Ministers’ Deputies

CM Documents

CM(2013)108 27 August 20131



1178 Meeting, 18 September 2013

2 Democracy and political questions

2.3 Centre of expertise on local government reform

Annual report 2012 and prospects for 2013



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive summary 4

I. CAPACITY BUILDING ACTIVITY IN 2012 4

II. PROSPECTS FOR 2013 8

III. LONG-TERM PROSPECTS 12

APPENDIX I – Current tools 14

APPENDIX II – Country-specific activities 20

Member States

1. Albania 20

2. Armenia 20

3. Austria 22

4. Belgium 23

5. Bosnia and Herzegovina 24

6. Bulgaria 24

7. Croatia 25

8. France 25

9. Georgia 27

10. Germany 27

11. Hungary 28

12. Italy 29

13. Malta 29

14. Republic of Moldova 29

15. Montenegro 30

16. Romania 31

17. Russian Federation (North-West Russia and Kaliningrad, Chechen Republic) 31

18. Serbia 33

19. Spain 36

20. Switzerland 37

21. “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” 38

22. Turkey 38

23. Ukraine 39

Other 45

Kosovo2 45

South – Mediterranean 45

Tunisia 45

Morocco 46

Regional Programmes 46

Best Practice in Coastal Towns 46

APPENDIX III – Relations with partners 47

1. Relations with international organisations 47

2. Relations with other international partners 48

3. Relations with national partners 49

APPENDIX IV – List of abbreviations 52

APPENDIX V – New project proposals under negotiation 53

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Created in 2006 following a decision of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government, the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform aims at building capacity in local authorities by the use of effective and impact-oriented programmes.

In 2012, the Centre implemented 28 programmes in 18 countries, which is a level of activity in line with that noted in the previous year, when the activity of the Centre had reached a peak. This level of activity was achieved despite a reduction in human resources, thanks to extra-budgetary funding, creation of partnerships and synergies obtained in the intergovernmental sector dealing with local democracy.

Co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe increased substantially. A first European-wide programme of Best Practice was co-organised and joint projects were developed or started in several countries.

It is hoped that the level of activity will be stable in 2013, even though numerous projects are currently in various stages of negotiations with potential donors.

In the future, taking into account a difficult budgetary environment, the trend towards increasing extra-budgetary resources and the need to compete for them with other actors, the Centre will need to develop new ways of maximising impact, in particular by decentralising more work while remaining focused on quality assurance rather than on pure project management. The Centre intends to put its increased notoriety and quality of its tools to good use by favouring further decentralisation of implementation work based on its tools to partners and country offices.

Among the priorities for the future, the Centre also expects increased co-operation and synergies with the Congress and the Schools of Political Studies and the launching of more regional programmes.

During its 9th meeting (Strasbourg, 29 April 2013), the Advisory Board of the Centre of Expertise praised the Centre for its results, for its capacity to offer programmes of interest for all European countries, for its flexibility and its capacity to obtain extra-budgetary funding. They noted that the various tools prepared and implemented by the Centre are not only very effective in practice, but they are also the best way to promote Council of Europe standards and know-how and to ensure its impact.

The Advisory Board also congratulated the Centre and the Congress for the dynamic of increased co-operation that they have put in place and recommended to continue on this path so as to propose joint activities which provide both political and technical expertise.

I. CAPACITY BUILDING ACTIVITY IN 2012

Created at the beginning of 2006 following the decision of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government, the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform aims at building capacity in local authorities by the use of effective and impact-oriented programmes. The current report presents capacity building programmes implemented in 2012. It does not cover legal and policy assistance activities offered to central governments.

In 2012, the Centre implemented (the equivalent of) 28 programmes in 18 countries; this can be assessed as a positive achievement and a good level of activity, broadly in line with the level observed in the three previous years, when the Centre had more resources. The Centre was able to compensate for the diminishing resources by successfully attracting extra-budgetary funding, by increasing synergies among staff and by decentralising more work to the country offices of the Council of Europe, in accordance with the new role given to them within the Council of Europe reform. Nevertheless, the level of activity for 2012 is very slightly under that of 2011 (32 programmes in 19 countries) when the Centre’s activity reached a peak; however, this is more to do with the fact that the four activities envisaged for 2012 in Malta were postponed to 2013 rather than simply because of the decreased operational budget of the Centre.

The extra-budgetary funding came in the context of one Joint Programme with the European Commission, several Voluntary Contributions by member states and co-funding by other partners. In 2012, the Centre of Expertise, despite its small size, continued to be the unit of the Council of Europe which had attracted the largest volume of Voluntary Contributions.

In general, the programmes offered by the Centre are well received and successful and the Centre has raised interest among, and obtained commitment and support for its work from the municipalities and associations in a large number of countries. Its reputation in Southern and Eastern Europe has increased considerably and its increased co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (the Congress) will certainly enhance its political impact.

In 2012, the Centre implemented its first fully-fledged pan-European programme: the Best Practice for Coastal Towns, following an initiative of the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and in co-operation with the Congress and the Local Government Association of England.

As a further sign of this partnership with the Congress, the Centre also offered support for the monitoring visit of the Congress to Ukraine. Its report on the State of Democracy in Albania helped with the preparations of the monitoring visit conducted by the Congress in this country at the end of the year. The joint programme Centre of Expertise – Congress for Albania received a generous voluntary contribution from Switzerland and is already underway. Similar joint programmes have been or are being prepared for Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Morocco.

Work has started in co-operation with the Congress in Tunisia. For the moment, this work consists mainly of a study on the state of local democracy which will follow the structure of CDLR’s “Structure and operation” reports. It will include a chapter devoted to a critical census of the various initiatives of the international community in the country and another one identifying areas where reform would be appropriate and developing guidelines and recommendations for action. Morocco has expressed an interest in receiving support from the Centre of Expertise and a specific programme proposal has been developed.

The Centre also finalised new toolkits covering issues which have been addressed at field level in recent years: leadership development, human resource management and cross-border/transfrontier co-operation. In line with the Council of Europe’s new publication strategy, these toolkits have been made available in electronic format, although, subject to resources, the HRM toolkit might also be published in paper format.

In 2012, in co-operation with the Management Centre of Innsbruck, the Centre organised a regional seminar based on the Leadership Academy Toolkit for local officials from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy and a Training of Trainers on the same topic in Bellinzona (Switzerland).

The Centre also provided targeted support to the promotional activities of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance (organisation of meetings, presentation of the benchmark, legal advice).

Two video-materials (presented as short animated films) aimed at promoting the principles of local democracy and good governance on local level have been prepared and made public. They have also been widely disseminated during most of the events organised by the Centre. The video ‘Once Upon a Time Local Democracy’3 was produced as part of the programme to strengthen local and regional government capacity in Ukraine, and was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency – Sida.

The second video “the Twelve principles of good governance at local level”4, aims to raise awareness of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at local level and its 12 European principles of good democratic governance. It was also produced as part of its Programme Strengthening the Capacity of Local Authorities in Ukraine funded by the Swiss and Danish governments.

The "Benchmarking for Local Finance" Toolkit was updated to include the consequences for local authorities of the financial/economic crisis and now includes several topical aspects:

    · limitations to the financial autonomy and effective management of local governments in case of economic and financial difficulties

    · fiscal planning and transparency, assessment and management of financial risks

    · fiscal administration and control of local authorities

    · recovery of local authorities in financial difficulty.

The new version of the toolkit was made available for use in early 2013. The Centre has received requests from such countries as Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain where local government is in severe financial difficulty, for assistance to local authorities using its good governance tools and expertise, and is in search for funding for this innovative initiative. In view of limited current resources, only three of these countries (Greece, Spain and Portugal) will be able to join the programme (to be funded mainly through an OSF contribution). The Congress will be associated with the programme.

The Centre continued to establish result-oriented partnerships. As an example, a new partnership with the Nordic Council of Ministers led to co-operation on a specific programme in North-West Russia and to the preparation of a new Toolkit on Cross-Border Co-operation. In 2012-2013, the Nordic Council will fund a very ambitious programme in the Russian Federation which is based entirely on the 12 European Principles of Good Democratic Governance and the benchmark of ELoGE.

In 2012, two new Strasbourg-based project manager positions were discontinued. Since the beginning of the reform of the Secretariat, the Centre has lost over 35% of its operational expenditure and staff positions remunerated from the Ordinary Budget. In order to ensure synergies and economies of scale, staff initially dealing with legal assistance was cross-trained to capacity-building programmes and started to deliver support to both central governments and local authorities under the umbrella of the Centre.

At the end of 2012, in view of the diminishing resources, a new reorganisation led to the merging of the previously separate units dealing with local government. The current Good Governance Division deals with the intergovernmental co-operation in the field of local and regional democracy (secretariat of the CDLR), legal assistance to individual central governments (previously the Division of Programmes for Democratic Stability), capacity building (previously dealt with by the Centre of Expertise) and the Strategy of Innovation and Good Governance, including the European Label on Governance Excellence (ELoGE). This unit has also received the task of ensuring the secretariat of the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Spatial/Regional Planning (CEMAT).

It is expected that this reorganisation will generate modest efficiency savings and it is hoped that, after cross training, staff members will be able to continue ensuring a broadly comparable level of activity to that of the past years.

The following table sums up the activities for 2012.

Development and publication of toolkits in 2012

Finalisation of the Toolkit on Leadership Development in Local Authorities (based on the tools developed for the Leadership Academy Programme)

Finalisation of the Toolkit on human resources management

Finalisation of the Toolkit on Cross-Border cooperation

Preparation, publication and dissemination of two video materials.

Updating and adapting the "Benchmarking for Local Finance" tool taking into account the current financial crisis implications for central and local authorities.

Country-specific programmes in 2012

Member States

Albania

Human resources management

Inter-Municipal Co-operation

Armenia

Strategic municipal planning programme in five Armenian pilot municipalities

Belgium

Performance management

Bulgaria

Leadership Academy

Croatia

Inter-municipal co-operation

Hungary

Best Practice programme

Leadership Academy programme

Italy

Inter-Municipal cooperation

Malta

The programmes (to be funded by Norway grants) should start in 2013

Republic of Moldova

Best Practice Programme

Montenegro

Leadership academy programme

Romania

Promotion of ELoGE (road testing by several cities, promotion)

Russian Federation

North-West Russia

“Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia” in co-operation with the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Saint Petersburg Centre of the Development of NGOs and the North-West Institute of Management of Russian Presidential Academy.

Chechen Republic

Three training activities (one being open to all subjects in the North Caucasus District).

Cross-border Co-operation Programme

Ukraine

Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme**

Best Practice Programme**

Performance Management Programme*

Local Finance Benchmarking**

Leadership Academy Programme**

Local Government Association Programme

Support to the implementation of the Strategy

(over 25 various activities)

Other

Regional

Best Practice for European Coastal Towns (in co-operation with Congress, LGA)

Kosovo*

Best Practice Programme**

France

4 training sessions of introduction to the Centre’s tools and activities to INET students, including the Strategy and European Label ELOGE.

Support to the implementation of the Strategy and the European Label ELOGE in cooperation with French pilot local authorities

Training on local government and capacity building in Europe to the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies students.

Germany

Support to the implementation of the Strategy and the European Label ELOGE in the Land of Bade-Wurtenberg, in cooperation with German pilot local authorities from Baden-Württemberg, the land local authorities’ association (Gemeindetag) and the Kehl Euro-Institute.

Serbia

Performance Management (applied to local budget and property)*

Modern and effective Human Resources Management*

Spain

Support to the implementation of the Strategy and the European Label ELOGE (with the participation of French pilot cities of Label)

Switzerland

Leadership Academy Training of Trainers

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

Leadership Academy Programme (managed by NAMR Bulgaria)

Turkey

Leadership Academy Programme

** Programmes implemented with financial support from the EC or from member States

II. PROSPECTS FOR 2013

2013 is a transitional year. A number of externally-funded projects have ended or are to end and considerable fund-raising efforts are being made. The Centre currently has twelve sizeable project proposals which are supported by local stakeholders and are in various stages of negotiation with potential donors. Depending on the exact date of signature of funding contracts, the number and size of programmes implemented in 2013 may vary.

__________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

The Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia/Phase II” ended in December 2012 and the legal assistance component of the Ukraine programme ended in March 2013 (a one-year continuation was subsequently funded by Switzerland).

The previous Albanian programme, funded through a voluntary contribution by Switzerland, finished on 31 March 2012. However, a new and larger capacity-building programme was approved and became operational as of October 2012 and was made available due to a generous contribution by the Swiss Government. This programme will run for four years and focus on obtaining practical results in inter-municipal co-operation arrangements and human resource management. This programme is also shared with the Congress Secretariat, which manages a political component aimed at building a platform of dialogue for local government elected representatives in Albania.

An extensive project proposal for developing the capacities of local government units in Armenia in 2013-2015 has been drawn up, in accordance with the Action Plan agreed between the Government of Armenia and the Council of Europe. This proposal includes, like in the case of Albania, a component to be supervised by the Congress. The Action plan was officially presented in Armenia to the international donor community. The Danish Government has expressed its intention to provide a financial contribution towards the implementation of proposed projects in 2013.

Negotiations are also very advanced for a new Joint-Programme in Serbia on “Building the administrative capacities of local authorities”, which should start during the 2nd half of 2013, pending the adoption by the Serbian Parliament of the Laws on the status and salaries of civil servants. This three-year programme would focus on the implementation of modern and effective human resources management tools (HRM) and professional training of employees. These HRM tools have been elaborated and experimented (on a pilot base) by the Centre of Expertise in the framework of the previous Joint Programme mentioned above. If launched, it would be the first large programme of the Centre of Expertise which is systematically applied to and helps real-life reform in all local authorities in a country.

A new and ambitious capacity-building programme, including four different components plus the ELoGE label, should start soon in Malta. This programme will be funded by a Norwegian EEA grant offered directly to Maltese authorities.

Other negotiations are being held for new programmes funded by extra-budgetary resources concerning the Russian Federation (where both the government and the EC have confirmed their interest for a new JP in the field of capacity building for local government), Montenegro, Republic of Moldova and Turkey. Negotiations are also being held within the Norway framework agreement for a two-year programme in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Other project proposals concern Georgia, the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine), South-Eastern Europe and Turkey. A demand has been received from Kosovo* and a project proposal is being developed.

