Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM participated in a seminar organised with students and professors from the Minsk Academy of Public Administration, Belarus, on 11 September 2018. The aim was to have an exchange on the role and place of local communities in a new system of multi-level governance in Europe.
“One of the key features of this new, multi-level model is the clear delimitation of competences between different levels of government, based on the principle of subsidiarity,” she stated presenting the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the monitoring of its implementation carried out by the Congress.
“The principle of subsidiarity was established for the first time in history by the European Charter of Local Self-Government, a cornerstone international treaty which lays down the legal basis for decentralisation and the development of local self-government on our continent, and as such represents the foundation for the system of multi-level governance as well,” she added.
“Through a core of basic principles to which no reservation is possible, the Charter seeks to ensure the compatibility of the diverse structures of local communities in the Council of Europe member States. Our Congress of Local and Regional Authorities makes sure that these principles are observed,” she explained.
The President of the Congress presented in detail the different aspects of the Congress' monitoring of the situation of local democracy in Europe: regular country-by-country visits, observation of local and regional elections, and fact-finding missions. She also stressed the importance of regular dialogue with national authorities, in particular in the context of post-monitoring procedures and roadmaps to support national authorities in the implementation of the Congress'’recommendations.
“In complementarity to its post-monitoring, the Congress is working to make sure that the Charter provisions are correctly incorporated into the domestic law and legal systems of member States,” the Congress President said, adding: “We are convinced that this process is of fundamental importance for the good functioning of local democracy in European countries.”
“Our objective is to create a single, unified space of common standards in the field of local democracy in Europe. For this reason, one of the Congress’ priorities today is to have all reservations to the Charter lifted, and to make sure that we have a “100 per cent Charter”, the Congress President concluded.