Miraslau Kobasa, Chairman of the Board, took part at the seminar on September 12, 2018, and presented proposals on local-self-government development in the Republic of Belarus and possible directions of cooperation with the Council of Europe.
Proposals on local self-government development
- To analyze Belarusian legislation on local self-government on the issue of its relevance to the principles and norms of the European Charter together with the experts of the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe.
- To design and adopt the Concept of local self-government development in the Republic of Belarus based on the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government as a strategy document. The key points are decentralization, the principle of subsidiarity, competency, community property, administrative-territorial devision, associations of local self-governments, the staff training scheme for local self-governmental bodies, local communities of citizens, the forms of citizen participation in decision making on local level, etc.
- To define the steps and mechanisms of implementation of the Concept and to assign responsibility for its implementation.
- To develop the legislation on local self-government with the aim to adopt it to the European Charter taking into account the level of community development, local traditions and financial and human capacity.
- Preparation to the assignment and ratification of the European Charter;
- Conduction of educational and informational activities for the experts and civil servants, deputies, representatives of the civil society organizations and mass media.
Possible directions of cooperation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
- Analysis of Belarusian legislation,
- Educational activities (skills development of Belarusian experts and civil servants, seminars, conferences, internships, consultations),
- Establishment of associations of local self-governments (including National Association),
- Participation of Belarusian specialists and youth in the events and projects of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
The presentation is available by the link.
At the opening of the Round table held in Minsk, Belarus, on 12 September 2018, Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM welcomed this initiative as “a good opportunity to establish the groundwork for a better decentralization in Belarus and to strengthen our cooperation in the field of local democracy”.
The Congress President presented the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which functions as a kind of “constitution for local authorities”, one of the characteristics of which is its adaptability to European national systems.
“Belarus has already anchored local self-government in its constitution, which demonstrates a political will to establish local self-government in the country. The Congress is ready to contribute to Council of Europe Action Plan for Belarus and to support your country in its next steps towards greater decentralization,” she stated as she addressed the participants.
“Even though the 47 member states of the Council of Europe have ratified the Charter, let us be honest, much remains to be done to improve local self-government in all our countries”, said the Congress President, stressing that through its experience in monitoring the implementation of the Charter, the Congress has identified several recurring issues that need to be improved in this field. “This shows that even if we have reached a certain political maturity, we still need to strengthen our democracies and, to this end, we must develop synergies and learn from each other,” she concluded.
Source: the Council of Europe
Photo: the Council of Europe
This final study report on “Public Administration Reform at the Local and Regional Level in the Eastern Partnership Countries: developments since 2012 in the field of decentralisation and recommendations for the future” is part of the Project ‘Short term high-quality studies to support activities under the Eastern Partnership – HiQSTEP, EuropeAid/132574/C/SER/Multi’, carried out by an international consortium under the leadership of Kantor Management Consultants.
The present study has been carried out to support the activities of Platform 1– “Democracy, Good Governance and Stability” – of the Eastern Partnership. In this regard, it is important to note that promoting good governance and decentralisation reform implementation have been identified as a priority area by the EaP Platform 1 “Democracy, Good Governance and Stability” Work Programme for the period of 2014-2017.
The DG NEAR and DG Regio are the driving forces in cooperation with EaP Countries on this theme. The present study has been implemented by the team under the leadership of Dr Vyacheslav Tolkovanov, Study Team Leader, and composed of Dr Juraj Nemec, Senior International Expert and the following national experts: Valentina Gevorgyan(Armenia), Samir Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Miroslav Kobasa (Belarus), Nelly Dolidze (Georgia), Angela Cascaval (Moldova) and Nataliya Kyrychenko (Ukraine). The overall supervision, quality check and management have been carried out by Przemysław Musiałkowski, Team Leader of the HiQSTEP Project. Sincere thanks go to the national stakeholders in all six countries who provided information through interviews and responses to questionnaires.