Short-term prospects are therefore very positive. It is currently envisaged that the level of activity of the Centre of Expertise in 2013 would be similar to that of 2012. If several VC contracts are signed before August, the list will considerably increase.

The following table sums up the activities which should be implemented in 2013.

__________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

Country-specific programmes in 2013

Member States

Albania

Human resources management

Inter-Municipal Co-operation

Armenia

Implementation of projects on Human Resources Management, Best Practice and Public Ethics Benchmark, subject to financial support to be received from the donor community

Belgium

Flanders: Conference and peer review on merging of municipalities, in co-operation with CDLR

Bosnia Herzegovina

Legal assistance upon request

Bulgaria

Leadership Academy

Croatia

Inter-municipal co-operation

Leadership Academy

Republic of Moldova

Best Practice Programme

Montenegro

Leadership Academy

Romania

Support to the implementation of ELOGE

Russian Federation

North-West Russia

Two training activities within the framework of the programme “Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia” are envisaged to take place in 2013, to which the Centre of Expertise will contribute with the participation of international experts.

Cross-border Co-operation Programme

Chechen Republic

Three new training activities

Serbia

Launching of a new joint programme focusing on “Strengthening the administrative capacities of local authorities through modern HRM and professional training of employees" (2013-2016) (under negotiation with EUD and other key stakeholders).

Regional

Comparative Local Finance Benchmarking in Greece, Portugal and Spain

Other

Kosovo*

Best Practice Programme**

France

4 training sessions of introduction to the Centre tools and activities, in particular those dealing with performance management and strategic planning for INET students.

Continuation of the promotion of the Strategy and the European Label ELoGE in cooperation with several French pilot local authorities

Germany

Continuation of the promotion of the Strategy and the European Label ELoGE in several municipalities of Baden-Wurttemberg, in co-operation with the land local authorities’ association (Gemeindetag) . and the Kehl Euro-Institute

Georgia

Elaboration of new project proposals in accordance with the priorities of the new Georgian Government

Hungary

Best Practice programme

Leadership Academy programme

Italy

Launch of the Strategy on Good Governance in the Veneto Region

Malta

National Training Strategy

Best Practice Programme

Performance Management

Leadership Academy

ELoGE (testing and preparing the national Platform)

Spain

Continuation of the implementation of the Strategy and the European Label ELOGE at the level of autonomous regions, in cooperation with Spanish pilot local authorities.

Local Finance Benchmarking

Switzerland

Best Practice Programme in the Ticino canton

ENTO – CoE Summer School on Transparency and Ethics

"The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

Leadership Academy Programme (managed by NAMR Bulgaria)

Turkey

Leadership Academy Programme

Ukraine

Follow-up to the Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme**

Best Practice Programme**

Performance Management Programme**

Local Finance Benchmarking**

Leadership Academy Programme**

Strengthening of local government associations**

Support to the implementation of the Strategy and ELoGE

** Programmes implemented with financial support from the EC or from member States

Development and publication of tools in 2013

In terms of new toolkits, the Centre will launch the preparation, in co-operation with colleagues from the Managing Diversity Division, of a tool on municipal cultural policies. Subject to resources (a proposal for EU funding is being prepared by partners), the Centre could also develop a Toolkit on City Diplomacy and various forms of decentralised co-operation between municipalities in different countries, starting from the experience and the piloting of new tools (developed by the Centre) by the cities of Dundee (UK) and Zadar (Croatia).

____________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

III. LONG-TERM PROSPECTS

The reform process of the Council of Europe is impacting significantly on the Centre of Expertise.

Decisions aimed at streamlining the programme of activities and transferring human and other resources to direct assistance and cooperation programmes have had as a consequence the loss, during the year 2012, of two positions paid by the ordinary budget of the Council of Europe. The decentralisation of a significant amount of the work towards the ten Council of Europe country offices represents an opportunity to increase the impact of work but often challenges the capacity of the (diminishing) Strasbourg-based staff to adequately steer and oversee the implementation of largely decentralised operational programmes and that of field offices to conduct many different programmes. The Centre is already favouring employment of local staff in countries where the Council of Europe has offices; this trend will continue as more and more of the actual operational work will be delegated to country offices while the Centre will continue to offer conception, fund raising, supervision and quality assurance. It is hoped that more of the financial management tasks, which take up a substantial management time, will also be decentralised to field offices; this will already be the case since 2013 for Albania and Serbia.

The Centre is also looking for partners who can be trained to work with the tools it has developed and who can ensure continuity of Centre's work without the latter being directly and heavily involvement in managing the activities. In some countries, programmes (e.g. the Beacon Scheme in Bosnia and Herzegovina) launched by the Centre continue with no involvement from the Centre; these programmes are not included in the current report. In others, there is very limited input, generally in the form of expertise, while most of the costs are covered and management is performed by the local partners (e.g. programmes in France, Spain, Hungary, Bulgaria, North-West Russia, Switzerland...). Yet in others (e.g. the four programmes to be implemented in Malta), national authorities will cover all costs, including costs with expertise, while the Centre will only provide (free of charge) management time for supervision and quality control.

An interesting example is offered by one of the most recent programmes developed by the Centre, the Leadership Academy Programme, which met with a success which went beyond initial expectations. In fact, the success was such that the original leadership programme, based on the more demanding and time-consuming methods of benchmarking and peer reviewing, was practically abandoned. Before even the publication of the toolkit, the programme was already implemented on a sustainable basis, with local authorities covering most of the costs, in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Turkey and Ukraine. It was also implemented in North-West Russia and its implementation will start shortly in Malta. In 2012, the National Association of Municipalities of the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB) offered this programme, with the approval of and very limited input from the Centre of Expertise, to sister associations in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and Greece.

Moreover, as mentioned in the first part of the document, several partners asked the Centre for the authorisation to use this programme in their future training offer: the Management Centre of Innsbruck, the Local Authorities’ Training Centre in the Ticino Canton (Switzerland) and NALAS. A training of trainers was organised in Bellinzona (Ticino) for the Swiss and Austrian partners (but also for some trainers from Ukraine and Malta), and another one should be organised in Strasbourg for NALAS. Following these trainings, the above-mentioned partners should be able to receive the authorisation to make use of the Leadership Academy toolkit in their work while the Centre should gain access to new experts who can be used in its programmes and new partners who will be implementing its programmes. The Congress Secretariat also expressed a potential interest in adapting the programme (through the inclusion of a more political module) and offering it to local elected representatives.

This business model, through which the Centre offers tools and experts, and trains and authorises partners to do the work instead of the Centre, could be extended to other programmes which met with significant success, such as the Best Practice Programme, the Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme (a Croatian NGO has recently asked for the permission to use this programme), the Human Resource Management Programme, etc.

The relation with the Schools of Political Studies could be improved. In some counties (i.e. Ukraine), the co-operation is very good; several alumni of the Ukrainian School are used as local experts and the School co-operates with the local team and is interested in taking over some of the programmes of the Centre. In other cases however, an improvement of such co-operation can be explored.

Another interesting development could be the launching of European or regional, and not only national, programmes. As mentioned in the first part, the Best Practice for Coastal Towns programme was the first of this kind and met with significant interest, despite the very limited timeframe available and very reduced promotional efforts. Such programmes could be launched with the help of regional partners, such as NALAS. As mentioned above, a Local Finance Benchmarking Programme will be offered on a regional level in Greece, Portugal and Spain. A similar SEE regional Best Practice Programme was discussed, but funding was not yet identified.

The co-operation with the Congress is very important for the Centre. The Centre managed, at the initiative of and in co-operation with the Congress, the Best Practice for European Coastal Towns programme. It is also working with the Congress Secretariat to access funding for further capacity-building work in Albania, Armenia and Ukraine; in Albania, these efforts were successful. It is expected that such co-operation will be strengthened in the future. Regular meetings at secretariat levels are being held between the Centre and the Congress.

Co-operation with the CDLR, from the work of which the Centre derives many of its tools, should also be re-examined in the context of the new and narrower terms of reference of the CDLR.

At the 17th session of their Conference in Kyiv (3-4 November 2011) the Council of Europe ministers responsible for local and regional government were, as on previous occasions, informed of the work of the Centre and expressed their appreciation for it. The “Chaves report” approved by the Ministers at the Conference identified, inter alia, areas for joint consideration by both the intergovernmental sector and the Congress (the “Agenda in Common” concept) and suggested that an evaluation of the work of the Council of Europe in the field of local and regional democracy be conducted. Work on some areas covered by the Chaves Report – impact of changing economic fortunes on local government, good democratic governance, human rights’ dimension of local governance, overcoming obstacles to cross-border cooperation – are already being investigated by the CDLR and the Centre is offering its tools and expertise in order for the CDLR’s outputs to be as practical and effective as possible.

Appendix V to this Report contains a list of new project proposals, which are put forward to be implemented in the upcoming years and are currently under negotiations.

APPENDIX I – Current tools

1. National Training Strategies

In many countries, local government training needs further development. National and local training capacity and training budgets are often inadequate. Core training packages may not have been sufficiently developed. Trainers may themselves need more training. There may be insufficient training standards for training programmes or materials. Against this background, the development of a National Training Strategy (NTS) is based on a comprehensive Training Needs Analysis including:

    · Independent and reliable field research to allow training to be developed in response to the needs and expectations of municipal staff and elected representatives. In particular, this includes:

      - a qualitative investigation based on a series of in-depth individual and focus group interviews with municipal representatives;

      - a verification survey based on questionnaires and conducted with municipalities.

    · A legal analysis that will identify the training necessary for municipalities to fulfil their obligations properly.

    · Bilateral meetings with key local government stakeholders to take account of their experience and perceptions and to build on current and recent initiatives.

The NTS allows organisations with a stake in local government to establish a more professional training environment.

This tool was published in Toolkit I and was implemented with the assistance of the Centre of Expertise in Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Montenegro.

2. Leadership Development

Strong leadership, i.e. the capacity of local authorities to develop a clear vision for the municipality and to realise this vision through strategic management and involvement of the local community, is an essential feature of an effective local authority.

The Council of Europe has therefore developed a model “Benchmark of an Effective Democratic Local Authority” (The Leadership Benchmark) that sets out the expected levels of performance by a local authority in 9 leadership competences. It can be used in several ways, including a practical Peer Review methodology:

- Through local workshops. This introduces mayors, senior officials and elected members to the leadership competences expected of them.

- Through self-assessment. The leadership of the local authority systematically identifies its strengths and areas for improvement against the Benchmark and draws up an Improvement Plan.

- Through Peer Reviews. A national pool of competent senior officials and elected representatives are trained as ‘critical friends’ (external assessors); a team of 4 peers is invited into a local authority to identify its strengths and areas for improvement against the Benchmark by assessing strategic documents, using interview and workshop techniques with key stakeholders and participating in relevant meetings. The recommendations of the Peer Review team provide the basis for the leadership of the local authority to develop an Improvement Plan.

This tool was also published in Toolkit I and was implemented in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. Since the development of the Leadership Academy Programme (which makes use of some of the tools, in particular the “Leadership Benchmark” but offers a lighter format – seminars instead of peer reviews), this tool was less in demand.

3. Best Practice

There are local authorities in every country that achieve the highest standards in some aspects of their work. This best practice can be identified and shared with other local authorities. Learning from each other, rather than from an external expert, is indeed a best practice methodology.

The Best Practice programme applies a systematic approach, where best practice achievement in selected themes is identified and celebrated, but carries with it an obligation to pass on the best practice to other local authorities through a systematic training programme.

In practical terms, the programme explains very clearly how to launch an awareness-raising campaign through the preparation of a booklet and an application form to be sent to all local governments and through the media. Once applications are received, a Selection Panel will shortlist a number of them and will make fact-finding missions to the respective municipalities. The Selection Panel will select the award-winning municipalities who will receive their awards during an official ceremony.

In the second stage, the dissemination phase includes Open Days and study visits organised in these municipalities, seminars and workshops, dissemination on paper and on CDROM, preparation and broadcasting of short documentary films etc.

Each year, a new Best Practice round with different themes can be launched.

This tool was published in Toolkit I and has been or is being implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo*, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

4. Fundamental Performance Review

Where a local authority recognises weakness in a service, it can use an internal review team to systematically review the service, identify best practice elsewhere and recommend the way forward. External assistance can provide objectivity and bring expertise. The tool is helpful when used in conjunction with, for example, the Leadership Benchmark or the performance management programme, when areas for development are identified.

This is a more basic tool, with less practical impact which has only been used for training purposes.

5. Guide to Local Democracy

To develop proper accountability for local government, the local population and organisations need to understand the rights, obligations and opportunities of their local authority. Where there is insufficient awareness, this Guide can be adapted and used as a tool in local seminars that bring together local people and the councillors and officials of their local authority. Such seminars can stimulate on-going dialogue between local authorities and the citizens they serve.

This tool was published in a separate booklet-format publication in 2007.

6. Public Ethics Benchmark

Democracy depends fundamentally on public trust. Without the broad confidence of the public in the integrity of those they elect to represent them, and of those employed to deliver services to them, democratic institutions will falter. Democracies across Europe are increasingly aware that standards of ethical behaviour must be actively nurtured.

_____________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

To help do so, the Centre of Expertise has developed a tool that helps local authorities to assess and, above all, to improve public ethics.

This tool comprises a European Score Card and a methodology organised around objective self-assessments and reviews by trained peers.

It was developed in 2006 and was tested in Spain in 2007. It was implemented in the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Romania. This tool was included in Toolkit III.

7. Strengthening the Capacity of Local Government Associations

Local Government Associations (LGAs) are critical institutions in building strong local government. An LGA is about developing “good governance”. A strong and independent LGA can make a difference. It promotes decentralisation, strengthens local authorities and builds up local government institutions, such as training agencies and information centres that can help local authorities to develop their expertise, to build capacity and to drive up performance towards European standards. However, in many countries the LGAs should be much stronger than they are and local authorities could benefit considerably from more comprehensive LGA support.

The Council of Europe and UNDP have brought together tested materials from across Europe in a Toolkit entitled “Towards a Modern Local Government Association” (Toolkit II).

