Ministers’ Deputies

CM Documents

CM(2010)118     10 September 20101



1095 Meeting, 13 October 2010

2 Democracy and political questions

2.3 Centre of Expertise for Local Government reform

4th annual report of activities



TABLE OF CONTENTS

OPINION OF THE ADVISORY BOARD 3

INTRODUCTION 4

I. RISING TO THE CHALLENGES 4

1. Rising to the challenges identified by the Advisory Board 4

2. Contribution to the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance 5

II. THE CENTRE IN 2008: SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITY 5

III. LOOKING AHEAD: PROSPECTS FOR 2009 AND BEYOND 8

APPENDIX I – Current tools 10

APPENDIX I – Detailed description of country-specific programmes 15

1. Albania 15

2. Armenia 16

3. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) 16

4. Bulgaria 17

5. Croatia 18

6. Georgia 19

7. Hungary 20

8. Kosovo2 21

9. Malta 22

10. Moldova 22

11. Montenegro 23

12. Romania 23

13. Russian Federation (North-West Russia and Kaliningrad) 24

14. Russian Federation (Chechen Republic) 25

15. Serbia 26

16. Switzerland 28

17. “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” 29

18. Ukraine 30

APPENDIX III – Description of various partnership and co-operation initiatives 31

APPENDIX IV – List of abbreviations 35

OPINION OF THE ADVISORY BOARD

At its 6th meeting (Strasbourg, 6 July 2010), the Advisory Board examined the 2009 annual activity report of the Centre of Expertise and formulated the following opinion:

“The Advisory Board of the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform discussed the implementation of the programme of activities of the Centre, as well as its prospects and the difficulties encountered. It also examined various possible lines of reform in the light of the reduced human and financial resources and of the current broader Council of Europe reform.

The Board was happy to see that the Centre has risen to the challenges the Board had identified as the major ones for its action (Make the most of the resources, Continue to invest in R&D and partnerships, and Become relevant for the whole of Europe, including Northern and Western Europe). The Board considered that these challenges remain as valid today as they were at the creation of the Centre.

The Advisory Board noted the important contribution of the Centre towards the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level and urged the Centre to continue to offer technical help for the implementation of the Strategy. It also invited the Centre to take inspiration from the results of the implementation of the Strategy in its future work (development of tools, implementation of capacity-building programmes and partnerships).

Against this positive background, the Board noted that the foundations of the Centre remain however very fragile, as regards both its human and its financial resources. The economic and financial crisis, while increasing the need for effective good local governance through capacity-building, led to a diminishing of voluntary contributions and other external financing in 2009. This evolution shows clearly the danger of relying too heavily on extra-budgetary sources. The Advisory Board expressed nonetheless high satisfaction with the current level of activity in relation to resources thanks to the culture of results and impact that has developed in the Centre and the effective streamlining of capacity-building activities and assistance programmes to central governments.

The Advisory Board also encouraged the Centre of Expertise to find new and efficient ways to creating and exploiting synergies with institutional partners, in particular with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and with the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy.

The Board also discussed the other guidelines for reform suggested in doc. CELGR/AB(2010)2 and considered that they were a very good starting point. The Board asked that such reflection aiming to confirm the Centre as a European point of reference in matters of local government reform, continues. It also invited the Centre to keep on working in the very effective way it has worked up to now and to provide genuine and measurable added value to local government in Europe".

INTRODUCTION

Created at the beginning of 2006 following the decision of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government3, the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform aims at building capacity in local authorities by the use of effective and impact-oriented programmes. Such programmes are inspired from new public management techniques and practice and make use of template forms and evaluation instruments (“tools”) and standard methodologies in order to implement impact-oriented projects (“country-specific programmes”) in co-operation with local, national and international stakeholders aiming at strengthening the institutional capacity of local authorities.

The Centre is part of the Secretariat (Directorate of Democratic Institutions, Directorate General for Democracy and Political Affairs) and works in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (Congress) and the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR). It has an Advisory Board, which is a framework for consultation between the Secretariat, the CDLR and the Congress in order to provide advice to the Centre on:

a) the development and implementation of its strategic priorities and plans;

b) lessons to be drawn from an evaluation of its achievements;

c) opportunities for co-operation, both within the Council of Europe and with external partners.

The members of the Advisory Board are representatives of the CDLR (Greta Billing, Norway) and the Congress (in 2009, Keith Whitmore, UK), together with the Secretary General of the Congress and the Director of Democratic Institutions.

The Centre of Expertise was created for an initial trial period of three years, expiring at the end of 2008. In the light of the good results obtained in its first years of operation, the Centre was confirmed by the decision taken by the Committee of Ministers on 16 May 2008.

I. RISING TO THE CHALLENGES

1. Rising to the challenges identified by the Advisory Board

In the light of the results of the first year of operation, the Advisory Board identified three main challenges for the Centre. In 2009, the Centre continued to work along these lines. It continued therefore to try to maximise the level of its activity within the limits of budgetary constraints in order to develop new tools and partnerships and to further develop its range of programmes towards Western European and Nordic countries.

The first challenge consists of maximising the impact at the current level of resources.

