"When the 47 Member States ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government, they also implicitly accepted its explanatory report," said Jakob Wienen (Netherlands, EPP/CCE) on 11 February 2020, at the meeting of the Monitoring Committee in Metz, France.
"We decided to provide a contemporary commentary to this explanatory report, taking into account the recommendations and resolutions adopted by the Committee of Ministers, the Congress, the Parliamentary Assembly and the opinions of the Venice Commission, but also the case-law of certain national courts, which have had to interpret certain provisions of the Charter," he explained.
The contemporary commentary recalls the binding nature of the Charter, including its Preamble, as a multilateral international treaty ratified by the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. It sets out in detail all the provisions - each paragraph of each article - which are explained in the explanatory report to the Charter.
"By way of example, one of the provisions of the Charter which I consider very important is the consultation of local and regional authorities by central governments. This is a recurrent issue which is regularly the subject of recommendations following Congress monitoring visits," the rapporteur recalled, pointing out that the contemporary commentary sheds light on the way in which consultation must be conducted in order to comply with the Charter.
"The Contemporary Commentary is an important tool and contributes to a common, modern and detailed understanding of what local self-government means under the provisions of the Charter and its explanatory report in the light of the Council of Europe's work in this field," he concluded.
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