The Toolkit is a single collection of modern and practical tools which should help an LGA to play a more significant role as a national advocate for better local government and to provide effective training and capacity-building services to municipalities. It focuses on the performance (self-) assessment of an LGA, its strengths and organisational development. It includes tools which can help local government associations to assess where they are, to improve their relevance and performance and to adapt to the needs of their members.

The Toolkit was introduced to local government associations from South-Eastern Europe (SEE), Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine and Central Asia in co-operation with UNDP, SNV (Dutch development organisation), VNG International (Dutch local government Association) and NALAS (Network of Associations of Local Authorities in SEE).

8. Performance Management

Performance management is a key discipline that local authorities can use to drive up performance in internal and external services. Local authorities and their associations should identify those critical factors that determine good performance in a service (key performance indicators). Performance indicators can cover, for example, service efficiency and quality, user satisfaction, service accessibility, unit cost, etc.

A national Association can use research across local authorities and in other countries to determine what standards should be applied within each key performance indicator. Individual local authorities can agree performance targets with service managers to achieve or exceed the standard. Managers can use performance indicators to improve their own performance. Where performance indicators reveal weakness, action can be taken to initiate improvements.

Regular local authority reports with performance data will show the level of performance against the performance indicators over time and relative to other local authorities. The association (with the government where it has a direct interest) can use performance management to drive up performance across local government.

The Centre has developed a pack of Performance Management of tools and guides which were piloted in Bulgaria in 2006-2007 and have been implemented in Serbia in co-operation with French local authorities since 2008, as well as in Albania and in Ukraine. New programmes were launched in 2011 in Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels Capital Region). The structure of the pack includes simple performance management guides, using elements of the CDLR report on Performance Management at Local Level and other examples supplied in particular from the UK and Norway, and a communication strategy – an approach on how to promote a performance management structure.

The Toolkit IV dealing with strategic municipal planning and performance management was finalised in December 2011 and published in February 2012.

9. Citizen Participation

Local government is accountable to local people. Accountability starts with elections. But it should go beyond that. Local people and organisations want a say in the local authority’s vision and priorities, in how it spend its revenues. Service users can contribute to the design and quality of services so that the service better meets local needs. Local organisations may be able to work in partnership with the local authority to deliver specific services more effectively.

How good is a local authority at engaging local people and organisations in local government? The Community Participation programme will enable a local authority to do a ‘stock take’ of its performance in this field and draw up an Action Plan to drive improvements.

The Steering Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) piloted a “CLEAR” participation model5 in 5 member states. The first wave of tests ended with a final conference in June 2006 in Tampere (Finland); a second wave took place in 2007 in another group of countries. Subject to available resources, the results of this activity could be used to update and enrich the current Citizen Participation tool (already published in Toolkit I). The revised and completed version should be published in Toolkit V or VI.

Moreover, a new methodology of implementation (based, inter alia, on a version of the 360° review process) should be developed in order to increase the operability of the Citizen Participation tool included in Toolkit I.

A citizen participation programme was implemented in several Spanish local authorities (Province of Gerona, Cities of Gerona, Malaga, Getafe, San Sebastien, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Pineda de Mar) in cooperation with the French municipalities of Strasbourg and Bordeaux.

10. Local Finance Benchmarks

Good local government depends fundamentally on the existence of sufficient financial resources, which allow local authorities to offer services that are adapted to their residents’ expectations, and on good financial management procedures, which provide both for the necessary flexibility in local budgetary questions and for clear accountability for financial decisions.

Based on the Council of Europe acquis, the Open Society Institute – Local Government and Public Services Initiative (LGI) and the Centre of Expertise have jointly developed a new tool, composed of four benchmarks. These address respectively local and central authorities and deal both with the income and the expenditure side of local finance.

The Centre of Expertise and OSI successfully piloted this tool in Bulgaria, in co-operation with the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB). Since 2011, its implementation has been running in Ukraine. In 2013, it should be implemented in a comparative manner in Greece, Portugal and Spain.

This tool was published in 2009 as Toolkit III and was updated in 2012.

11. “Leadership Academy” programme

Starting from its tools for leadership development and subject to resources, in 2008 the Centre of Expertise developed a “Leadership Academy” programme. The aim of such a “virtual” Academy is to improve the abilities of local leaders. In practice, the programme provides for a series of national and international activities for senior elected representatives and officials (i.e. Mayors, Heads of Administration and their deputies) to develop their leadership capabilities and to take leadership initiatives in their own local authorities.

Training documents and curricula were finalised in 2012 and published (in electronic format) in the form of a specific toolkit.

This toolkit has already met with significant success and has been or is being implemented in Bulgaria, Russia, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Ukraine and Turkey and its implementation should start in Malta and ” the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

12. Strategic Municipal Planning

Starting from the Leadership Benchmarking Programme, this Programme has for its main objectives to support local authorities to create a vision for their municipality by involving citizens and in the form of the participative development of concrete municipal strategic plans. This tool includes a Guide to Municipal Strategic Planning, template plans as well as tools for ensuring information dissemination and exchanges in the form of training and peer reviews. It also includes examples from several countries and in particular from its implementation in Albania, Armenia and Georgia.

The Toolkit IV dealing with strategic municipal planning and performance management was finalised in December 2011 and published in February 2012.

13. Inter-municipal Co-operation

In the light of the long-term challenges coming from public fiscal deficits, there is a need for more efficient local government and better management of public expenditure. Central and local government need to work together to give a strong sense of direction and make best use of resources. In this context, Inter-municipal Co-operation (IMC) has become a key area for reform, as a way to raise the quality of local government services, bring efficiency and effectiveness in administrations, lead to more rational urban planning and sustainable local development policies. IMC is seen as an important option available to municipalities for meeting the expectations of citizens for better services, more jobs and a cleaner environment. IMC might enhance visibility of local authorities and attract public and private investments including access to external funds such as EU grants.

Between 2008-2009, the Council of Europe, the UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava and the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative of the Open Society Institute (LGI) implemented a series of regional workshops and developed a set of modern and practical tools on IMC. A Toolkit on IMC was compiled and includes a Manual and a shorter Guide for Practitioners. They provide a clear explanation of IMC, including on its opportunities and risks, the steps needed to plan a successful IMC project, the legal forms and financial options, methods of accountability, etc. The Toolkit also offers a Training Library and access to an IMC Website containing further information and material such as case-studies and best practice.

The Toolkit’s immediate aim is to develop a commitment within countries to extend IMC initiatives. It helps develop IMC awareness and capacity at central and local levels and in local government associations. It is designed for participants with influence or decision-making authority.

It is meant to be adapted to the specific circumstances of a country and support a programme where national authorities will take steps to establish a more ‘enabling framework’ for IMC and launch a national IMC initiative. The local leadership in specific municipalities will take the initiative to launch IMC projects.

The Toolkit was officially launched during an International Conference on IMC (Sept 2010, Dubrovnik). It was already introduced in a number of countries such as Croatia, Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.

14. Cross-Border co-operation

Based on the experience of the Centre of Expertise with inter-municipal co-operation (a specific toolkit was developed on this topic with UNDP – see above) and of the CDLR with transfrontier co-operation, in 2011 the Centre developed, in co-operation with the Nordic Council, a specific toolkit on cross-border co-operation, which includes practical instruments and methodologies aiming at helping local authorities to establish successful cross-border co-operation arrangements (identifying needs, negotiating arrangements, establishing legal forms, obtaining funding, communicating...).

15. Human resources management

Modern HRM is indispensable for ensuring high quality of local governance. In many European countries, HRM regulations and mechanisms are either too rigid to allow for the necessary flexibility and efficiency of public action, or too lax and inducing various forms of abuse of power, including politicisation of local public service and mismanagement of human resources.

A specific toolkit has been prepared in order to offer practical guidance for municipalities to establish job descriptions, professional hiring and firing mechanisms, an appraisal system which is co-ordinated with the promotion mechanism, as well methods to identify training needs for local staff.

Already tested in Serbia and Albania, these tools have been developed in the form of a specialised Toolkit in 2012 and published in ELoGE (in electronic format only).

16. European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE)

ELoGE was developed with support from the Centre of Expertise, which is also currently promoting it in several countries. It sets up a mechanism whereas a European label is awarded to local authorities which achieve a certain level of quality in their governance as measured against several evaluation instruments developed at European level. The awarding is performed by a national platform accredited by the Council of Europe, more specifically by its Stakeholders' Platform, including representatives from the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the CDLR and the Conference of INGOs.

ELoGE instruments include a benchmark for assessing the quality of governance against the 12 European Principles of Good Democratic Governance included in the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level, two model questionnaires for the public and local councillors respectively, and model regulations for national platforms which want to obtain accreditation to grant the label.

ELoGE is effective in Norway and Bulgaria and other countries (Austria, France, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine) are interested and in the process of setting up arrangements for joining them.

APPENDIX II – Country-specific activities

Member States

1. Albania

a. Previous activities

Since 2010, a project on “Reinforcing local and regional government structures in Albania” was implemented in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior and the Associations of Communes and of Municipalities and funded by the Swiss Government, aiming mainly at improving the framework for Inter-Municipal Co-operation and developing and implementing a set of modern tools on Human Resource Mechanisms for local administrations. The programme ended on 31 March 2012.

b. Activities in 2012

Assessment of the situation on IMC and HRM was finalised. The Toolkit and training materials on IMC were adapted to the Albanian context while modern HRM tools were developed and tested in pilot LGUs. Specific training activities such as Trainings of Trainers (ToT) as well as study visits, thematic workshops, round tables and Open Days in LGUs were also organized.

A Report on the State of Local Democracy was developed and presented to the authorities with the aim of assessing the results achieved by the Albanian government in promoting the process of decentralisation.

As a follow up to Phase I, a new and more ambitious programme started in November 2012 and was generously financed through a renewed contribution by the Swiss donors. This programme has a clear focus on legislative assistance and practical support on IMC and HRM (to be implemented by the Centre of Expertise) and another Line of Action is focused on co-operation between local elected representatives and implemented by the Congress. The project takes into consideration the Project Phase I results, findings and recommendations as well as suggestions, comments and inputs gathered during the meetings and seminars held with Albanian partners including the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the local and regional elected representatives. The Programme will run through to 2015.

c. Envisaged activities

The activities will be implemented under the above-mentioned co-operation programme and will target improved legislative framework on IMC that offers the basis for improved services delivery to citizens; increased understanding of IMC, including its advantages and risks; assistance to IMC initiatives on different public services in at least 12 LGUs; implementation of adopted HRM tools in pilot LGUs and that good HRM practices are exchanged and promoted at national level. It is also envisaged to support drafting the secondary legislation on the basis of the (new) law on civil servants with particular focus on local government administration. Given the complexity of the programme, about twenty activities are currently envisaged to take place in 2013 including policy working groups on IMC and HRM, legal drafting group and trainings. Synergies will be found with the line of action implemented by the Congress, as inter-municipal co-operation and strengthening the capacities of local administration have been identified as priorities for further co-operation between local elected representatives.

2. Armenia

a. Previous activities

In the framework of the Programme on Strategic Municipal Planning (SMP), launched in 2010 in co-operation with the Communities Association of Armenia (CAA) and the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration, a first series of field visits in 5 pilots municipalities was organised with a view to revise their existing strategic municipal plans and make them more comprehensive, project oriented and locally owned.

On that occasion, elected representatives and officials of the five pilots were introduced to the Council of Europe municipal planning methodology and trained on the planning techniques aimed at the definition of vision, goals, objectives, programmes and projects.

Bilateral meetings with the officials of the 5 pilot municipalities as well as a Joint Evaluation Workshop were organised in November 2011 in Yerevan with the objective to discuss their draft strategic municipal plans. The results of the meeting were positive: key objectives, programmes and projects were identified and clearly stated for the period 2012/2017 in each of the pilot municipalities’ strategic plans.

b. Activities in 2012

2012 saw the finalisation of five strategic municipal development plans by the pilot municipalities of Areni, Vanadzor, Goris, Parakar and Dilijan and the preparation of the National Guidebook on Municipal Planning. The documents were presented and discussed during a Closing Conference organised in Yerevan specifically dedicated to marking the finalisation of the programme ‘Strategic Municipal Planning in Armenia, implemented by the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform, in cooperation with the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Communities Association of Armenia.

The representatives of the five pilot municipalities each presented their experiences of drawing up and finalising the strategic plans and the perspectives for their implementation. The Council of Europe expert, who had accompanied the municipalities throughout the implementation of the programme presented his own experience and gave some ideas as to how the strategic plans could remain up to date for the municipalities in the development process. The representatives of pilot municipalities mentioned that some of the projects which were drawn up during the programme had already entered their implementation stage.

The National Guidebook on Strategic Planning was distributed in paper copy to all Armenian municipalities and was made available in electronic format on the websites of the Centre of Expertise, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Communities Association of Armenia.

The five printed strategic plans (in Armenian and English) were also distributed to a wide range of international actors, potential donor organizations and local authorities wishing to undertake similar long-term planning initiatives. Deputy Minister V. Terteryan said that the experience of this project points to the fact that long-term strategic municipal planning should be prescribed by legislation and currently the Armenian Government has initiated steps in this direction.

Activities

Outputs delivered

1. Finalisation, translation and publication of five strategic municipal plans of Areni, Parakhar, Vanadzor, Dilijan and Goris – January –June 2012

The representatives of pilot municipalities in close cooperation with a local expert and Council of Europe experts finalised the strategic development plan for their municipality, which included a number of concrete project proposals that could be implemented in the near future.

2. Finalisation, translation and publication of a National Guidebook on Strategic Planning in Armenia January-June 2012

A National Guidebook was elaborated by the CoE experts, representatives of the Centre of Expertise and the local expert to adopt the existing CoE standards of strategic planning at local level to Armenian realities. The Guidebook was published and disseminated to all Armenian municipalities through the Communities Association of Armenia.