A full capacity-building programme may be quite expensive and human resources intensive. The resources of the Centre of Expertise are very limited and are no match for either the needs or the requests received. The ordinary budget (in 2009, €164,400) could not cover the implementation of more than three fully-fledged programmes. In 2009, the human resources allocated to the Centre consisted of two project managers and one assistant.

The Centre therefore had to find extra-budgetary resources in order to maximise the number of capacity-building programmes it could implement. In 2009, it implemented the equivalent of 15 full programmes in 11 countries. Details on the activities implemented appear in Appendix II.

The second challenge concerns the arbitration between the three strands of work of the Centre of Expertise

The Centre’s work is organised around three types of activity: an operational one (strengthening local authorities and their associations through the implementation of capacity-building programmes) and two more strategic, long-term ones (research and development of new tools on the basis of best European practice, and creating and developing partnerships with national and international stakeholders).

There is increasing pressure from local stakeholders to launch new country-specific capacity-building programmes. These programmes are at the very core of the Centre’s mandate. However, in order to ensure that it remains relevant in the medium-to-long term, the Centre of Expertise needs to continue to develop new tools and to communicate and foster co-operation and partnerships with other stakeholders.

To respond to this challenge, the Centre of Expertise continued its work on developing new tools and its partnership-building initiatives. In 2009, a full new Toolkit was published and other tools were developed. Detailed descriptions of the current tools developed and the partnerships created or envisaged are presented in Appendices I and III respectively.

The third challenge concerns the need to extend the offer of capacity-building programmes to local authorities from Western and Nordic countries.

The Centre's programmes are based on the best of European practice and they should become relevant for building or strengthening the capacity of local authorities in all European countries, regardless of their geographical position or their experience in local government. Work in Western and Nordic countries would also strengthen the Centre's expertise and legitimacy. In order to rise to this challenge, in 2009, the Centre continued to invest in its research and development capacity, to develop tools and programmes and update existing ones in the light of the most recent experience of local authorities throughout Europe.

The Centre extended it programmes to several EU member states. After Spain, Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and Malta in 2008, in 2009 the Centre implemented two programmes in Hungary and one in Switzerland.

Several local authorities from France, Belgium and Germany expressed interest in implementing capacity-building programmes offered by the Centre. A budget for such work needs to be identified.

2. Contribution to the Strategy on Innovation and Good Governance

Over the past few years, the Centre has developed a fair amount of expertise and experience in methodologies involving evaluation and self-assessment, benchmarking and comparing and learning from each other. In 2009, as in 2008, this experience was instrumental in the implementation of the Strategy on Innovation and Good Governance.

The Strategy aims at mobilising central authorities (through strategic programmes of action agreed upon between governments and associations of local authorities) as well as local authorities (through the adoption of a commitment and an evaluation and improvement mechanism) towards implementing the “twelve principles of good democratic governance at local level”. Moreover, the Strategy provides for the development of a European Label of Good Governance to be granted in a decentralised manner by national platforms to be accredited by the Council of Europe.

Before September 2009, when a Head of the Strategy was seconded by the French government, the Centre helped with the promotion of the Strategy, supported the preparation of the instruments needed for the future European Label of Good Governance (ELOGE) and ensured the secretariat of the Stakeholders' Platform.

II. THE CENTRE IN 2009 – SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITY

General assessment

2009 was a challenging year. The Centre's reputation has increased and this means that more and more requests are received. However, several activities funded by Joint Programmes with the European Commission or by voluntary contributions came to an end and the funding was not renewed. On the one hand, the rules to be observed for applying for EC funding have evolved and more often than not the Centre of Expertise is no longer eligible as a beneficiary of direct funding or even as an applicant in the procurement processes. On the other hand, the current financial crisis entailed a reduction of resources that the Centre could draw on from voluntary contributions offered by member states.

Moreover, several programmes already planned had to be cancelled because partners could not find the necessary funds. The budget allocated to these programmes was quickly redeployed in order to increase the impact of existing programmes, but the available funding was not sufficient to launch new ones.

The position of Head of the Centre, created in 2009, also had to be cancelled for budgetary reasons.

The Centre was therefore faced with the dilemma of trying to respond to an increasing number of requests with a diminishing budget and fewer staff than planned.

Activities implemented

A new Toolkit, based entirely on the work of the CDLR (in particular its Handbook on public ethics at local level and the Committee of Ministers Recommendations Rec(2004)1 and Rec(2005)1), was published. This Toolkit includes a tool on Benchmarking Public Ethics at local level (based on an original tool tested in Spain and implemented in Ukraine, Moldova and Romania) and another on Benchmarking Local Finance (based on an original tool developed and road-tested in Bulgaria in co-operation with the Open Society Institute).

Moreover, a series of tools for the Leadership Academy Programme were developed and should be published in one of the next Toolkits. The new tools on Performance Management and Municipal Planning were developed and should be published in 2010.

The Centre also contributed to the preparation of the new Toolkit on Inter-municipal Co-operation, developed in a broad partnership including the Division of Programmes for Democratic Stability, OSI-LGI and UNDP-Bratislava Regional Centre.

The tools developed and the capacity-building programmes implemented by the Centre of Expertise in 2009 appear in the table below. Planning activities for the introduction of specific new programmes were also held in three other countries (Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine), but the full implementation of these programmes should be carried out in 2010.

