“We need to make municipalities more transparent and open, basing our work on the principle of participatory democracy. We have the opportunity here to improve our governance, to meet the standards of our citizens and move closer to those of Europe” emphasised Zurab ALAVIDZE, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure in his address to mayors, local elected representatives, national associations of local authorities and civil society organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
He was joined in his statement by Kakha KALADZE, Mayor of Tbilisi, who underlined the legislative reform in Georgia and its positive results for local government which improved their efficiency and implemented new ways of reporting to citizens. “Transparency is essential for democracy and people should participate in decision-making”, he stressed.
The speakers and participants in the regional conference on “Ethics and transparency at local level: strategies and tools” confirmed their commitment to improve the quality of services for citizens, and highlighted the “sharing of experiences between the Eastern Partnership countries’ as a key tool for effective and sustainable democracy in the region.
The Tbilisi regional conference brought together around 100 mayors and local elected representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, including numerous newly-elected Georgian mayors, as well as representatives of national associations of local authorities, civil society organisations and experts. The aim was to enable peer exchange on good practices to promote and strengthen ethics, transparency and participatory democracy at local level in these countries.
The conference was organised, from 6-7 December 2017, in Tbilisi, Georgia, by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the thematic programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance”, implemented jointly with the Council of Europe Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform, Directorate General of Democracy. This programme is funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe, through the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) 2015-2017 for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.