3. Closing Conference organised, dedicated to marking the finalisation of programme “Strategic Municipal Planning in Armenia” 8 June 2012

The five strategic municipal plans drawn up by pilot municipalities as well as the National Guidebook were presented at the Conference. It marked an occasion to assess the overall implementation of the programme, the outcomes and results, the lessons learnt as well as the possible steps to be taken in the future, resulting from the Programme.

c. Envisaged activities

In 2013, the Centre has put forward a project proposal including, in addition to legal and policy assistance (which is not the subject of this report), three capacity-building programmes: on Public Ethics, Human Resource Management system and Best Practice programme which, if implemented, are most likely to reinforce in a significant way the capacities and service delivery qualities of Armenian municipalities. The proposals derive from the Action Plan agreed between Armenia and the Council of Europe for 2012-2015 and shall be implemented subject to financial contributions from possible donors. The Congress has developed another module of political co-operation which has been added to the programme. Denmark has expressed an interest in funding the programme.

3. Austria

a. Previous activities

Co-operation was established with the Austrian Association of Towns as well as with the Management Centre of Innsbruck (MCI), to promote the European Label for Innovation and Good Governance - ELoGE and the Leadership Academy Programme. The “Structures and Procedures of ELoGE” were translated into German.

In 2011, MCI offered a training based on the 12 Principles of good governance. With the participation of the City of Innsbruck, the training finished with the assessment of Innsbruck practice, against the ELoGE benchmark (Innsbruck as a result was awarded a symbolic dodecahedron for its high scores on all principles. A meeting on the Leadership Academy Programme and ELoGE was also held in Innsbruck with the participation of representatives of local government associations form Croatia and Turkey.

b. Activities in 2012

Activities

Outputs delivered

1 CoE-MCI-Summer School

04.-06.07.2012:

The Leadership Academy Summer School on Good Governance

This Summer School was designed for 3 days to appeal in particular to senior managers and elected representatives of the Tyrol region. However, participants also included representatives from the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy. The topics of the Summer School included the Leadership Benchmark, the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance, self-awareness of leadership characteristics, conflict management, inter-municipal cooperation, leadership styles and organisation dynamics. 

This was the first time that the Strategy on Good Governance was linked to the Leadership Academy. Since the whole of the Leadership Academy programme is about leadership for good local governance, it should be possible to strengthen the links here further and to offer more trainings like this one in the future.

Very positive feedback from MCI and all participants.

2. Meetings and consultations on ELoGE with the Austrian Association of Towns 

The Austrian Association of Towns prepared its application for the European Label for Innovation and Good Governance – ELoGE.  However, there is still no solution on who should make an official declaration on behalf of Austria that the country is joining the Strategy

c. Envisaged activities

Further activities in Austria will depend upon local demand and available funding.

4. Belgium

a. Previous activities

The programme on performance management at local level was launched in cooperation with the Union of Cities and Communes of Wallonia (UVCW) in 2011. In this respect, a meeting with representatives of the Association of the City and the Municipalities of the Brussels Capital Region and the Union of Municipalities and Communes of Wallonia was held in Brussels in February 2011.

As a follow-up, a group of pilot municipalities was set up and a launching seminar of the programme was held in Namur in May 2011 with the aim of discussing the practices, weaknesses and needs of Walloons pilot municipalities in terms of piloting, management and evaluation of their municipal actions. On this occasion, an action plan of the new Belgium performance management programme was agreed upon.

A first series of field visits, joint and bilateral meetings with elected officials, staff members and civil society stakeholders from the three municipalities of Andenne, Beauraing and Tournai took place on 11 and 12 December 2011, to discuss their respective approach to performance management and assist them in completing distinct performance plans in their respective chosen field of action, namely tourism and HR management.

b. Activities in 2012

The programme on performance management at local level continued in 2012 and a second field visit of experts was held on 21 and 22 June 2012 in the two most advanced pilot municipalities of Andenne and Beauraing. Talks were also held at the Headquarters of the Union of Walloons cities (UVCW) in Namur to review the conclusions of the programme.

In the following months, both pilot municipalities completed successfully their respective performance plans in the field of HR management taking into account CoE experts detailed recommendations.

A Manual on performance management was then finalised with case studies from both pilots and put at the disposal of the Union of Walloon Cities and Municipalities (UVCW). This manual is to be used by the Union in the framework of the implementation of the Communal Transversal Strategic Plan (PST) it has initiated in late 2012, after the last local elections held in October, with the support of the Region of Wallonia. This PST has for its main objectives to introduce performance management mechanisms and indicators in the planning process of Walloons municipalities.

Activities

Outputs delivered

1. 2nd field visit of CoE experts in the pilot municipalities of Andenne and Beauraing (21 & 22June 2012)

Support to completion of respective performance management Plans in the field of HR management.

2. Completion of a Manual onperformance management at local level (October 2012)

Completion of a Manual on performance management with case studies from Beauraing and Andenne put at the disposal of the Union of Cities of Wallonia (UNVW).

c. Envisaged activities

In 2013, the Centre may be invited by the UVCW and the Region of Wallonia to support the implementation of the PST (Communal Transversal Strategic Plan) initiated late 2012, with the objective of introducing performance management mechanisms and indicators in the planning process of Walloons municipalities. However, this is still subject to confirmation and official request.

5. Bosnia and Herzegovina

a. Previous activities

Between 2005 and 2007, the Centre of Expertise, in cooperation with the OSCE Mission in BiH as well as the RS and FBIH Associations of local authorities, implemented the 1st and 2nd Round of a best practice programme called BiH Beacon Scheme, as well as a project aimed at building the capacities of both Associations of local authorities. Other rounds of the BiH Beacon Scheme (Best Practices Programme) were implemented between 2008 and 2010, but without Council of Europe's direct involvement. It was fully financed by local stakeholders, after the transfer of all management responsibilities to the FBIH Ministry of Justice, the RS Ministry of public administration and local self-government as well as the FBIH and RS Associations of local authorities. Additional rounds of the BiH Beacon Scheme were implemented between in 2011 on the modalities reported above.

b. Activities in 2012

The Centre did not implement any capacity building programmes. It however supported the working group on Codex for relations between the different levels of government through providing continuous local expert assistance.

c. Envisaged activities

A proposal for a two-year programme on Strengthening democracy and good governance at local level in Bosnia and Herzegovina was prepared and funding was requested under the Norway Framework Agreement for Co-operation. The proposed project aims at harmonisation of sectoral legislation, improved transparency and enhanced ethics, development of management and leadership capacities at local level and inter-municipal co-operation. The negotiations are currently underway.

6. Bulgaria

a. Previous activities

Between 2003 and 2006, the Council of Europe worked with the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria (NAMRB) to implement a pilot Leadership Benchmark project based on Peer Reviews and a Self-Assessment process. From 2006 to 2008, a PM programme was implemented as well as a full road test of the new tool on Benchmarking Local Finance with the support of OSI. In 2010, the Bulgarian application for delivering the ELoGE label was successful, the Council of Europe Stakeholders' Platform delivering to Bulgaria the first accreditation to grant EloGE. In April 2011, together with NAMCB, the Centre of Expertise organized a Training of Trainers (ToT) on Leadership Academy Programme in Istanbul as well as two sessions of the Leadership Academy Programme. In addition, a Regional Conference on Local Finance and Economic Crisis was organised with the support of NAMRB and funding from the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI).

b. Activities in 2012

The Centre of Expertise supported the National Association of Municipal Clerks of the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMCRB) in organising a Leadership Academy Programme which was not only offered to local leaders from Bulgaria, but also Greece and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

c. Envisaged activities

Subject to funding availability, the Centre of Expertise should continue to organise, in cooperation with the NAMRCB, further activities under Leadership Academy Programme with a regional and/or neighbouring countries dimension.

7. Croatia

a. Previous activities

The Inter-municipal Cooperation project in Croatia was implemented by the Croatian Association of Municipalities in co-operation with the Association of Towns and the Ministry of Public Administration (the Ministry).

It started in June 2010 with the preparation of a comprehensive technical analysis on the current environment for IMC in Croatia. A national Working Group of experts on IMC from the Associations of Towns and Municipalities, the Ministry, and Council of Europe was established to support the project implementation. The analysis included a review of the institutional, legal and financial framework for IMC, and identified challenges and opportunities for IMC. It also provided case studies of IMC in Croatia. On the basis of the results of the Technical analysis, recommendations for improvement and tools for encouraging IMC initiatives at local and central levels were developed. The CoE-UNDP-LGI Toolkit on IMC was adapted to the Croatian environment – information, learning and training materials were developed.

b. Activities in 2012

The Croatian handbook was published early January 2012 and was presented on 15 March 2012 in Zagreb in the presence of representatives from local authorities and from the Ministry of Public Administration.

In April 2012, the Croatian Association of Municipalities organized a first training for local officials based on the CoE-UNDP-LGI Toolkit with the aim of offering the IMC training course on a regular basis.

8. France

a. Previous activity

In 2011, the Centre carried on developing its close cooperation with several French partners, in particular the National Institute for Territorial Studies (INET), offering training based on the Centre's tools and co-organising seminars) and promoting the Strategy and ELoGE (the label). Several joint events (workshops, international conferences and training sessions) were organised.

In particular, an international colloquy entitled "Transparency and public ethics: a challenge to democracy" was organised on 30th June and 1st July 2011 in Strasbourg, in co-operation with the City of Strasbourg, the University of Pau and the French National Centre for Local Public Service (CNFPT).

b. Activities in 2012

Early 2012, the Centre secretariat was invited to contribute to a 3 days conference called « the Citizen Fabric » that was held at the Paris Descartes University. This event was organised by the French consulting cabinet called « Missions publiques » and the Youth network « Animafac » that gathers more than 12 000 French students associations.

This conference had for its main objective to give to a selected panel of French students between 18 and 30 years old, coming from all over France and from various social backgrounds the opportunity to debate with different key speakers about their wishes for France in the fields of education, the economy and European integration with a key question to be answered “In which society do we want to live in 2017?”.

The Centre secretariat was invited to contribute to the theme of Building Europe with citizens and to present the existing Council of Europe mechanisms for promoting citizen participation including at local level, and for developing European citizenship in general. Around 60 youths as well as key speakers including Martin Hirsch, President of the French Civic Service Agency, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner Catherine Lalumière, former Council of Europe Secretary General and Nicolas Hulot, French TV presenter and environmental activist took part in the debates.

The conclusions were then presented officially to all candidates for the French presidential election that was held in May 2012 during a national conference, organized on Saturday 17 March at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris and gathering hundreds of participants,. These conclusions were then published and largely disseminated all over France.

Other than ongoing cooperation with the INET and the organisation of training sessions for their students, the following months mainly focused on the promotion of the European Label EloGE, with the support of the French pilot municipalities and the University of Pau.

A detailed accreditation file of the future French national platform was thus prepared and submitted in March 2012 to the French Association of Mayors (AMF) and the French Ministry of Local Self-Government.

A meeting of all key French stakeholders was held on 27 June 2012 in Paris. Even though clear progress was welcome, it was agreed to put the discussions on hold owing to the municipal elections to be held in March 2014. Negotiations should thus resume late 2013 in order to find an agreement, concerning in particular funding, in order that the Label can be launched as soon as April 2014.

Finally, the French cities of Strasbourg and Nevers actively supported the implementation of the component of the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia – Phase II” (2009/2012) dealing with modern and effective human resources management. They contributed more especially to the drafting and publication of a detailed HRM Toolkit, later disseminated to all Serbia local authorities, by providing examples of HRM tools they developed (job profiles definition, recruitment and selection procedures and staff performance appraisals). Their representatives also took part in several training sessions for Serbian local government officials organised in Belgrade.

Activities

Outputs delivered

1. Participation in the conference “The citizen fabric”, 28 January 2012, Paris

Contribution to the theme of Building Europe and presentation of the CoE mechanism for promoting active participation at local level and European citizenship overall. Conclusions of the conference were widely disseminated throughout France.

2. Promotion of the Strategy and European Label ELoGE

Completion of the accreditation file of the French national platform and presentation to key French stakeholders, the French Association of Mayors and the French Ministry for local self-government.

3. Support of the French cities of Strasbourg and Nevers to the completion of the Serbian Toolkit on modern and effective HRM

Both cities provided examples of HRM tools such as job profiles definition, recruitment and selection procedures and staff performance appraisals which were included in the Toolkit.

c. Envisaged activities

    · Co-operation with INET/CNFPT, should continue on the same basis and several joint training sessions should be organised;

    · Assistance with creation of a French national platform for delivering the European Label ELoGE will be further provided (due to municipal elections to be held in March 2014 discussions have been put on hold).

9. Georgia

a. Previous activity

Between 2008 – 2011 the following activities were implemented: a National Training Strategy (NTS), HRM at municipal level, Assistance to emergency planning, Municipal Councillors’ Training Programme and Strategic Municipal Planning Programme (SMP).

b. Activities en 2012

No capacity building. Only legal assistance (not the subject of the current report) was provided to the Georgian government in 2012.

c. Envisaged activities

A new programme proposal, including both legal assistance and capacity building was prepared.

10. Germany

a. Previous activities

The Centre of Expertise and the Euro-Institute of Kehl organized in Kehl on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 September 2011 a colloquy on the theme "participative local democracy in Europe: tendencies and evolutions”, in partnership with the Kehl School of Public Administration and the Association Europa.

b. Activities in 2012

A first Information Meeting on the European Label for Innovation and Good Governance (ELoGE) at local level was organised for German local authorities from Baden-Württemberg on October 2012 in Kehl, with the support of the Euro-Institute. Representatives of the French local authorities of Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Suresnes which are also testing the Label, were also invited to exchange good practices.


The Kehl Meeting provided the opportunity to discuss the introduction of ELoGE in Germany, more especially in Baden-Württemberg, focusing on the relevance of such a tool for German local authorities as a whole, and the actions that this would entail. More generally, the meeting aimed at discussing ways of promoting, on a national and European scale, innovation and good governance at the local level.

As a follow-up, a clear set to actions to be undertaken was agreed upon and a draft accreditation file of the future German national platform from Baden-Württemberg was prepared with the support of the consulting firm “Governance international”.

In addition, the cities of Offenburg and Freiburg supported the drafting of a detailed Toolkit on “Modern and effective human resource management”, in the framework the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia Phase II (2009/2012) They provided examples of HRM tools such as job profiles definition, recruitment and selection procedures and staff performance appraisal. This Toolkit was completed late 2012 and disseminated to all Serbian municipalities with the support of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM).

