Press release - 792(2010)

Congress debates the situation of local democracy in Montenegro and Estonia

Strasbourg, 27.10.2010 – The Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress debated on 26 October reports and adopted recommendations on the state of local democracy in Montenegro and Estonia, following monitoring missions carried out in these countries in spring 2010.

The report on Montenegro, presented by Nigel Mermagen (United Kingdom, ILDG), was the result of the first monitoring mission of the Congress in this country which took place on 22-24 March 2010. Montenegro ratified the European Charter of Local Self- Government in 2008. The report points out that Montenegro has achieved considerable progress in reforming the structure, the functioning and the financing mechanisms of its local administration. The Congress’ mission concluded that the provision on local self-government made in the Constitution as well as other relevant legislation were compatible with the European Charter of Local Self Government. At the same time, the report notes several shortcomings in the practical application of the Charter such as insufficient staffing and financial resources of municipalities.

The situation of local democracy in Estonia was scrutinised by a Congress’ delegation led by Jos Wienen (Netherlands, EPP/CD) on 26-27 April 2010. The mission was aimed at assessing the action undertaken since the last monitoring visit of 2000. According to its findings, while local democracy in Estonia has overall improved, there are a few issues which should be subject to reform, notably granting special status to the capital city of Tallinn, revising national legislation in order to allocate to local authorities financial resources commensurate with the increasing responsibilities assigned to them, allowing local governments to raise local taxes to increase revenues and, at last, modifying the procedure of consultation of local and national associations in line with the European Charter of Local Self Government.

Communication Division of the Congress
of Local and Regional Authorities
Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 52 40
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 27 51