All capacity-building programmes were implemented in close co-operation with local partners, in particular Ministries, local government associations and training institutions. National Steering Groups were set up for all programmes except the Leadership Academy Programme. Several programmes were implemented in co-operation with international partners in Albania (OSCE), Georgia (KS and MFA of Norway), Serbia (JP with the European Commission and the Embassy of France in Belgrade) and Montenegro (OSCE and VNG International). The Centre currently has statements of co-operation with INET (France) and the Academy of St Petersburg (Russia) and co-operation arrangements with the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour (France) and KS (Norway). Negotiations are in progress with the Union of Municipalities of the Marmara Region (Turkey).

Tools developed by the Centre were useful to various partners who developed and/or implemented programmes inspired from them: the Beacon Scheme continued independently in Bosnia and Herzegovina, VNG International included the toolkit on associations in its programme for Moldova, OSCE in Montenegro made use of the Public Ethics tool and programme implemented by the Centre.

The Centre also assisted in the implementation of the Strategy, in particular as regards supporting the countries which have joined it, in promoting the Strategy among European countries and local authorities, in ensuring the secretariat of the Stakeholders’ Platform and in helping to define the main criteria for granting the Good Governance Label.

The following tables present overviews of the activity in 2009.

General overview of activities implemented in 2009

Development of tools

Publication of Toolkit III including the following tools (based entirely on the work of the CDLR):

- Public Ethics Benchmarking,

- Financial Management Benchmarking, developed jointly with OSI.

Development of the Performance Management tool and of the Municipal planning tool. The two should be published in a new toolkit in 2010.

Participation in the development of the Inter-municipal co-operation Toolkit, developed in a partnership including the Division of Programmes for Democratic Stability, UNDP and OSI-LGI.

Finalisation of a new Leadership Academy tool.

Country-specific programmes

Albania

Performance management and financial planning

Armenia

Updating the Training Needs Assessment

France

Participation/co-organisation of various activities in cooperation with INET, University of Pau, City of Strasbourg, the Region Ile de France, contribution to OPPALE activities

Georgia

Municipal Councillors Training Programme

Strategic Municipal Planning

Hungary

Leadership Benchmarking Programme

Best Practice Programme

Malta

Performance management programme

Montenegro

Public Ethics at Local Level

Russian Federation

Leadership Academy Programme in NW Russia

(Chechnya)

Five preparatory activities: workshop to democracy and best practice, seminar on municipal elections, study visit in a European country, workshop on the legal framework, workshop on strategic development

Serbia

Performance management programme

“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

Leadership Benchmarking Programme

Public Ethics Programme “Transparent Municipality”

Best Practice Programme

III. LOOKING AHEAD: PROSPECTS FOR 2010 AND BEYOND

General considerations

Because of its success, there is a clear need for the Centre to consider its future development. This reflection takes place in the context of the more general reform announced by the Secretary General, of which the contours will become more clear over time. There is no reason to expect that the Centre or its mission will be called into question. However, it is likely that the Centre, as will all the other parts of the Organisation, will have to bear its share. In a zero real growth context, any further development could only be offset by cuts elsewhere. Meanwhile, demand for co-operation programmes is still on an upward curve.

One recent development and one reflection need to be taken into account at this stage.

The first one is reflected in increased synergies with other services of the Council of Europe, in particular the other sectors of the DLRDGG and the Congress. The Centre is highlighted in the Utrecht Agenda as one of the main strands of the overall work, which the representatives of ministers and members of the CDLR are instructed to support and encourage. This could entail more consultations with the CDLR on the Centre’s plans and prospects and could also entail inviting more systematic input from the CDLR and its subordinate committees in the development of new tools.

Following the cancellation of the position of Head of the Centre, the post of Head of the Assistance Programmes, which has become vacant, was redefined as the one that heads up the Centre and the (legislative and policy-making) co-operation programmes. While assistance programmes are mainly aimed at central authorities and not at local authorities themselves, capacity-building for local authorities and legislative/policy assistance on institutional reforms have common points and re-enforce each other. This should also allow for more horizontal co-operation between the two operational sectors and some form of synergies, or possibly even integration of work.

The Centre’s support for the implementation of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level will also continue, in particular through addressing the specific needs of countries engaged in the Strategy. However, the Centre may also be instrumental in promoting the Strategy, by offering support to countries which are implementing it and by helping countries to set up arrangements for delivering the future European Label of Good Governance (ELOGE).

The reflection addresses the need for the Centre to better prioritise its activities. The Centre does not work on the basis of strategic and long-term programmes, but rather on current demand; such demand fluctuates and can not be anticipated many months in advance. The Centre launches a programme when three conditions are met: a clear need is identified, strong commitment to improvement is shown by the local authorities and associations concerned and enough funds are available for achieving impact. This is not about to change. However, the Centre needs to have more transparent criteria for deciding its activities in order to avoid frustration generated when requests cannot be responded to.

In addition to the three guidelines/challenges identified by the Advisory Board, the following two criteria have been used for selecting programmes to be implemented in 2010:

      - first, programmes where the impact is highest through budgetary leverage offered by local or other partners or where there are guarantees as to the sustainability of the programme; typically, the Centre will fund the general management and expertise (one quarter to one third of the total costs) of the programme, while the local partner will need to finance all operational costs;

      - second, programmes which are a follow-up to the implementation of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level.