Activities

Outputs delivered

1. Completion of the draft accreditation file of the future German Platform of Baden-Württemberg

A draft accreditation file was completed with draft budget and time table of action in order to be discussed with key German stakeholders in 2013.

2. Support of Offenburg and Freiburg in the completion of Serbian Toolkit on Modern and effective HR management.

Both cities provided examples of HR tools such as job profiles definition, recruitment and selection procedures and staff performance appraisals which were included in the Toolkit

b. Envisaged activities in 2013

    · The promotion and testing of the European Label on Governance Excellence (ELoGE) will continue in several cities from Baden-Württemberg, including Stuttgart, with the support of the Euro-Institute and the consulting firm “Governance international”;

    Several joint meetings of pilot cities, relevant Ministries, and Association of Local Authorities of Baden Württemberg will be organised. A 2nd Joint Meeting of pilot Local Authorities from Baden Württemberg is thus to be held in late April in Stuttgart.

    · The cities of Offenburg and Freiburg will also be invited to continue contributing to the implementation of the Joint Programme on “Building the administrative capacities of Serbian local authorities” (2013/2016), which should be launched in the 2nd half of 2013. .

11. Hungary

a. Previous activities

The Best Practice Programme and the Leadership Benchmarking Programme were implemented from 2008 to 2011 by the National Association of Local Authorities in Hungary (TÖOSZ) in co-operation with the Ministry of Local Government and other associations of local authorities. All the relevant news and information can be found on TÖOSZ webpage, including all the applications and case studies. Both LAP and BP were continued throughout 2011.

b. Activities in 2012

A Best Practice programme cycle continued in 2012. A third and fourth session of the Leadership Academy Programme with the support of TÖOSZ took place as well. They were addressed to both CEOs and Mayors.

c. Envisaged activities

Co-operation with TOOSZ is envisaged in 2013 and its specific aims and goals are being currently discussed. It should normally concern a continuation of the current programmes (Best Practice and Leadership Academy) and support to the establishment of the accreditation dossier for ELoGE.

12. Italy

a. Activities in 2012

In 2012 the Centre organised a Conference on IMC in Cadore, a mountainous area situated in the Veneto Region not far from the Austrian border. The aim of the conference was to support local authorities in merging public services as foreseen by the new regional legislation. On this occasion best practices from the Ticino Canton were presented. The conference was supported by the Regional Council and other local stakeholders.

During a meeting between the Head of Democratic Institutions and Governance Department, Mr. Alfonso Zardi, and the Head of the Regional Direction for Local Authorities, Mr. Maurizio Gasparin which took place in December 2012, Mr Gasparin expressed his willingness to adopt the Strategy for Good Governance and Innovation at the Local Level in the Veneto Region and asked for the support of the Centre.

b. Future activities

The launch of ELoGE in the Veneto Region received endorsement from regional councillors on the occasion of a conference which took place on 4 March 2013 in Padua (Italy). The Centre is currently supporting the Veneto Region to set up the arrangements for accreditation to ELoGE.

13. Malta

a. Previous activity

In 2011, the Prime Minister’s Office applied for Norway Grants to implement the capacity building programmes proposed by the Centre (NTS, Good Governance, LAP and PMP). A detailed project proposal and an Action Plan were developed by the Maltese authorities with the assistance of the Centre, and information seminars for mayors and executives secretaries on NTS / TNA were held.

b. Activity in 2012

The work on the preparation of the Norway grants project continued. The Centre had more meetings and consultations with the Maltese Ministry for Home Affairs (Department of Local Governance – DLC), local government association and local authorities, etc. The CoE experts developed, presented and finalised a full proposal on TNS and TNA; agreements were reached with stakeholders on implementation modalities.

In November, a meeting was held in Oslo between the CoE, DLC, KS and NMFA to discuss and clarify the role of each partner.

c. Future activities

With some delay, in February 2013 the project proposal was approved. The implementation should begin with the first Steering Committee meeting as soon as the financing is disbursed (expected in April 2013). The project will include the National Training Strategy, Performance Management, the Leadership Academy, Best Practice and ELoGE.

14. Republic of Moldova

a. Previous activities

Four rounds of the Best Practice Programme were implemented with significant success in 2006-2010. The National Training Strategy programme was also implemented in partnership with the Moldovan Academy for Public Administration.

A Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme was implemented in 2007-2008. (For further information about these programmes please see: www.local.md). An Award Ceremony of the Best Practice Programme was organised in January 2011 to celebrate and disseminate the Award-winning practices and was followed by dissemination in 2012 through the organisation of open days in winning municipalities, publication online of short-listed applications and the updating the website.

b. Activities in 2012

The Centre provided technical expertise to the Moldovan Government to prepare the Decentralisation Strategy, which was adopted in April 2012.

A new round of the Best Practices Programme (BPP) started in October 2012 in northern, southern and central Republic of Moldova and in Chisinau for promoting the best practices competition and will continue in 2013. The programme will be implemented in 2013, and municipalities will be selected to receive BP awards. A High Level National Ceremony will be organised to deliver the awards and ensure the promotion of the best practices identified.

c. Envisaged activities

The Centre will continue to provide support to the implementation of the Best Practice Programme and to the decentralisation reform.

15. Montenegro

a. Previous activities

A Joint Council of Europe - European Agency for Reconstruction Programme was implemented in 2006-2008 in co-operation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro. It included the preparation of a National Training Strategy, and Best Practice and Leadership Development programmes. An EU–CoE Joint Programme on Strengthening Local Self-Government in Montenegro Phase II was launched in 2009 with the aim to consolidate the legislative framework governing the functioning of local self-government in the country, bringing it in line with established European norms and standards. The EU-CoE Joint Programme on Strengthening Local Self-Government in Montenegro Phase II was completed in 2011.

b. Activities in 2012

The Centre of Expertise implemented two cycles of the Leadership Academy Programme. The final cycle will take place in February 2013.

c. Future activities

The Centre of Expertise will finalise implementation of the Leadership Academy Programme.

The Centre is currently discussing with partners the possibility for a larger and more ambitious JP focused on Harmonisation of the local self-government legal framework with the Council of Europe acquis, which could start already in July 2013, subject to funding availability. As a result of consultations with the principal stakeholders it was agreed that the programme will provide support to the on-going process of reform of local government in Montenegro with a view to harmonizing and improving the legislative framework, increasing the clarity, efficiency, transparency and accessibility of functioning of local self-government in Montenegro. More specifically, the legal and practical obstacles to the implementation of the applicable European standards are identified both at policy and current legislation level and targeted recommendations are formulated and disseminated with a view to harmonising legislation and adjusting national reform policies in the identified areas of concern.

16. Romania

a. Previous activities

From 2007 to 2008 Romania implemented a Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme in co-operation with the Romanian National Agency for Civil Servants. The Romanian Association of Communes (ACOR) and the Association of Municipalities (AMR) expressed an interest in the Strategy and ELoGE.

b. Activities in 2012

The Romanian Association of Municipalities and Romanian Association of communes requested support from the Centre of Expertise to obtain accreditation to delivering ELoGE. Technical assistance was provided to adapt the instruments for assessing the quality of local governance to Romanian conditions6.

The team from ACOR translated the documents (questionnaire evaluation benchmark, Accrediting Commission regulations and criteria for award) and, together with AMR adapted them to the Romanian language and legislative context. Five cities and five villages were selected for pilot testing the evaluation benchmark (the first three communes are Luncaviţa - Tulcea county, Stefan cel mare – Calarasi county, Vulcana bai, Dambovita county). Pilot testing started in December 2012.

c. Future activities

The support to the Platform for delivering ELoGE will continue in 2013. The application should be submitted to the Council of Europe and analysed by the Stakeholders Platform at its meeting in 2013.

17. Russian Federation

In 2012, the Centre prepared, in co-operation with the relevant Russian Federation authorities, a proposal for an ambitious Joint Programme on Strengthening Local and Regional Governments in the Russian Federation. The proposal was prepared on the basis of mutually agreed priorities, takes into account latest legislative and policy developments in the Russian Federation and builds on the Council of Europe acquis in the area of local and regional self-government. It envisages the following five components: shared responsibilities between different authorities’ levels; performance management and efficient Human Resources policy; inter-municipal co-operation; citizen participation, and strategic and spatial planning. Work in the above-mentioned areas will contribute to the achievement of the goal of making the Russian Federation a country where legislation and practice meet European standards in the area of local and regional self-government in terms of good governance and respect for rule of law. The financing of a minimum of 2.4m Euros is currently actively searched for.

North-West Russia

a. Previous activities

IN 2005-2009 the Centre implemented, in co-operation with the NW Academy for Public Administration, a Leadership Development Programme, a Best Practice Programme and a Leadership Academy Programme.

In late 2010, the Centre of Expertise associated with the Nordic Council in order to support the implementation of a programme aiming at facilitating transfrontier co-operation in NW Russia. The launching conference of the Notabene programme, took place in March 2011 in Saint- Petersburg. Following the launching conference, other meetings were held such as an experts’ meeting that took place in June in S. Petersburg and a conference with the participation of a CoE expert in Petrozavodsk in September.

A preparatory meeting on launching the long-term programme on “Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia” with the participation of representatives from the Council of Europe, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Saint Petersburg Centre of the Development of NGOs and the North-West Institute of Management of Russian Presidential Academy took place in Copenhagen on 14 December 2011, where the official launch of the programme was agreed and road-mapped for 2012.

b. Activities in 2012

The launching Conference of the programme on “Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia” took place in St. Petersburg on 30-31 May 2012 with the active participation of the Centre of Expertise. The first training seminar of the programme was organised on 26-29 November 2012 for municipal workers from the North-West Region of the Russian Federation. The Council of Europe experts delivered presentations on separate principles of good governance and held interactive sessions with the participants.

Activities

Outputs delivered

1. conference launching the programme on “Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia”, in St. Petersburg in May 2011

Programme was launched

First training session of the programme

26-29 November 2012

CoE experts introduced selected principles on good governance, ELOGE and held interactive discussions with the participants.

c. Envisaged activities

Two training activities (which will be the second and third within the framework of the programme “Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia”) are envisaged to take place in March and September 2013, to which the Centre of Expertise will contribute with the participation of international experts. The experts’ contribution will evolve around presenting and explaining the practical implementation of the principles of good governance elaborated by the Council of Europe.

Chechen Republic

a. Previous activities

As part of the programme of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic, the Centre of Expertise implemented specific training activities between 2008 and 2011 on: 1. improving leadership capacities of the newly elected mayors; 2. improving the performance of local authorities; 3. providing support to local authorities in social-economic planning and developing normative acts and fiscal competencies (budgetary policies, increase of revenues, property tax); 4.preparing municipal plans; 5.discharging responsibilities/competences.

b. Activities in 2012

Two seminars and one open event to all subjects in the North Caucasus District were organised in Moscow and Pyatigorsk.

Activities

Outputs delivered

Seminar on ensuring equal treatment of interests between towns and rural settlements in the work of local authorities at regional level

The workshop aimed at supporting Chechen LGUs in reducing disparities and ensuring equal treatment of interests between rural and urban towns.

Seminar on the interaction of NGOs with public authorities (federal, regional and local levels)

Chechen local, regional and federal representatives were introduced to CoE methods in the field of promoting interaction between public authorities, NGOs and civil society.

Seminar on the optimisation of the work of local self-government in the rural settlements of the Northern Caucasus region: experience, best practices and current challenges (an event open to all North Caucasus federal entities)

Open event for all North Caucasus federal entities. Participants had the opportunity to exchange on experience, best practices and current challenges in reducing disparities and ensuring equal treatment of interests between rural and urban towns in the region.

c. Envisaged activities

In 2013 the Centre will continue working with Chechen LGUs on local democratic governance issues such as inter-municipal cooperation, interaction of local and regional institutions and interaction with civil society. This component of the programme echoes numerous recommendations of the CoE organs and the Russian authorities to have a multi-track approach to tackle the current challenges in the region. The development of good governance at local level should help the local authorities to deal with a range of outstanding problems such as the fight against corruption, and social and economic development of the region.

A meeting between the Head of the Political Advice Department, Mr. Alexander Guessel and the Commissioner for Human Rights for the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Lukin, took place in Moscow in February 2013. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the modalities of implementation and the themes of future activities which shall be defined by end of April 2013.

18. Serbia

a. Previous activities

Between 2006 and 2008, the Joint EU/CoE Programme on «Strengthening local self-government in Serbia » was implemented. It aimed at building Serbian local authorities capacities in terms of local leadership and performance management. In 2009, a 2nd Round of performance management and the Phase II were launched and focused mainly on the consolidation of the legal and institutional framework for local self-government. The initially foreseen duration of the programme was 36 months, expiring in April 2012.

b. Activities in 2012

The JP was extended to 31 December 2012. Activities in the extension period were focused on:

    - Strengthening of the legal status of local government staff and development and nation-wide promotion of modern and effective HRM models and functions at local level – activities related to strengthening the legal status and the effectiveness of local government employees, and in particular the promotion of modern and effective HRM models and functions in all Serbian local authorities (towns and municipalities)

    - Improvement of the management of local property – Programme activities were dedicated to development of local property management guidelines to help the local authorities in the implementation of the Law on Public Property.

Activity was mainly focused on legal and policy assistance (not the subject of the current report). Capacity building activities are mentioned below.

Activities

Outputs delivered

Human resources management

January 2012. Round Table with representatives from the MRDLSG, the SCTM, the Constitutional Court of Serbia and local experts to present the Recommendations for the improvement of the system of administrative supervision in Serbia, was held on 25 January 2012

CoE received feedback on the Recommendations and discussed the possibilities to implement proposed improvements.

March 2012. The National Conference on “Modern and effective HRM at local level” was organized on 13 March.

In addition to experiences from Serbia, practices and lessons learned from other European countries and local authorities, Germany, France, Great Britain and Ukraine, were presented and discussed. On that occasion, a manual “Modern and Effective HRM for the Performance of Serbian Local Authorities” was presented. The Manual exposed results and conclusions of the work carried out with the support of six Serbian pilot towns and municipalities since 2010, as well as some proposed HRM models and functions.

