The Congress organised a conference on "Political integrity and ethics in local governance" on 4 March 2020 in Yerevan, Armenia. This event gathered together representatives of 23 local authorities to launch Community of practice on political integrity and ethics in local governance, aimed at implementing relevant European standards and Congress recommendations at local level in Armenia.
The discussions were structured around two sessions "Accountability, transparency and fighting corruption" and "Challenges for Armenia: building integrity" in order to examine the risks related to corruption, open government and transparency in public procurement, practical mechanisms for their implementation, as well as performance management and citizen participation at the local level.
The Congress's thematic spokesperson on promoting public ethics and preventing corruption at local and regional levels, Andrew Dawson (United Kingdom, ECR) presented the European Code of Conduct for all Persons involved in Local and Regional Governance, as well as the strategy adopted by the Congress. It comprises six reports compiled in the Public Ethics series: conflict of interest, transparency and open government, transparent public procurement, administrative resources and fair elections, combating nepotism and protecting whistleblowers.
The conference was opened by Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Srbuhi Galyan, Deputy Minister of Justice, Sergey Hovhannisyan, National Programme Officer, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Emin Yeritsyan, President of the Communities Association of Armenia (CAA), and Natalia Voutova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan. The participants also included representatives of other national stakeholders in this initiative, including the Ministry of Finance, the Secretariat of Open Government Partnership, Anti-corruption Coalition of Armenia and Transparency International Armenia.
The conference was followed by the working meeting of the Community of practice Core Group, on 5 March, which established thematic working groups and elaborated necessary tools with experts’ support, in order to pursue better consultation between national and local authorities.
This event was organised in the framework of the project “Strengthening the Communities Association of Armenia and Transparent, Participatory Local Governance in Armenia”. It is implemented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, with the financial support of the Swiss government, in the framework of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022.