Activities foreseen

The following tables present an overview of the activities envisaged for 2010. This is a very ambitious programme (24 programmes in 15 countries); however, it is based on funds already identified or under advanced negotiation.

Development of tools

Publication of the new Toolkit on performance management and municipal planning

Publication (possibly in the same toolkit) of the tool developed for the Leadership Academy Programme

Preparation of the first version of a new tool/toolkit on human resources management

Country-specific programmes

Albania

Human resources management*

Inter-Municipal Co-operation*

Capacity building for the newly established National Territorial Planning Agency*

Armenia

Up-date of the National Training Strategy

Support with municipal planning to the City of Yerevan

Belgium

Performance management

Bulgaria

Public Ethics

Croatia

Inter-municipal co-operation

France

Several activities in co-operation with INET, Lille and OPPALE

Georgia

Strategic Municipal planning Programme

Hungary

Best Practice programme

Malta

Performance Management

Russian Federation

Inter-municipal Co-operation Programme

Chechnya

Five new activities (fields to be defined)

Serbia

Performance Management*

Human Resources Management*

Local Finance Benchmarking*

Spain

Citizen participation

Switzerland

Best Practice Programme in the Ticino canton

“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

Performance Management Programme

Turkey

Leadership Academy Programme

Ukraine

Follow-up to the Public Ethics* Benchmarking Programme *

Best Practice Programme*

Performance Management Programme*

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

APPENDIX I - Current tools

a. 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 verifying 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 has been or is being implemented with the assistance of the Centre of Expertise in Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Georgia, Moldova and Montenegro.

b. Leadership Development

Strong leadership, i.e. the capacity of local authorities to develop a clear vision for the municipality and to make it come true 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 has been or is being implemented in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

c. 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, Moldova, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

d. 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 tool has been developed and should normally be published in connection with the Performance Management tool in Toolkit IV.

e. 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 has been developed and should also be incorporated in Toolkit IV.

f. 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.

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 the first part of 2007. It was implemented in Moldova, Ukraine and Romania. This tool was included in Toolkit III.

g. 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, Ukraine, Turkey 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).

h. 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 Performance Management Pack of tools and guides which were piloted in Bulgaria in 2006-2007 and implemented in Serbia in co-operation with French local authorities in 2008. 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.

This tool should be published in 2010 in Toolkit IV.

i. 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 model4 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.

j. 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, addressed respectively to local and central authorities and dealing 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) and five municipalities.

This tool was published in 2009 Toolkit III.

k. “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.

This programme was implemented in North-West Russia in co-operation with the NW Academy of Public Administration and it should start in 2010 in Turkey. It should be published in one of the future toolkits.

l. Municipal Urban Planning

Starting from the Leadership Benchmarking Programme, this Programme has for main objectives are 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 exchange in the form of training and peer reviews.

APPENDIX II – Detailed description of country-specific programmes

1. Albania

a. Previous activities

Between 2004 and 2006, the Directorate of Cooperation for Local and Regional Democracy (DCLRD) implemented a Best Practice Programme, supported the drafting of a National Training Strategy for local government officials (SNF) as well as the creation of a Training Agency for local government officials (TALGA). It also published a Public Ethics Manual.

Between 2006 and 2008, the Centre of Expertise published a Manual for the Mayors and implemented a Leadership Programme aimed at reinforcing the capacities of Albanian local authorities as well as published a Guide to Community Planning. All the activities were implemented in cooperation with the Association of Albanian Municipalities (AAM) and the OSCE Presence in Albania. The Leadership Programme was financed by the Open Society Institutes (LGI – Local Government Reform Initiatives), the other activities being financed by the Council of Europe ordinary budget.

b. Activities 2009

In 2009, the Centre of Expertise, the Association of Albanian Municipalities (AAM) and the OSCE Presence in Albania, implemented, as a follow-up to the Leadership programme, a project on performance management and budgetary planning mechanisms at local level, in order to support the implementation of the strategic municipal plans developed by the pilot municipalities of Shijak, Lac and Permet.

The elected representatives and officials were trained on performance management techniques that allow the progress of municipal action to be measured, through the identification of specific targets and indicators. They were also trained on the methodology to be applied in order to prepared sound budgets for each of the projects stated in their strategic municipal plans.

Joint seminars as well as individual workshops in each of the 3 were organised in March, May and November 2009 and a Guide to performance and financial management at local level was published and disseminated to all Albanian municipalities, with the support of the AAM and OSCE Presence. Overall, the following objectives were subsequently successfully met:

    · Awareness raising of elected representatives and officials of the three pilot municipalities regarding the role and importance of measurement and management of performance at local level, as a mean to favour progress of municipal action and improvement of the quality of local public services, and as an essential element of good governance at local level;

    § Awareness raising of elected representatives and officials of pilot local authorities regarding the necessity of using budgetary planning techniques in order to ensure of sounds budgets for each of the key projects of their municipality and guarantee that these are in line with the available resources considering that an action plan without budget loses its relevance ;

    § Promotion of inter-municipal cooperation and exchanges of experiences with proposals of recommendations put forward with a view to improving the performance of the pilot local authorities.

c. Envisaged activities

A programme on “Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania”, funded by the Swiss Government, will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the National Territorial Planning Agency (NTPA), the Albanian Association of Municipalities (AAM) and the Albanian Association of Communes (AAC).