April 2012. Briefing of journalists on “Modern and effective HRM at local level: a pillar of good governance and a key to quality local public service” was held on 24 April 2012 in Belgrade.

The aim of the event was to raise media awareness on HRM.

Local and international experts presented experiences in HRM at local level and activities implemented under the Programme. Participants at the briefing were journalists from different media with national, regional and local coverage (newspapers, agencies, TV, and radio stations, portals).

The event was organised in collaboration with the NUNS (The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia).

June 2012. Workshop of Serbian municipalities “Performance mechanisms applied to HRM at local level” was organized on 8 June in Belgrade.

Participants discussed application of performance management mechanisms to the HRM and content of the HRM Toolkit.

July 2012. Workshop “Promoting modern and effective HRM at local level” was organized on 12 July in Belgrade.

Experts and participants discussed the French training system for LSG officials, content of the HRM Toolkit and action plan for the HRM activities till late 2012.

September 2012. HRM Toolkit finalised.

This detailed toolkit is aimed at Serbian local government HRM managers. It includes self-assessment tools, examples of HRM models and functions (eg job profiles definition, selection and recruitment procedures as well as staff performance appraisal with identification of training needs and elaboration of yearly training plans) to be applied in all Serbian municipalities.

October 2012. HRM Toolkit was published and presented at two regional roundtables on HRM at local level.

The first roundtable took place on 19 October in Zlatibor. Participants were representatives of the towns and municipalities from Western Serbia.

The second roundtable took place on 31 October in Belgrade, with participation of municipalities from Central Serbia.

This document contains a very detailed introduction to all relevant HRM processes, guidelines and models/tools particularly aimed at Serbian local government HRM managers. The roundtables were led by trained official’s employees from the pilot municipalities, with the support of the PMU, SCTM and local CoE experts.

November 2012. HRM Toolkit was presented in Niš on 22 November.

The HRM Toolkit was presented to the representatives of towns and municipalities from South East Serbia.

December 2012. The final roundtable on HRM at local level was organized on 5 December in Novi Sad.

The HRM Toolkit was presented to the representatives of the towns and municipalities from Northern Serbia – Vojvodina.

December 2012. On 17 December a meeting on the Proposal of the new JP on HRM (2013-2016) gathering all relevant stakeholders was organised.

Participants were representatives of the CoE, the Government (MRDLSG), the EUD and the association (SCTM). Conclusions from the four HRM regional roundtables and comments related to the Draft proposal of the new project prepared by the CoE were presented and discussed. Draft proposal was subsequently revised.

c. Envisaged activities

A new joint programme focusing on “Strengthening of administrative capacities in area of local self-government" (2013-2016) is under negotiation with EUD and other key stakeholders. The programme should be launched in spring 2013 once the Laws on status and salaries of civil servants and the National training strategy are adopted.

19. Spain

a. Previous activities

The programme on Public Ethics Benchmarking and Improvement was road-tested in Spain in 2007, in co-operation with the Spanish government and 5 Spanish municipalities. A new programme on citizen participation at local level and testing of ELoGE were launched in 2010.

3 meetings were held with a dozen of Spanish pilot local authorities in Gerona in October 2010, in San Sebastian in March 2011 and Malaga in December 2011, with the participation of representatives of the French municipalities of Bordeaux and Strasbourg which are also testing the European Label ELoGE.

Negotiations with the Spanish Federation of Cities and Municipalities (FEMP) then started early 2011 but these were then put on hold for some months due to internal restructuring that followed the 2011 local elections.

b. Activities in 2012

Discussions with the FEMP on implementation of ELoGE were resumed in summer 2012 and in September 2012, the Centre Secretariat representatives met with the FEMP officials in Cadiz alongside the CEMR General Assembly.,

Negotiations are still on-going with the perspective that the European Label ELOGE may finally be implemented and managed at the level of Spanish autonomous regions, which all have legislative powers.

The associations of Basque and Catalan local authorities as well as several individual local authorities have already expressed their interest in ELoGE.

Meeting between CoE and FEMP Officials at the CEMR General Assembly, 26 September 2012, Cadiz

Discussion concerning the procedures, conditions and planning for implementing ELOGE in Spain.

The promotion and testing of the European Label on Governance Excellence (ELoGE) will continue, with the support of the FEMP and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

However, implementation should take place at the level of autonomous regions with the possibility of Norwegian financial support.

In that perspective, project proposals dealing with the implementation of ELoGE in Spain and Portugal have been developed, and should be submitted for Norway grants and other possible funding.

c. Envisaged activities

Support will be provided to the Basque and Catalan associations (and to FEMP if a formal request is made) to prepare the accreditation dossiers for delivering ELoGE.

Three Spanish authorities will also be included in the regional Local Finance Benchmarking Programme (for Greece, Portugal and Spain).

20. Switzerland – The Canton of Ticino

a. Previous activities

A second round of the Best Practice Programme was implemented in 2011 on the themes “Innovation in internal management” and 26 practices for “Innovation in external action”.

Workshops were organised in selected municipalities in order to share the knowledge and experience. The Awards Ceremony was organised in November 2011.

b. Activities in 2012

Leadership Academy Programme – Training of Trainers

The Centre of Expertise in co-operation with the Training Centre for Local Authorities (CFEL) which is a training institution within the Ticino Cantonal Government organized a 4-day training of trainers on “Leadership Academy Programme” (LAP) for trainers and experts in the field of local government. The training was held from 29 May to 1 June 2012 in Bellinzona, Switzerland and it was attended by 12 participants from five member states (Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Malta and Ukraine).

The main objectives of the ToT were (a) to enhance knowledge and skills of trainers in the field of leadership in local governments, based on concepts contained in the Centre’s Manual on modern leadership; (b) to create a pool of trainers/experts that potentially would carry on the Leadership Academy programme in their respective countries/local governments; (c) create a network of international trainers/experts that would continue to co-operate in the future with the aim of exchanging practices and experiences, and would ultimately conduct the Leadership Academy Programme in pairs.

Some very specific networking outcomes came out from the event:

    ● Innsbruck Management Centre (Austria) invited one participant from Ticino to act as co-trainer in the 3-day leadership summer school, organized in July 2012, in co-operation with the Centre of Expertise;

    ● Malta requested the Centre of Expertise to assist in organising a peer review and in designing and implementing the Best Practice Programme in Malta, on the basis of the Ticino experience;

    ● Ukrainian participants proposed hosting the Leadership Academy Programme for international participants.

    ● There was a strong interest from Italian representatives and preliminary discussions were held to launch a Best Practice Programme in the Italian region of Lombardia.

All participants agreed to look for opportunities for implementing joint activities and asked the Centre of Expertise to assist in organizing a second ToT in 2013 for the same participants in order to broaden their skills and knowledge in leadership in local government.

c. Envisaged activities

The Best Practice Programme should continue. A joint ENTO (European Network of Training Organisation) – Council of Europe Summer School on Transparency and Ethics will take place in June 2013. On this occasion, the tools of the Centre of Expertise will be used for tailor made training and training of trainers’ activities.

21. “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

a. Previous activities

From September 2006 to February 2007, a Leadership Benchmark project for local government with the financial support of the Government of Japan was carried out. The project was implemented in co-operation with the national Association of Local Self-Government Units (ZELS) and with the support of the Ministry of Local Self-Government. Between 2007 and 2009, with the support of EAR in Skopje, a Leadership Development programme, a Programme on public ethics and a BP Programme were launched. In 2009-2010, the Centre of Expertise assisted the Ministry of Local Self-Government to implement a programme on Performance Management for Local Authorities.

b. Activities in 2012

The Centre of Expertise supported organisation and implementation by the Bulgarian association of local authorities and ZELS, a cycle of the Leadership Academy Programme that took place and was aimed at improving the institutional leadership capacity of local authorities through improved leadership skills of their elected and appointed officials and through leadership tools given to local ownership. It was designed and implemented together with the Bulgarian and Greek participants.

c. Envisaged activities

Subject to funding availability, the Centre of Expertise is ready to propose a number of co-operation activities that might be of interest to the local stakeholders. The initial negotiations are currently under way.

22. Turkey

a. Previous activities

The Centre of Expertise implemented, in co-operation with the Union of Municipalities of the Marmara Region (UMMR), a Leadership Academy Programme (LAP). The Bulgarian association of municipal clerks (NAMCB) joined the session to prepare for the implementation of their LAP.

In the light of the success of this programme and the numerous plans to extend it to other countries, a Regional Training of Trainers on LAP was organised with the support of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey in Istanbul on 18-20 April 2011. About 20 trainers from Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Ukraine have participated in it.

A national Conference on Inter-Municipal Co-operation organised with the support of UMT was organised on

10 October 2011 in Ankara.

b. Activities in 2012

Leadership Academy Programme

In cooperation with the Union of Turkish Municipalities (UTM), the Centre of Expertise implemented the first full round (3 three-day sessions) of the Leadership Academy Programme for 23 women local elected officials (deputy mayors and councillors from Turkish municipalities). The first 3-day session was carried out in Ankara in March 2012; the second stage was hosted by the Municipality of Diyarbakir on 9-11 May; while the municipality of Luleburgaz hosted the last 3-day session on 9-11 July.

Participants’ feedback was highly positive. Several said that the Academy had “changed their lives’ and it had strengthened their ambition and were ready to seek re-election and fight for change. They all felt part of a strong network of alumni and were already beginning to consider a Leadership Academy Summer School next year.

The UTM Secretary General expressed his highest appreciation to the Centre of Expertise assistance in implementing the Leadership Academy Programme. UTM plans to launch the second round of the LAP programme in early 2013.

Best Practice Programme

A range of preparatory activities were implemented to launch the first round of the Best Practice Programme in Turkey in co-operation with the Union of Turkish Municipalities. In March 2012 a one day session was organized with the relevant staff members from the UTM to introduce the programme, methodology and detailed implementation steps. 22 staff members including the Secretary General and the higher management of the UTM attended the session. The possible themes were discussed, and consequently the UTM management identified the members of the Steering Committee and members of the Selection Panel. UTM planned to present the programme at their general assembly and to launch the programme in early 2013.

c. Future activities

A new round of Leadership Academy will be organised (UMT is covering most costs).

Subject to resources, the Best Practice Programme could be launched. A more ambitious proposal is being prepared and will be submitted to potential donors.

23. Ukraine

a. Previous activities

Five fully-fledged capacity-programmes were launched in 2011 (to this, support to implementation of the Strategy could be added):

      - a follow-up to the (very successful) public ethics programme (PEP);

      - a Best Practice Programme (BPP);

      - a Performance Management Programme (PMP);

      - a Leadership Academy Programme (LAP);

      - a Local Finance Benchmarking Programme (LFB);

      - support to Ukrainian authorities for the implementation of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level.

b. Activities in 2012

A Programme for Strengthening the Local Government Association was added.

The following table presents the capacity building activities implemented in 2012. Legal and policy assistance activities (over 30 activities in 2012) are not included as they are not the subject of the current report.

Activities

Outputs delivered

1. Local finance Benchmarking training

24 January, (Kyiv)

Areas of local finance benchmarking were discussed with participants, the work plan for implementation of the component and cooperation with cities during field visits were agreed.

2. Steering Committee meeting

14 February, (Kyiv)

The report of the programme was approved and the planning for 2012 was completed

3. Performance management training27-29 February, (Kryvyi Rih )

The training on data collection for selected areas (web-site, administrative services, tariff policy based on a dialog with population) was conducted. Collaboration with MLED project was launched: the joint case on integration of performance indicators in the municipal strategic planning of Kryvyi Rih was presented

4. Participation of Ukrainian delegation in the National Conference and a series of meetings, organized by the Council of Europe office in Serbia

12-15 March, (Belgrade, Serbia)

Implementation of the programme “Strengthening Local Self Government in Serbia” was discussed in the light of synergies, lessons learnt. The discussion was devoted to implementation of the Best Practice Programme in Serbia with the Standing Conference of towns and municipalities; lessons learnt during the implementation of the Public Ethics programme with the OSCE representatives; possible preparation of the programme proposal for the improvement of the HR policy at the local level in Ukraine similar to the programme that is being implemented in Serbia

5. Public Ethics training

13-14 March, (Kyiv)

Training on the content of the Ethics Codes was conducted, innovative European tools of increasing the public ethics standards on local level were presented

6. Participation in the first meeting of the Selection Panel of the contest

“Pan-European Best Practice Award for Coastal Towns” and meetings on programme implementation

26-27 March, (Strasbourg)

Local Programme manager took part in a meeting as a member of the international selection panel for the CoE international contest “Pan-European Best Practice Award for Coastal Towns”

7. Participation in the second meeting of the Selection Panel of the contest “Pan-European Best Practice Award for Coastal Towns”

11-12 April, (Strasbourg)

Programme manager participated in the second meeting, devoted to selection of finalists of the contest. Participation of Ukrainian representatives in the contest was very successful. There were 50 cities that applied for the contest, including municipalities from the UK, Norway, Greece, Spain, Croatia, etc. The winner of the contest was the Ukrainian city Yevpatoria.

8. Leadership Academy training

24-26 April, (Yaremche)

The first stage of the Leadership Academy was finalised, international certificates were given to over 20 graduates of the Academy at the level of mayors, deputy mayors, chief executives of local councils.

9. Communication campaign for the Best Practice Programme

During April

Wide communication campaign devoted to the Best Practice Programme promotion in Ukraine was launched. The informational brochure about the Best Practice programme was prepared and sent to 400 Ukrainian cities. Association of Ukrainian Cities, Association of Small Towns of Ukraine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the East Europe Foundation posted information about the contest on their web-sites.

10. Participation of Ukrainian delegation in the Award ceremony of the contest

“Pan-European Best Practice Award for Coastal Towns”

9 May, (Blackpool, the United Kingdom)

Deputy mayor of Yevpatoria Mr. Serhiy Strelbitsky and Programme manager Natalia Starostenko presented the winning best practice “Little Jerusalem” at the Award Ceremony for the Pan-European Best Practice Award “Regeneration of European Coastal Towns”. Mr. Strelbitsky was awarded with the international medal of the Council of Europe by President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities Keith Whitmore.

