On November 7th, in Strasburg, Vice Premier of Georgia, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maya Tskitishvili participated in the 35th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities at the Council of Europe.
Vice Premier responded to the recommendations on local and regional democracy by the members of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress for Local and Regional Authorities, developed as a result of the visit held in Georgia in April 2018. Maya Tskitishvili thanked the members of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress for clearly positive Report and positive evaluation of the quality of local democracy in the country and compliance of self-governmental bodies with the European Charter. In the course of speech delivery, Vice Premier emphasized that the priority of the Government of Georgia (GOG) was development of the regions throughout the country and decentralization of governmental system. For that purpose, in 2014, the GOG adopted the Code of local self-government, based on democratic principles and that was the same year when there were conducted the direct elections of the Mayors, that supported much to development of local democracy.
“The Report is of high positive significance and delegates of the Council of Europe too evaluated it as to be very positive. The Council of Europe provided the recommendations focused on development of local self-government. We will observe the recommendations of the year 2013 as well as the referenced ones, however it needs to be noted that the main part of the recommendations has already been integrated into our decisions and our policy” – Maya Tskitishvili stated.
The Report makes an emphasize on significant steps forward, made by Georgia and achieved results from the point of further strengthening of democracy on local and regional levels. Inter alia: reflection of the principle on subsidizing in the Constitution of Georgia, as it is envisaged under the European Charter for self-governments, introduction of elections of the Mayors to be elected directly and establishment of the new means for the civil society to be involved in decision making processes. Adoption of the strategy on comprehensive reforms from the point of decentralization and modernization of local authorities, development of financial capabilities of local self-governments, modernization of the audit system and official acknowledgement of representation function/position of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) has also been assessed positively.
The Report at the Congress was represented by the Member of Regions Chamber of the Congress Steward Dixson (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). “The Congress has just passed the Monitoring Report pertaining to Georgia via closed voting. I was honored to be the Speaker on this very positive Report and we can declare that the Monitoring Report on Georgia has been passed with success, definitely” – Steward Dixon said.
The Recommendations provided under the Congress Report are directed mainly to more strengthening of achieved positive results rather than on their improvement. It emphasizes that the legislative as well as institutional activities executed in the direction of local democracy and decentralization of self-governmental bodies, are in full compliance with the requirements of the Council of Europe.
“Today the Council of Europe has actually voted and passed by acclamation the Report on Georgia which is unprecedented from positive standpoint and it acknowledges the reforms on local democracy, constitutional changes, obligations of the Mayors and local authorities, involvement of the citizens and all the principles that have been conducted and reflected under the Reforms in Georgia since 2013” – Tamar Taliashvili, Member of Tbilisi City Assembly declared while assessing the Report on Georgia, developed by the Congress.