Nataliya Romanova, Vice-President of the Congress, opened the first regional Conference of the programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance” on 10 July 2015 in Tbilisi (Georgia), as part of the European Union and Council of Europe Programmatic Cooperation Framework 2015-2017 for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. “It is of paramount importance that efforts and actions are undertaken in member states of the Eastern Partnership to be in line with the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and that all stakeholders have the knowledge and understanding of what the Charter entails, of the requirements to be met for enhanced local democracy” she stated.
Local elected representatives, national associations of local authorities, civil society organisations and experts from the local governance and democracy sectors from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus participated in this event.
Over a 100 participants discussed the preliminary findings of a study on the roles and responsibilities of mayors and councillors in the Eastern Partnership countries. The participants were invited to reflect on the following questions: how to lead for change as a local elected representative, how to enhance trust in local authorities and citizen participation in an ethical decision-making process, and how to define effective means to strengthen institutional frameworks for local governance.
Presentations by experts and exchanges between peers enabled the drafting of a set of recommendations on how local elected representatives can strengthen local governance in their respective countries. This event laid the foundation for further exchanges on the roles and responsibilities of local elected representatives, on ethical decision-making processes at the local level, as well as on citizen participation.