11. Leadership Academy training of trainers

29 May – 1 June, (Bellinzona, Switzerland)

Ukrainian trainers of the Leadership Academy took part in the Training of Trainers who deliver Leadership Academy training course in different European countries.

12. Three regional round tables for the promotion of the Best Practice Programme

14-18 May, (Simferopol, Dniepropetrovsk, Lviv)

Round tables were organised with support of the Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea, Dniepropetrovska and Lvivska Oblast Councils that invited senior local government officials from different cities. Representatives of partner institutions that will participate in the platform of the Best Practice Programme, namely the Ministry of Regional Development, Housing and Construction of Ukraine, Association of Ukrainian Cities, the National Academy of Public Administration, the East Europe Foundation took part in the events and stressed the willingness to strongly support the programme. Totally, about 90 participants took part in round tables, including 36 mayors and deputy mayors.

13. Leadership Academy training

11-16 June (Alushta)

The second round of the Leadership Academy was launched. Two new groups, including 37 mayors, deputy mayors and chief executives of city councils, were formed.

14. Best Practice Programme Selection Committee meeting

18 June, (Kyiv)

The first meeting of the Selection Committee was devoted to presentation of the rules of the contest, scoring procedures, calendar of activities of Committee till the end of August. Successful completion of the awareness raising campaign for the contest, that included publication and wide dissemination of the informational brochure, work with the Association of Ukrainian Cities and the Association of Small Towns, a series of round tables in regions, is proved by receiving of 80 applications.

15. Presentation of the programme at the conference of the Association of Small Towns of Ukraine

26 June, (Ukrainka)

Programme manager presented the programme at the Annual Conference of the Association of Small Towns. Specifically, two components were emphasized: Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance and Leadership Academy.

16. Launch of the web-site of the programme

June

The web site of the programme was created with the goal to raise awareness on the methodologies of the Council of Europe.

17. Public ethics training

4-5 July, (Kozyn)

Draft Ethics Codes for civil servants and councillors were presented by participants of the programme. Experts gave them target recommendations for the codes to prepare the participants for adoption of the codes at the sessions of municipal and regional councils.

18. Co-organisation of the Local Economic Development Day

within the 8th Ukrainian Municipal Forum

12 July (Yalta)

The programme was presented at the plenary session of the Municipal Forum and capacity building methodologies at the separate session by experts and participants of the programme. The forum was attended by 300 representatives of local governments, public authorities, international organizations, experts and researchers.

19. Second Selection panel meeting of the Best Practice Programme

22 August, (Kyiv)

Finalists were discussed and agreement was reached for the list of finalists that would be presented for approval to the Steering Committee members.

As a result of the meeting, it was decided to conduct two verification visits to Melitopol and Shostka to check the accuracy of information presented in the application form and collect some additional information.

20. Performance management: second training

28-29 August, (Vinnitsya)

Participants were trained to develop performance management action plans for different services. Experts conducted comparative analysis of performance indicators for 14 cities, discussed policy actions for improvement of performance indicators, development of efficiency network

21. Local Finance Benchmarking visits

July – August 2012

The visits for data collection were conducted to Kupyansk (July 2-3), Chuhuyiv (July 2-6), Yuzhnoukrayinsk (July 16-17), Energodar (August 6-7), Melitopol (August 20-22). As a result, of data collection during April-June 2012, four benchmarking reports were completed for Vinnitsya, Zhytomyr, Korosten and Kupyansk during July-August.

22. Workshop on integration of the performance management indicators

into the municipal strategic planning

4-5 September, (Kryvyi Rih)

A workshop was organised in co-operation with the MLED programme. Facilitated by experts’ focus groups, that included 60 representatives of municipal council, developed performance indicators for strategic goal, objectives and strategic development areas of Kryvyi Rih. Experts presented the performance management system for a municipality, and the methodology of performance management indicators for a strategic plan.

23. Verification visits of the Best Practice Contest

11-12 September, (Shostka)

and 17-18 September, (Melitopol)

Two visits were organised by the programme to cities to verify the legislative and operational basis of functioning of the industrial park in Shostka and agricultural cluster in Melitopol. As a result of visits, the best practice in Shostka was not confirmed, because the industrial park is not operational. The best practice in Melitopol was verified and recommended as a finalist of the contest.

24. Leadership Academy (second session)

21-26 September, (Berdyansk)

Two sessions of the Leadership Academy were conducted by international and local trainers for 37 participants at the level of mayors, deputy mayors, chief executives of municipal councils. Second session was devoted to the learning of efficient tools of communication.. Participants presented for peer review their individual projects: vision of strategic municipal development and SWOT analysis. Potential joint inter-municipal projects were discussed.

25. Completion of Local Finance Benchmarking reports for 10 cities

September 2012

As a result of data collection visits, conducted during July-September, local finance benchmarking reports for all 10 cities were finalised by international and local experts in September. The reports are based on adapted for Ukraine Council of Europe local finance benchmarking methodology and include assessment of the efficiency of local taxation, citizen participation, budgetary process.

26. A study visit to KS, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities

7-12 October, (Oslo, Norway)

A group of 14 Ukrainian municipal servants (chief executives of local councils) and ministerial officials (from the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade), working on the CoE Performance Management Project, visited Norway to learn the performance management system with practical examples of cities and efficiency networks.

27. Meeting of the working group on the performance management component

31 October, (Kyiv)

The first meeting of the working group, that includes CoE experts, representatives from the Ministry of Regional Development, the Minecon, the State Statistics Committee, the AUC, was devoted to coordination of activities at the central level. The group discussed cooperation for developing performance indicators for methodological recommendations of the ministries in the fields of public amenities and business development, statistical forms for collecting information at the municipal level, integrating performance indicators in the municipal statistics collected by the Association of Ukrainian Cities.

28. Completion of the Best Practice Contest

October 2012

The programme finalised the selection process for the Best Practice Contest. An analytical report, summarising the selection process and winning cases, was prepared and sent to the Steering Committee members. After some consultations with programme management, Steering Committee members approved the winners and finalists of the Best Practice Contest.

29. Performance management training

12-13 November, (Kozyn)

The efficiency group of 18 Ukrainian municipal servants and ministerial officials, working on the CoE Performance Management Project, summed up the results of the year. Municipalities developed and adopted performance management work plans for three local services (the city website, tariff policy based on dialogue with citizens and administrative services). Such plans are an important methodological base for creating a performance management system in a municipality, because they can be used for assessment of the quality of other local services.

30. Public ethics training

14-15 November, (Kozyn)

The Ethics Codes and establishment of Ethics Committees were discussed. As a result of the training, participants developed job descriptions for ethics committee members and discussed the strategy for establishment of ethics committees in 2013.

31. Leadership Academy training

26-30 November, (Kamyanets-Podilsky)

Last session of the Leadership Academy 2012 were conducted by international and local trainers for 33 participants at the level of mayors, deputy mayors, chief executives of municipal councils in Kamyanets-Podilsky on 26-30 November. International certificates of the CoE were given to alumni of the Leadership Academy.

32. Presentation of Local Finance Benchmarking report

4 December, (Kyiv)

Report on Local Finance Benchmarking was finalised and presented for discussion to a working group, including the representatives of the Committee on State Building and Local Self-Government, the Association of Ukrainian Cities, Canadian–funded “Building Capacity in Evidence-Based Economic Development Planning in Ukrainian Oblasts and Municipalities” programme, think-tanks (the International Centre for Policy Studies, the Centre for Political Studies and Analysis), independent experts.

33. Workshop on integration of the performance management indicators into the municipal strategic planning

6 December, (Kryvyi Rih)

During the workshop, a CoE international expert presented a municipal strategic plan based on performance management and commented on the first version of the performance management system, developed by municipal servants with support from CoE and MLED local experts.

c. Envisaged activities

In 2013, all of the above CB programmes will continue, and a new programme will be added to ensure a follow-up to the legal assistance provide through a Sida-funded programme which ends in March 2013.

The new, enlarged programme for Ukraine will last from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and will include both capacity-building and legal assistance activities. A new project will be drafted in co-operation with the Congress to be included in the revised Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine

Other

Kosovo*

Best Practice Programme

a. Previous activities

Following the request from the Association of Kosovo Municipalities, the Centre of Expertise assisted in launching the first round of the Best Practice Programme for Kosovo Municipalities. The other partners involved through their representatives in the Steering Committee were the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The following three themes were identified for the first round:

(1) Improving Municipal Public Services;

(2) Mainstreaming Administrative Procedures; and

(3) Increasing Municipal Revenues.

b. Activities in 2012

The launch was held on 23 November 2012 in Pristina with participation of Mayors, the Deputy Minister for Local Government Administration, President of AKM and high officials from the international community (OSCE, UNDP, USAID, etc).

c. Envisaged activities

Next steps of the programme (applications review, selections of practices, establishment of selection panel and procedures) are anticipated for the first quarter of 2013, while the dissemination phase will occur in the second quarter of the year.

The Association of Kosovo Municipalities has expressed its interest to develop a more substantial capacity building programme. A proposal is being developed and will be submitted for funding to international donors.

South – Mediterranean

Tunisia

A series of meetings of the representatives of the Centre and representatives and the Congress of Local and Regional authorities with representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Regional Development, civil society and local and regional authorities took place to Tunisia in December 2012.

The preparation of a study on the state of democracy was launched. This study should follow the template of the CDLR Structure and operation reports and adding one chapter including a critical census of the international activity in the field and another one presenting recommendations for reform.

_____________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

On the basis of the results of the study, a comprehensive project proposal will be prepared and submitted to donors for funding.

Morocco

In December 2012, the Head of the Centre of Expertise took part in an international Conference and presented European best practice in the field of human resource management. On this occasion, the Moroccan authorities expressed their interest for the activities and the toolkits of the Centre and requested its support on several topics.

Following this request a comprehensive project proposal has been drafted. The proposal is currently being shared with beneficiaries and potential donors.

Regional Programme

Pan-European Best Practice Programme for Coastal Towns “Regeneration of European Coastal Towns”

At the initiative of and in partnership with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the UK Local Government Association, the Centre of Expertise implemented a pan-European Best Practice Programme under the theme “Regeneration of the European coastal towns”. The programme targeted coastal areas for the opportunities they provided for economic renaissance, and it was included among the activities implemented under the UK chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (November 2011- May 2012).

The programme was based on the specific tool developed by the Council of Europe’s Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform (see Appendix I). The Programme was officially launched on 11 January 2012 during the first meeting of the Steering Committee in Strasbourg.

The Centre of Expertise:

    - developed the prospectus and forms for expression of interest and application forms;

    - launched the programme;

    - collected all submitted practices from applicants;

    - organized two meetings for the Steering Committee;

    - ensured the evaluation of applications and the organisation of two meetings for the members of the Selection Panel.

    - Organised, in co-operation with the Congress and the UK LGA, the award ceremony in Blackpool, UK.

Within the deadline set for receiving applications, 47 eligible applications were submitted by local authorities from 18 countries, of which 41 applications were from 14 CoE member States (Ukraine, Russia, Greece, UK, Norway, Portugal, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Turkey, Spain, France and Montenegro), and 6 applications were from 3 countries (Israel, Spain, and Turkey) “hors concours”. The Municipality of Yevpatoria, Ukraine was awarded the first prize for their unique tourist route "Little Jerusalem."

Fifteen short-listed applicants and two applicants “hors concours” (Ashkelon - Israel and the province of Barcelona) were invited to attend the ceremony. All of them received certificates/diplomas for good projects, while five municipalities which occupied the first three places (second and third positions were won jointly) received medals.

APPENDIX III – Relations with partners

1. Relations with international organisations

a. Co-operation with the European Union and its institutions

The European Commission is co-financing programmes in countries covered by the Centre of Expertise, through joint programmes with the Council of Europe. The Centre of Expertise implements, since late 2009, Phase II of the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia” co-financed by the European Commission.

This programme includes activities of legal assistance and of local authorities’ capacity building focusing on performance management applied to local budgets and municipal property, as well as the management of human resources at municipal level.

A new joint programme of €2 million “Strengthening local government capacities through modern human resources management and professional training” to be implemented from 2013 to 2016 is being negotiated with the European Commission, in close cooperation with the Serbian authorities and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM).

This programme would be a continuation of the current one and would ensure that HR tools piloted since 2009 in 6 Serbian municipalities would be disseminated to all Serbian local governments.

Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union

The Head of the Democratic Institutions and Governance Department (DGII-Democracy) visited the FRA in December 2012 for exchanges of information on recent developments concerning human rights at local level. The Centre of Expertise took part in the development of the FRA Toolkit on “Joined-up Governance: connecting fundamental rights” (participation in a co-ordination meeting in Brussels, written contribution, suggestion of an expert…).

b. Co-operation with OSCE (ODIHR and OCEEA)

The Council of Europe and OSCE have a framework agreement of co-operation on local and regional democracy. An information and coordination meeting took place in March 2012 in Vienna between the Head of Democratic Institutions and Governance Department, the Co-ordinator of the OSCE Economic and environmental activities, Mr. Goran Svilanovic and the newly appointed Head of Democratization at ODIHR, Mr. Marcin Walecki.

OSCE is closely associated to the implementation of legal assistance and capacity building programmes implemented by the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform in Albania (with the support of Switzerland), Serbia (Joint Programme with the EC) and Ukraine (supported by Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland).

The CoE-OSCE Regional Co-ordination Meeting between the Council of Europe and ODIHR and OSCE field missions took place in Belgrade, Serbia on 22-23 October 2012. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the overall CoE-OSCE Strategic Framework on local government support and to discuss the current challenges in South East Europe. During the meeting the discussion focused on the following issues: a)Good practices and knowledge sharing in local government support; b)Technical assistance and institutional relations; c)Budget and public administration; d)Anti-corruption and oversight mechanisms. Representatives of the Council of Europe, ODIHR, OCEEA and OSCE field missions in the Balkans (Montenegro, Albania, BiH, Kosovo*, Serbia) plus the Republic of Moldova took part in the meeting.

