"Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance"

Period: 01.01.2015 – 31.12.2017
Funded by: Council of Europe / European Union Partnership for Good Governance

In December 2014, the Council of Europe and the European Union signed the Partnership for Good Governance for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus, for the period covering 2015-2017.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, in close co-operation with the Directorate General for Democracy, was responsible for the implementation of the thematic component “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance”.

The activities – both country-based and regional – aimed at:

  • incorporating best practices and implementing policy recommendations;
  • increasing leadership capacities of local elected representatives;
  • strengthening the capacities of local authorities by promoting good governance, transparency, accountability, ethical behaviour and ways to prevent and combat corruption;
  • fostering citizens’ participation as a means of reinforcing the accountability of local authorities.

Its partners and beneficiaries included:

  • Local and regional elected representatives (Mayors and Councillors);
  • National associations of local and regional authorities
  • Civil society organisations and media
  • Representatives of the national governments
  • Members of the respective Delegations to the Congress.

Local initiatives on ethical governance and transparency

With joint agreements signed in March 2017, the Congress supported 12 municipalities in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, in the implementation of ‘local initiatives on ethical governance and transparency’. The local initiatives scheme (funding, coaching and peer reviews) for 2017, supported mayors, involved in the ‘Mayors, leaders for change’ activities, in their efforts to enhance the local governance system, improve citizens’ access to good administration, and lead in a transparent, ethical and accountable manner.

Memorandum of Understanding

The signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the national associations of local and regional authorities from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine took place on 29 June 2017. Mediated by the Congress, it constituted a crucial step towards strengthened co-operation between the facilitators of dialogue on local self-government in the region.

Institutionalised citizen participation: an instrument for democratic governance

The country-specific conference “Institutionalised citizen participation: an instrument for democratic governance” was held on 15 June 2017, in Tbilisi. Organised in co-operation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, it served as a platform for analysis of the foundation for local governance in Georgia and the effectiveness of citizen participation. As a result, a study on Institutionalised citizen participation: assessment of existing mechanisms in Georgia, with recommendations, was developed and contributed to proposals for the amendment of the Code of Local Self-Government.

Regional Conference
Ethics and transparency at local level: strategies and tools

This regional conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 4 - 7 December 2017, gathered together around a hundred participants from across the region - mayors, local elected representatives, national associations, civil society organisations and experts.  

It was a stock-taking event for participants to exchange on ways to enhance the quality of local democracy in the region, in the framework of local self-government and territorial reforms. Focusing on results achieved within the local initiatives on ethical governance and transparency, participants examined the implementation of practical tools for transparent and citizen-oriented governance, with a view to ensuring sustainability and higher impact of local policies.  

A workshop on ‘Local initiatives: managing and communicating the change’, held on the eve of the conference, focused on the next steps for the local initiatives’ mayors and project co-ordinators, particularly in communicating their results and ensuring the long-term effectiveness of their approaches.

Web page of the Conference

Interviews - Local Initiatives

Introductory Conference

The conference “Strengthening Democracy and Local Governance in the Eastern Partnership countries: Sharing the vision” was organised by the Congress of the Council of Europe on 10 and 11 July 2015 in Tbilisi, Georgia, in co-operation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG).

Community of practice

The community of practice consisted of experts in the fields of local governance and ethics, representatives of the local and regional associations, and Congress members. It served as an important networking basis, ensuring consistent communication on national developments, best practice and involvement in the programme's activities.

"Mayors, leaders for change" workshops

Country-specific workshops were organised in two parts for mayors in Armenia (8 – 10 December 2015; 9 – 11 February 2016), Georgia (24 – 26 November 2015; 23 – 25 February 2016), Moldova (5 – 7 October 2015; 2 – 4 February 2016) and Ukraine (29 – 30 March 2016). Part one focused on developing the capacities of mayors as leaders of their communities, and on issues related to enhancing trust in local authorities. Developing on the work initiated, part two was dedicated to local values and ethical behaviours, enhancing mayors’ skills to plan effectively and strategically, involving relevant stakeholders.

Meeting and peer review: Sharing the vision: local democracy and ethical governance in practice

The meeting “Sharing the vision: local democracy and ethical governance in practice” was held on 27 – 28 September 2017, in Purcari, Moldova. Envisaged as a peer review, the meeting served as a platform for discussions on the sustainability of approaches to enhancing the quality of local democracy, in the framework of local self-government and territorial reforms.

Citizen participation: an essential tool in local democracy

The seminar “Citizen participation: an essential tool in local democracy” was held on 14 – 16 November 2016, in Chisinau, Moldova. It aimed to reinforce the accountability of local authorities, and to provide a platform for exchange on the challenges and solutions when engaging citizens in local decision-making.

Local public ethics: from vision to action

The seminar “Local public ethics: from vision to action” was held on 21 - 23 June 2016, in Kyiv, Ukraine. It aimed to increase the awareness and readiness of mayors to implement higher ethical standards in public policies, and to promote ethical governance and transparency in their daily activities.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee was the coordination body for the thematic programme. It met on a yearly basis to discuss the results achieved and the work prospects for the upcoming year. Appointed members of the Steering Committee include Heads or members of the national delegations to the Congress, representatives of the central authorities/line ministries responsible for the local government reform in the participating countries and national associations of local and regional authorities.

Marité MORAS
Head of the Co-operation Activities Unit
Email: [email protected]

Svetislav PAUNOVIC
Project Co-ordinator
Email: [email protected]

Project Assistant
Email: [email protected]