“The consultation of local authorities by higher levels of government on any matters that concern them is a core principle of the European Charter of Local Self-Government which underpins all the other principles,” pointed out Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE), Congress Rapporteur, presenting the draft Guidelines on the right of local authorities to be consulted, on 8 November 2018.
The aim of the guidelines is to ensure that these principles – in support of good democratic governance – are respected and implemented. “Consultations should be organised at the preparatory stage of decision and policy making. Local authorities must be properly informed, at every stage of the consultation process, both about the process itself, and about the motives and objectives of each planned decision or policy,” he continued.
Implementing these principles requires a legal framework and a formal institutional framework “with local authorities equipped with institutions to represent them and national authorities equipped with institutions to co-ordinate their activities in this area”. Both of these conditions are central to the guidelines which invite governments to enshrine the Charter’s principles in legislation and to set up or strengthen national associations of local authorities. The Congress also believes that this dialogue between local/regional and central governments should be extended to national or regional parliaments.
** 35th Session of the Congress **