The Centre of Expertise and the Division of Programmes for Democratic Stability will jointly support the implementation of the programme including three separate but interlinked projects on Inter-Municipal Co-operation (IMC), Human Resources Management (HRM) and Territorial Planning (TP). Key international partners (UNDP, OSCE) will provide additional support.

The projects on IMC and HRM will include the preparation of comprehensive reports (base-line studies), recommendations on the improvement of current policy frameworks and implementation of relevant capacity-building tools, as well as a national training programme and a series of training workshops.

A specific capacity-building programme was developed, tailored to the needs of the newly established National Territorial Planning Agency. It will be implemented in co-operation with key international partners such as USAID and World Bank.

2. Armenia

a. Previous activities

National Training Strategy, Leadership and Best Practice programmes

In 2004, a National Training Strategy (NTS) for local government was prepared and adopted by a Steering Group bringing together all stakeholders co-chaired by the deputy Minister of territorial administration and the President of the Association of Communities in Armenia.

In 2008, the Association of Communities approached the Centre of Expertise asked for support in updating the Training Needs Assessment (TNA). The Association accepted to lead, coordinate and implement the activity, covering all expenses related to the involvement of local experts and conducting the survey (questionnaires and interviews). The TNA 2008 encompassed two components: a qualitative research implemented based on a series of in-depth individual interviews and a representative survey conducted on a sample of local government units in Armenia.

The comprehensive research methodology was designed in 2008 and the survey was implemented in 2009.

b. Activities in 2009

In order to revise the Training Needs Analysis a survey was conducted on a representative, country-wide sample of 341 municipalities, out of which 291 village communities and 50 town communities. The survey was carried out during the period from January to September 2009, and the CoE expert assisted the Armenian Association to analyse the results of the survey.

The results were presented in front of the major stakeholders on the national roundtable organised by the Armenian Association of Communities, Ministry of Territorial Administration and the Council of Europe. The roundtable was held on 22 October in Yerevan, and over 50 participants attended, among which representatives from the Ministry of Territorial Administration, representatives from the regional state administration and local governments, training institutions, donors and local experts and trainers.

Both surveys results and the Training Needs Analysis from 2004 and 2009 were presented in details, and the comparisons between the results showed that the circumstances changed within the five years period, and the new/revised legal framework has been adopted The representatives from the Ministry for Territorial Administration and from the Association of Armenian Communities announced that consider developing a preliminary plan to start up activities for revising the National Training Strategy in 2010, with assistance from the Council of Europe.

c. Envisaged activities

In 2010, the Centre will work with the Armenian partners:

- to assist with the revision of the National Training Strategy

- to launch a new Project on Strategic Municipal Planning in several Armenian pilot municipalities including Yerevan (in cooperation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgian where a similar programme is being implemented since 2008). The two Associations signed a formal cooperation agreement in 2009.

3. 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.

A 3rd Round of the Programme was implemented in 2008, but without Council of Europe 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.

This followed a cooperation agreement that the four partners signed in 2008 and by which they agreed upon to provide logistic and financial support for the implementation of the programme, each Ministry having in particular agreed to provide each €35 000 (KM 70 000). The OSCE has continued to provide assistance when needed, while the Council of Europe followed its implementation without direct involvement.

b. Activities in 2009

A 4th Round of the BiH Beacon Scheme (Best Practices Programmes) was implemented by the local stakeholders (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) without direct Council of Europe involvement.

Meanwhile, the Centre of Expertise has continued its lobbying and negotiations with different potential donors, mainly the European Commission and the German Embassy in Sarajevo, with a view to obtain a voluntary contribution for the implementation of a project dealing with the promotion of public ethics at local level.

c. Envisaged activities

Launching, provided the necessary funding is secured, of a new programme aimed at promoting public ethics at local level in the framework of a larger programme including some legal assistance activities. All negotiation steps and necessary detailed have been provided and an answer should be provided by the German Embassy in the course of 2010.

4. Bulgaria

a. Previous activities

Leadership Benchmark, Performance Management, Financial Management Benchmarking

In 2003 - 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.

In 2006, the NAMRB provided assistance for the implementation of the Peer Review programmes in North-West Russia and Croatia.

In 2006 - 2007, the Centre of Expertise worked with the NAMRB to pilot a performance management programme in Bulgaria, focusing on local economic development and communications. Six pilot municipalities participated in the project: Ruse, Kurdjali, Strumiani, Dobrich, Gabrovo and Pazardjik.

In 2007, the Open Society Institute and the Council of Europe organise a full road test/ first implementation of the new tool on Benchmarking Local Finance.

b. Activities in 2009

In 2008-2009, the co-operation with Bulgarian authorities focused on the follow-up to the Performance Management programme in local economic development and communications (completed in early 2008) and the preparation of the ground for the implementation of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance (the Strategy).

