"Capital cities are often the demographic, cultural, economic and political center of countries with consequences that can be both positive and negative for their autonomy," said rapporteur Amelie Tarschys-Ingre (Sweden, ILDG), during the adoption of the report on the "Status of Capital Cities" by the Congress Governance Committee on 15 September 2020.
The draft recommendation, approved by the Committee, underlines the need to take into account capital cities’ specific needs in a framework that is both flexible and guarantees their autonomy. "Instead of a rigid approach to impose some kind of special status on all capitals, states should have a certain margin of appreciation to take into account the specific conditions of each country," the rapporteur stressed.
The draft recommendation calls for procedural safeguards to ensure the autonomy of capital cities and reduce the risk of interference by other levels of authority. The measures recommended concern the legal framework of the capital’s administration, a clear division of powers between boroughs and sufficient resources to implement them. In addition, if a special statute was to be designed, it should be developed in accordance with the principles set out in the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
"Procedural guarantees should also be provided for cooperation between various levels of government, which could be formalized both horizontally, with neighbouring municipalities, and vertically, with higher levels of government," explained Ms. Tarschys-Indre. "In addition, mechanisms should be developed to increase citizen participation in local decision-making," she concluded.
This draft recommendation is in line with several recommendations previously adopted by the Congress on the management of capital cities, their status and the participation of citizens in public life at local level. It will be submitted for adoption at a future session of the Congress.
Kjartan Magnusson, tel. + 33 3 88 41 28 24
- Report CG-GOV(2020)15-05 on the Status of Capital Cities
- Speech by Amelie Tarschys-Ingre
- Meeting of the Governance Committee
- Flickr gallery