Background paper

    Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government

    The Institutional Committee of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities has, at the request of the Congress, drafted an Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the main legal instrument of the Congress.

    The Additional Protocol is aimed strengthening the Charter in the light of the experiences of the Congress in its activities with the monitoring of local democracy.

    The Additional Protocol treats the following subjects:

      · Local authority property

      The right to property is not expressly protected by the Charter in its current form. It concerns the right to acquire, use, exploit and freely dispose of municipal property.

      · Local finances

      The issue of local finances refers in particular to the necessity of adequate, sufficient and developable resources available to local authorities, the principle of connectivity, burden-sharing, endowment and subventions as well as to exceptional budgetary restrictions.

      · Relations between different levels of government

      This subject encompasses two separate issues: provisions concerning forms of participation by local authorities in decisions by higher-level authorities and provisions on supervision and powers of substitution exercised in regard to local authorities.

      · Internal organisation of local authorities

      The issue of internal organisation refers in particular to the direct election of mayors, the responsibility of the executive before the local assembly, the competency of the local assembly and possible procedures for the resolution of conflicts between the executive and the local assembly.

    The Protocol allows the signatory parties to choose amongst a set of paragraphs by which they would undertake to consider themselves bound and a further set of paragraphs which can be selected “à la carte” by each party.



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