The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) and the NAMRB developed, with assistance from the Centre, a technical analysis of the current situation in all municipalities in Bulgaria against the 12 principles on Good Governance, and a national programme for implementation of the Strategy.

With support from the Centre, the NAMRB developed a new project on performance indicators in three additional areas of local services - social care, libraries and kinder gardens. The project received the approval and funding from the BG Government and was implemented by the NAMRB. Further assistance from the Centre was requested for the implementation of this project. The limited budget of the Centre of Experts did not allow the extension of the Centre’s support.

The results of the co-operation programme (Performance management and Strategy) with Bulgaria were presented and promoted through several national and international events.

In 2009, the Union of Black Sea Municipalities attended the Training of Trainers on the Toolkit on Inter-municipal Co-operation which was held in November 2009 in Strasbourg.

c. Envisaged activities

The Centre of Expertise is planning to organise, in cooperation with the NAMRB and the Union of Black sea Municipalities, a workshop on Inter-municipal Co-operation with a view to adapting the CoE-UNDP-LGI Toolkit on IMC to Bulgarian environment.

The NAMRB will also work with the Centre of Expertise to support the development of a model communication strategy for municipalities in Montenegro.

5. Croatia

a. Previous activities

Leadership Benchmarking, Best Practice and National Training Strategy

In 2003 – 2006, the Union of Associations of Municipalities and Towns in Croatia (“the Union”) implemented the Leadership Benchmark and the Best Practice programmes in Croatia. Following the success of the Best Practice programme, in October 2005, the Croatian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Local Self-Government including an annual award for Best Practice in local government.

In 2007, the Centre of Expertise provided support to the CARDS programme developing a National Training Strategy for local government in Croatia.

b. Envisaged activities

A programme of co-operation with the Croatian Authorities will be launched in the filed of Inter-municipal Co-operation (IMC). The Programme is jointly supported by the CoE and Open Society Institute / Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI). The programme was developed in co-operation with the Associations of Towns and Municipalities of Croatia, and in consultation with the Ministry of Public Administration.

The programme implementation will start with the preparation of a comprehensive technical analysis on the current environment for IMC in Croatia. This will include a review of the legal and financial framework, identify challenges and opportunities for IMC. On the basis of the results of the technical analysis, recommendations for improvement and tools for encouraging IMC initiatives at local and central levels will be developed.

The project should be promoted, in the first instance, among the members of the executive boards of the two Associations and with the Ministry. In the second half of 2010, the project’s activities will focus on awareness-raising and promotion of the Toolkit on IMC, adapted to the Croatian environment.

Croatia will also host an International Conference for the official inauguration of the CoE-UNDP-LGI Toolkit on IMC, in autumn 2010.

6. Georgia

a. Previous activities

Between 2004 and 2008, the former Directorate of Cooperation for Local and Regional Democracy (DCDLR) and later the Centre of Expertise for Local Government developed, in cooperation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) as well as the Norwegian Association of Cities and Region, a National Training Strategy (NTS), including the creation of a National Training Coordination Agency (TCA), as well as a project on Human Resources Management at municipal level.

In 2008, the Centre of Expertise, in cooperation with the same partners, implemented a Programme of Training of Municipal Councillors and Local Government Officials, as well as Programmes of assistance to strategic municipal planning and emergency municipal planning in three Georgian pilot municipalities (Rustavi and Lanchkhuti for SMP and Senaki for EMP). These activities were financed by the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

b. Activities en 2009

1. Continuation of the Programme of Training of Municipal Councillors and Local Government Officials

In 2009, the Centre of Expertise implemented, with its partners, the Programme of Training for Municipal Councillors and Local Government Officials, launched in 2008, thanks to a funding provided by the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign. This programme was implemented in 10 pilot local authorities and focused on the 3 following key topics:

      - National Georgian legislation in the field of local self-government;

      - Budgetary and financial planning procedure at local level;

      - Effectiveness of municipal councils and general management of municipal administration (including communication with citizens)

Once the three distinct training tools were developed, several training sessions were organised by NALAG with the contribution of Council of Europe’s experts as well as elected officials, in order to test these tools.

A final evaluation seminar was organised in October 2009 in order to assess the conclusions of the training programme and put forward proposal of recommendations for the improvement of the training tools before the organisation of additional training session in other pilot municipalities.

Such additional series of training sessions will be organised in 2010 after the next local elections to be held in May 2010 and once the 3 training tools have been consequently revised.

2. Continuation of the Strategic Municipal Planning Programme and launching of a 2nd Round in two new pilot municipalities of the Guria Region (Ozurgeti et Chokhatauri), with a regional dimension

The strategic municipal planning programme was carried out in cooperation with the Georgian and Norwegian Associations of Local Authorities (NALAG and KS) in the two pilot municipalities of Lanchkhuti et Rustavi. Both have successfully completed strategic municipal plans for the period 2010-1014 which are based on active participation and synergy between all local stakeholders, the later with the support of UNDP, with which Council of Europe has developed close cooperation. Various working groups and public meetings, some with the participation of Council of Europe experts, were organised in the course of the process with a strong political commitment of the Mayors.

