the Committee draws up reports and recommendations to member states to protect the rights and improve the management of municipalities and regions. It also looks after the updating of the Congress' legal instruments.
Almost 50 monitoring reports have been prepared since 1995. General reports provide an across-the-board analysis of the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in member states. "Second-generation" reports take this work a stage further.
Numerous legislative reforms have been set in motion by member states on the basis of the findings of these monitoring activities.
Facts and Figures
To date, the Congress has almost completed the first monitoring cycle of the 45 member states which have, to date, ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
Four countries remain to be monitored for the first time: Austria, France, Montenegro and Serbia, with the monitoring of Belgium to be completed in 2010.
In addition, the Congress is working to encourage the two remaining member states (Monaco and San Marino) to sign and ratify the Charter.
In 2010, the Congress has allocated a large part of its budget to monitoring and has scheduled 15 missions to take place (Montenegro, Austria, Russia, Estonia, Turkey, Belgium, Romania, Malta, Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, Slovenia, Latvia, Albania and France).
In 2009, it carried out five monitoring missions, including its first-time monitoring missions to Iceland, Switzerland and Belgium, as well as missions to Turkey and Russia.
Conclusions and Follow-up
Almost 60 monitoring reports have been prepared by the Congress since 1995. To date, the Congress has completed two thirds of the first monitoring cycle of the 46 member states which have ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
In addition, the Congress is working to encourage the remaining member state (San Marino) to join the Charter network.
In 2012, nine monitoring missions were carried out in Albania, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy (2nd part), Spain, and Ukraine (1st part).
In 2013, twelve monitoring missions are planned in Armenia, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine (2nd part) as well as the United Kingdom, Spain (2nd part).
Documents on the monitoring of local democracy
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