“We firmly believe that the vertical separation of powers between the national, regional and local tiers, through decentralisation, helps to build the foundations for national stability and the basis for sustainable development,” said Xavier Cadoret (France, SOC), Vice-President of the Congress, at the opening of the parliamentary colloquy held in Rabat, Morocco, on 28 November 2017.
“Countries with highly decentralised governance are more resilient and are quicker to recover in crisis situations than their centralised counterparts. We therefore congratulate the Kingdom of Morocco on choosing this path by initiating advanced regionalisation when it passed the institutional act in 2015,” he said.
The Congress Vice-President also highlighted the specific role of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the remit of the Congress as the body with sole responsibility for monitoring compliance by the Council of Europe’s 47 member states with the principles laid down in the Charter.
In addition, he referred to several recurring issues identified during monitoring of the Charter, which European local authorities are having to deal with, including inadequate powers and financial resources, a lack of consultation with central government, the need for better training for local government staff and the shortcomings in the dialogue between the authorities and residents.
“This colloquy is being held as part of the Partnership with South Mediterranean countries, in particular with Morocco, established by the Congress this year in the context of the Council of Europe’s Neighbourhood Partnership with Morocco. We hope that the dialogue and the co-operation projects entered into with Morocco will be strengthened in future, in particular through Partnership for Local Democracy status, which will enable a delegation of Moroccan local and regional elected representatives to take part in the work of the Congress,” he said in conclusion.