In particular, new field visits in each pilot were held in April 2009 with a view to meeting all key stakeholders (Mayor and Chief Executive of all municipalities, some local officials such as heads of student and youth departments, as well as representatives of local NGOs and local media). A final evaluation workshop was subsequently held on 3 July 2009 in Tbilisi to discuss in detail the final strategic municipal plans prepared by the two pilots as well as the overall strengths and weaknesses of the Programme. Both strategic municipal plans were then made public and a national guide to strategic municipal planning was then published in September 2009 and disseminated, with the support of NALAG, to all Georgian municipalities as well as national and international NGOs.

A 2nd Round of the Strategic Municipal Planning Programme was then launched in October 2009, thanks to the renewed financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), in two new municipalities of the Guria Region, in South West Georgia, Ozurgeti and Chochatauri. There was a strong involvement of the Governor of the Region, with the objective to promote at the same time a municipal and regional approach to strategic planning.

It was also decided to provide support to the implementation of the strategic municipal plan developed by the municipality of Lanchkhuti, while assistance to the implementation of the plan developed by Rustavi would be provided by UNDP. A first series of field visits in the two new pilot municipalities was held in October 2009, with a view to present the proposed methodology and carry out a first assessment of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of each local authority, as well as to discuss their respective community profiles. Meetings were also held with the Representatives of the Lanckhuti Municipality in order to identify the projects of their municipal plan to be supported in priority through the programme.

Moreover, it was agreed to continue, with the support of NALAG and KS, the implementation of the Councillors’ Training programme, and in that perspective, to revise the content of the three distinct training tools developed since 2007, with a view to their experimentation in a new set of 5 Georgian municipalities in early 2010. Tools will then be implemented by NALAG but also other training stakeholders after the next local elections to be held in May 2010.

c. Envisaged activities

i. Continuation of the 2nd Round of the Strategic Municipal Planning Programme in two new pilot municipalities of the Guria Region (Ozurgeti et Chokhatauri), in cooperation with NALAG and KS, as well as the office of the Regional Governor of Guria Region, with a view to develop local but also regional actions plans.

ii. Continuation, in cooperation with NALAG and KS, of the Municipal Councillors Training Programme and finalisation of training tools, after new series of testing in 5 new Georgian pilot municipalities, in view of delivery of training sessions after the next local elections to be held in May 2010.

7. Hungary

a. Previous activities

Two capacity-building programmes were launched in 2008 by the National Association of Local Authorities in Hungary (TÖOSZ) with assistance from the Centre of Expertise, and in co-operation with the Ministry of Local Government and other associations of local authorities in Hungary: the Leadership Benchmarking Programme and the Best Practice Programme.

b. Activities in 2009

Leadership Benchmarking programme:

· Two peer reviews were conducted in Alsomocsolad and Asozsolca.

· Peer reports including recommendations were prepared;

· The municipalities under review prepared plans of improvement that they started to implement;

· A three-day training session was organised for new peers who should join the programme.

The Leadership Benchmarking Programme was very well received by the stakeholders. It should continue in 2010.

Best Practice programme:

· 54 applications were received; 16 were shortlisted by the Evaluation Group.

· Short-listed municipalities were visited by evaluators.

· The winning practices were chosen and celebrated during a high-level conference (around 200 participants);

· As an innovation, five prizes were offered: one for each topic, offered by DEXIA; one offered by the National Development Agency for the best practice supported by EU funds; one voted by the Ceremony Conference participants themselves and offered by Synergon.

· A workshop for training awarded municipalities to disseminate their practice was organised.

· Award-winning municipalities were helped to prepare dissemination materials and to organise dissemination events.

· A database of good practice was created.

The Best Practice Programme was successfully implemented. It raised considerable interest and the practices collected were of high value. The programme should continue in 2010. The new brochure was already prepared and launched.

c. Envisaged activities

Both programmes will continue in 2010. The Centre of Expertise should continue to offer expertise to the programmes.

8. Kosovo5

a. Activities in 2009

The project “If I were a Mayor” was implemented in co-operation with the Association of Kosovo Municipalities (AKM). The aim of the project was to obtain citizens’ input in the work of the local government, and citizens’ ideas to serve to the local officials to improve the quality of the services provided.

The project started with publication of an announcement/call in the local printed media for the submission of essays focusing on citizens’ ideas, actions and innovations on what they would do if they were elected Mayors. The opportunity to participate was given to all citizens with special emphasis on political science students, and the call was published in three languages (Albanian, Serbian and Turkish).

The Association of Kosovo Municipalities received 52 essays, and Evaluation Committee was established to consider and evaluate the received essays. The Commission was composed by five members representatives from the major stakeholders (one Mayor; Director of the Department for Local Self-Government in the Ministry of Local Government Administration; two local experts and the AKM Project Manager). The evaluation of the essays was carried out according to the criteria previously defined and agreed with the Council of Europe expert.

The best 23 essays were published in three languages (Albanian, Turkish and Serbian), and the publication was distributed to the municipalities and other local government institutions, international organizations, media and NGOs. All information about the project can be found on the Association of Kosovo Municipalities’ website: www.komunat-ks.net. Also, on the website the publication of the best 23 essays is available in four languages (Albanian, Serbian, Turkish and English).

