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The European Charter of Local Self-Government turns 30

It is thanks to this document that we enjoy opportunities of participation and direct involvement in local government

  • December 27, 2018 09:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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Source: Council of Europe

On 1st September 2018 the European Charter of Local Self-Government completed 30 years since entry into force. The framework document was adopted and opened for signature on 15th October 1985, entered into force in 1988 and by now has been ratified by all 47 members of the Council of Europe.

The Charter’s foundations derive from the basic premise that the communities should be the first level of democratic governance, as they are the closest decision-makers to the citizens, and therefore aims to protect their rights and to ensure the compatibility of many diverse structures within one organization that is the Council of Europe. As means to achieve these goals, the Charter obliges the signatory states to comply with a long list of terms, principles and practices, relative to local government, such as allowing for and guarantying the right of participation to the citizens, the right to elect their representatives and also assures autonomy and proper budgets to local authorities, among others.

The compliance with the Charter is thereby monitored by a dedicated Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by member states of the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

The Council of Europe is human rights organization, unifying 47 members on the Old continent. It was founded in 1949 and apart from partnership agreements and cooperation, it is independent of the structures of the European Union and is not to be confused with the European Council or the Council of the European Union. However, the Council of Europe is often called “the antechamber for the EU” since all members of the latter have joined it first and due to its key importance for a unified Europe after two World Wars.

Source: Council of Europe