_____________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

Co-operation with UNDP

The Council of Europe and UNDP have a Memorandum of Understanding  for co-operating in the field of local democracy. UNDP country missions are regularly involved in the implementation by the Centre of Expertise of sizeable programmes, in particular in Albania, Serbia and Ukraine. An information and  co-ordination meeting between the Council of Europe (Directorate of Democratic Governance, Culture and Diversity) and the UNDP/RBEC took place in March 2012 in Bratislava (UNDP Regional Centre).

c. Nordic Council of Ministers

Since 2011, the Centre of Expertise associated with the Nordic Council in order to support the implementation of a programme (NotaBene) aiming at facilitating transfrontier co-operation in NW Russia. Several joint activities were implemented in 2011 (launching conference in March 2011 in Saint- Petersburg, expert meeting in June in S. Petersburg, Conference in Petrozavodsk in September).

Since 2012, the Nordic Council is implementing a long-term programme on “Promoting Good Governance principles in North-West Russia”, based on tools developed by the Council of Europe (benchmark for the 12 European Principles of Good Democratic Governance at Local Level) and in co-operation with the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform. A coordination meeting with the participation of representatives from the Council of Europe, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Saint Petersburg Centre of the Development of NGOs and the North-West Institute of Management of Russian Presidential Academy took place in Copenhagen on 14 December 2011, where the official launch of the programme was agreed and road-mapped. The launching Conference took place in St. Petersburg on 30-31 May 2012 with the active participation of the Centre of Expertise. The first training seminar of the programme was organised on 26-29 November 2012 for municipal workers from the North-West Region of the Russian Federation. The Council of Europe experts delivered presentations on separate principles of good governance and held interactive sessions with the participants.  

e. Co-operation with OECD

The Centre of Expertise and the OECD Network of Fiscal Relations across levels of government have long lasting partnership. Two very important recommendations adopted by  the Committee of Ministers (one on the local authorities financial resources and the other one on financial management) have been prepared with OECD (and IMF, the World Bank and OSF) and together with Article 9 of the ECLSG, these constitute the Council of Europe's legal acquis in the field of local finance. This good cooperation continued in 2012 and will continue in 2013 on the assessment of the impact of the crisis and the local finance benchmarking, including the  5th ITD Global Conference on Tax and Intergovernmental Relations.

2. Relations with other international partners

a. Co-operation with the Open Society Foundations (OSF)

In June 2009-2011, the Foundation Open Society Institute (OSI-ZUG) granted a voluntary contribution to the Council of Europe for the publication and dissemination of the Toolkit on Inter-Municipal Co-operation (IMC) and in support of a project on Inter-municipal Co-operation in Croatia. It also assisted with the activity (implemented with the CDLR) of analysing the impact of the crisis on local government authorities.

In 2012 the agreement with OSF was expanded to cover two more tasks: assistance in the implementation by Romanian authorities of the European Label on Governance Excellence (ELoGE) and the support of the decentralisation reform and the Best Practice Programme in the Republic of Moldova.

The book “Local Government in critical times: Policies for Crisis, Recovery and a Sustainable Future” was published and launched at the 22nd session of the Congress of local and regional authorities on 21 March 2012 and then presented and disseminated at relevant meetings and through advocacy meetings at country level.

The book was presented to the NALAS Congress in Pristina, the CEMR Steering Committee in Copenhagen, was commended by OECD Fiscal network, and recognised as a valuable tool for central governments, ministries of local government and ministries of finance, local governments and their associations, as well as for NGOs. The Assembly of European Regions during its conference in Pescara (Italy) in September 2012 and the CEMR during their General Assembly in Cadiz (Spain) in October 2012 presented the book to their members.

b. Co-operation with UDITE (European Federation of Local Government Chief Executives)

UDITE has been very supportive to the launching of the testing of the European Label for Innovation and Good Governance at local level in Europe in France and Spain.

UDITE has also been very efficient in rallying the support of the several Spanish local authorities in the on-going piloting of the European Label.

c. Cooperation with NALAS

The Centre of Expertise supported the Network of Associations of Local Government Authorities (NALAS) to organize the International Conference: The Future of Fiscal Decentralization in South-East Europe. The Conference was held from 1-2 November 2012 in Budva, Montenegro, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro and the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro,

The Conference brought together over 120 participants, representing local authorities and local government associations from 12 countries in SEE; representatives of Ministries of Finance and other central government institutions from 7 countries; as well as financial institutions, international organizations, experts, CEOs and economists and boosted intergovernmental dialogue on the process of fiscal decentralization in SEE.

In 2013, Centre of Expertise will continue co-operation with NALAS and will support the organization of the NEXPO Municipal fair, which will be held 25-27 September in Rijeka and Opatija, Croatia.

d. Co-operation with CEMR (Council of European Municipalities and Regions)

CEMR has been very supportive to the activities assessing the impact of the financial crisis on local governments: it participated in the survey, in the preparation of the report and the book launching. During the CEMR General Assembly in Cadiz, “Innovating in 3D: Decentralisation, Development, Democracy” CEMR members appreciated the report and asked for the monitoring to be continued in the Council of Europe 47 member countries. CEMR has been very efficient in rallying the support of its members to piloting the Local Finance Benchmarking and will partner with the Centre in testing it in Portugal, Spain and Greece.

3. Relations with national partners

All country-specific capacity-building activities are implemented in close co-operation with national partners. More often than not, such partners are associations of local authorities. Information on the relations with these specific partners are found in the description of country-specific and regional programmes (Appendix II).

a. Co-operation with Norwegian KS

In 2012, the Centre cooperated with KS on the programmes in Ukraine and Malta.

b. Co-operation with French partners

French Observatory of Local Authorities Performance (OPPALE)

Early 2009, the Centre of Expertise together with the University of Pau (UPPA) joined the Working Group of the OPPALE on “the European experiences of performance management”. It contributed in that framework to a best practice comparative survey involving a sample of French, British, Belgian and Norwegian pilot municipalities that was finalised early 2011.

In 2012, the Centre of Expertise continued its close co-operation with distinct members of the French Observatory of Local Authorities’ performance, which was set up in 2007, notably the University of Pau and the University of Aix en Provence.

The experts of these two universities have in particular been actively contributing to the key programmes of the Centre dealing in particular with performance management as well as to the promotion of the European Label ELOGE in different countries, in particular France and Russia. Such cooperation shall be carried on in 2013.

French National Institute of Local Government Studies (INET) and the French National Centre of Local Public Service (CNFPT)

Since May 2008 and the signature of a formal co-operation agreement, the Centre has developed close ties with the French National Institute of Local Government Studies (INET), based in Strasbourg. The Institute trains the senior officials of French local authorities and is part of the French National Centre of Local Public Service (CNFPT).

Four training sessions are on average, co-organised every year at the Council of Europe Headquarters, within the framework of a Programme called “Managing in complexity”. INET students are thus introduced to the main Centre’s tools and to European approaches (mainly British and Norwegian) to performance management. Such training were also organised in 2012.

In addition, the INET is actively supporting the implementation of the European Label ELoGE by promoting it within its large network of local government officials. The INET and the CNFPT, together with the University of Pau, were involved in the organisation of three International colloquies focusing on the key principles of innovation and good governance at local level held in June 2009, in Pau, in June 2010 in Bordeaux and in June 2011 in Strasbourg. The three institutions have expressed their willingness to continue co-operation in the future.

The University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour (UPPA)

The Centre of Expertise since 2008 has been co-operating with the University of Pau.

Pau University is supporting the promotion of the ELoGE in France. In 2012 it co-ordinated the preparation of the detailed accreditation file of the French National Platform, in cooperation with the French Ministry of Interior, the French Association of Mayors and several pilot local authorities. This platform should be responsible for managing the implementation of the Label which should be launched in France after the next local elections to be held in March 2014.

The University of Pau was also involved in the drafting of the Toolkit V of the Centre of Expertise on Human Resource Management at municipal level, which was finalised late 2012 and published in 2013.

Finally, the University of Pau also contributed to the success of the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia – Phase II”, that ended in December 2012, by supporting in particular its activities dealing with performance management applied to local budgets and property.

The French National School of Public Administration (ENA) & the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies (Science-Po)

Contacts have been consolidated with the French National School of Public Administration (ENA) and the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po).

Their experts have supported the implementation of the activities of the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia” (Phase II) dealing with human resources management as well as performance management applied to local budget and property.

They have also contributed to the on-going negotiations for a new “Joint Programme on building the administrative capacities of Serbian local authorities through modern Human resources management and professional training of employees” (2013/2016).

Finally, the experts and staff of the Centre of Expertise since 2010 have been giving lectures on local authorities institutional framework and capacity building in Europe, within the framework of the Master II of the Science-Po called ALORE “Local and regional administrations in Europe” as well as within the framework of the International Cycle of ENA. Some students have also been invited to participate in some of the Centre’s activities co-organised with the French National Institute of Local Government Studies (INET) and the Kehl Euro-Institute.

APPENDIX IV – List of abbreviations

AAM: Association of Albanian Municipalities: www.aam-al.org

ALDA: Association of Local Democracy Agencies: www.ldaaonline.org

CAA: Communities Association of Armenia

CEMR: Council of European Municipalities and Regions www.ccre.org/

CDLR: European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy: www.coe.int/local

CLEAR: Can do, Like to, Enabled to, Asked to, Responded to

CNFPT: French National Centre for Territorial Public Service (Centre National de la Fonction Publique Territoriale): http://www.cnfpt.fr

CoE: Council of Europe: www.coe.int

EAR: European Agency for Reconstruction: www.ear.europa.eu

EC: European Commission: www.ec.europa.eu

ELoGE: European Label of Governance Excellence

HRM: Human Resource Management

INET: French National Institute for Territorial Studies (Institut National des Etudes Territoriales): http://www.inet.cnfpt.fr

KS: Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities: www.ks.no

LGA: Local Government Association

LGI: Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative: www.lgi.osi.hu

NALAG: National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia

NALAS: Network of Associations of Local Authorities in South-East Europe: www.nalas.eu

NAMRB: National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria: www.namrb.org

NGO: Non-Governmental Organisation

NTS: National Training Strategy

JP: Joint Programme Council of Europe – European Commission

OPPALE: French Observatory of Local Authorities’ Performance (Observatoire de la Performance Publique dans l’Administration Locale)

OSCE: Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe: www.osce.org

OSI: Open Society Institute: www.soros.org

SCTM: Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities in Serbia: www.skgo.org

SEE: South-East Europe

SNV: Netherlands Development Organisation: www.snvworld.org

SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

TCA: Georgian Training Co-operation Agency

TNA: Training Needs Analysis

UMMT: Union of Municipalities of the Marmara Region (Turkey)

UTM: Union of Turkish Municipalities

UNDP: United Nations Development Programme: www.undp.org

USAID: United States Agency for International Development: www.usaid.gov

VNG: Association of Netherlands Municipalities: www.vng.nl, www.vng-international.nl

ZELS: Association of Local Self-Government Units of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”: www.zels.org.mk

APPENDIX V

New project proposals under negotiation

Beneficiary

Programme

Budget (€)

Period

Potential donor

Documents available

Status

Remarks

Armenia

Legal assistance

Capacity Building: Public Ethics; Human Resource Management; Best Practice

1,245,000

36 months

Denmark

Project proposal

Denmark to decide end of May 2013

In co-operation with the Congress

BiH

Legal assistance

Capacity Building: Leadership Academy;

Inter-Municipal Co-operation

1,000,000

24 months

Norway

Concept paper

Postponed to the next cycle

In co-operation with the Congress

Georgia

Legal assistance

Capacity Building: Public ethics; Best Practice

1,300,000

36 months

tbd

Full proposal

On hold pending Action Plan

National partners supportive

Co-operation with the Congress to be discussed

Kosovo*

Capacity Building: Best Practice, Human Resource Management, Performance management, Municipal Planning

1,500,000

36 months

tbd

Concept paper

On hold pending current negotiations

Co-operation with the Congress to be discussed

Montenegro

Legal assistance

1,000,000

36 months

EC Podgorica

Full proposal

Interest from stakeholders. ECD** budget exhausted.

Probable start date 2015, earlier on if government considers it top priority

_________

* See footnote 2 at page 2.

** ECD : European Commission Delegation.

Russian Federation

Legal assistance: shared responsibilities

Capacity Building: Performance Management, Human Resource Management, Inter-Municipal Co-operation, citizen participation, strategic planning

2,400,000 – 4.500,000

36 months

EC

Concept paper

Under negotiation

Russians authorities support the project

Serbia

Human Resource Management and training

2,000,000

36 months

ECD

Full proposal

Pre-approved, subject to adoption of two laws and a strategy

Programme under negotiation

EaP

Human Resource Management; Inter-Municipal Co-operation; Leadership Academy

1,200,000

36 months

EC

Full proposal

Under negotiation

Co-operation with the Congress to be discussed

SEE Europe

Local Finance Benchmarking

2,400,000

36 months

EC

Concept paper

Under negotiation

Initial reaction of the donor positive

Greece, Portugal, Spain

Local Finance Benchmarking

75,000

12 months

Tbd

Concept paper

Programme started with 3 municipalities per country

In co-operation with the Congress.

Italy and Cyprus also want to join.

Morocco

Creating and strengthening the local government association

500,000

36 months

 

Concept paper

Under negotiations

In co-operation with the Congress

Azerbaijan

Legal assistance

Capacity Building: Leadership Academy; Best Practice

600,000

36 months

 

Concept paper

On hold pending adoption by CM of Action Plan

Azeri authorities supportive

Republic of Moldova

Legal assistance

1,000,000

36 months

ECD Chisinau

or other donor

Full proposal

Under negotiation

Moldovan authorities support it.

Turkey

Performance Management; Best Practice; Leadership Academy; Human Resource Management; Public Ethics

2,000,000

36 months

ECD or other donor

Concept paper

Under negotiation

Co-operation with the Congress to be discussed. Interest from stakeholders.

1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.

2 “All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text should be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.”

3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TBOGhA9hdI

4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao0qAoApT1M

5 CLEAR is an acronym for: Can do, Like to, Enabled to, Asked to and Responded to.

6 More information on the ELOGE is at: http://www.coe.int/t/dgap/localdemocracy/Strategy_Innovation/ELoGE_en.asp



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