In July, the Conference for announcing the essays’ winners was organised in Pristina. There were representatives from the Ministry of Local Government Administration, Council of Europe, mayors, deputy mayors and heads of different municipal departments (legal, finance, health and education), chairpersons of AKM Professional Collegiums, representatives of the international community (OSCE, USAID / EMI, etc.). At the Award Conference it was reiterated by the participants that the project was well timed and that the suggestions from the public could influence those running for local election in November 2009 and subsequently taking up office i.e. that the essays would provide valuable guidance in what the citizens need and want.

The three awarded authors of the best essays spent a full day with the mayors of the Fushë-Kosova, Pristina and Glogoc Municipalities. During their visit they had an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding about the mayors’ competencies, challenges and engagements. They also had a possibility to exchange ideas regarding different issues like local leadership, delivery of services and citizens’ participation.

9. Malta

a. Previous activities

In 2008, the Centre of Expertise assisted the Association of Local Councils in Malta (LCA) with the preparation of their Strategic Programme 2009-2011. A fact-finding mission was carried out by the Centre of Expertise and followed by a detailed mission report with recommendations which were handed over to the LCA and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. Following the recommendations of the report, the LCA worked on their organisational and development strategy using the Council of Europe – UNDP “Toolkit towards a Modern Local Government Association”.

b. Activities in 2009

The Council of Europe assistance continued in 2009. The Department expects it to continue in 2010 as well. The CoE expertise will be needed to complete the policy document and templates, and to provide advice on the next stages of implementation and support the launching of performance management across Malta. This would include one two-day mission to Malta for the two CoE consultants in early 2010 (funded by the CoE OB).

In 2009, the Centre of Expertise provided assistance to the Department for Local Government of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in Malta with the preparation of a new performance management regime for Maltese local councils. At the request of the Department, the CoE provided an input into the preparation of a draft policy paper on performance management. This included comments on a draft set of performance indicators prepared by the Department, a paper on the policy environment for a performance management system, and elements for an implementation strategy. A National Workshop was organised in October 2009 to launch the introduction of the new performance management regime.

c. Envisaged activities

The Centre of Expertise will continue to provide assistance to the establishment of the performance management system for local councils in Malta. In 2010, the Centre will facilitate the organisation of a study visit to the UK for Maltese Government officials to look at the performance management system in the UK .

10. Moldova

a. Previous activities

i. Best Practice Programme, National Training Strategy, Public Ethics Benchmarking

Three rounds of the Best Practice Programme were implemented with a significant success in 2006-2008.

The National Training Strategy programme was 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, see the website devoted to capacity building in local government in Moldova: www.local.md)

b. Activities in 2009

No activity was implemented in 2009, as a joint bid with VNG International to obtaining MATRA funding was not successful.

c. Envisaged activities

There are currently discussions with Moldovan partners to implement an ambitious capacity-building programme, including modules on Inter-municipal Co-operation, follow-up to the Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme, Strengthening the capacity of local authorities and performance management of public services.

Funding for these programmes is being discussed.

11. Montenegro

a. Previous activities

A Joint Programme (JP) between the Council of Europe and the European Agency for Reconstruction was implemented in 2006-2008 in co-operation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro. The JP included a module on capacity-building for local government with the following projects:

a) the preparation of a National Training Strategy,

b) a Best Practice programme, and

c) a Leadership Development programme.

A supplementary project on transparency and preventing corruption at local level was launched in 2007 in parallel to the National Training Strategy. It led to the preparation of a comprehensive National Programme and Action Plan for Fighting Corruption at Local Level in Montenegro.

b. Activities in 2009

A new Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the EC Delegation in Montenegro on Strengthening Local Self-Government in Montenegro (Phase II) was launched in 2009. It includes a module on strengthening public ethics at local level, aiming at implementing the anti-corruption programme. To complement the CoE project on ethics, VNG International launched a larger project on ethics in municipalities funded by MATRA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. OSCE Mission in Montenegro is implementing a complementary project on ethics at local level as well as the Best Practice and Leadership Development Programmes.

c. Activities envisaged for 2010

Within the Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission Delegation on Strengthening Local Self-Government in Montenegro (Phase II), the Centre of Expertise will implement a Programme on “Transparent Municipality” in Montenegro. This will include:

- analysis and up-date on the implementation of the National Programme and Action Plan on Fighting Corruption at Local Level in Montenegro;

- a National Conference on Public Ethics, to be organised at the request of the Ministry of Interior;

- the development and use of a National Benchmark on a “Transparent Municipality” ;

- a national media campaign on “Transparent Municipality”;

- the development and implementation of a model communications strategy for municipalities;

- a Regional Conference on Good Governance, Ethics and Transparency for seven countries from South-east Europe.

12. Romania

a. Previous activities

In 2007-2008 Romania implemented a Public Ethics Benchmarking Programme in co-operation with the Romanian National Agency for Civil Servants.

b. Current and future activities

The Centre received expressions of interest for continuing capacity-building for local authorities in Romania. However, for the moment no budget has been identified for such activities.

13. Russian Federation (North-West Russia and Kaliningrad)

a. Previous activities

Leadership Benchmark

In 2005-2006, the Council of Europe worked with the Russian Congress of Municipalities and the Academy of Public Administration in NW Russia to pilot a Leadership Benchmark programme within the framework of a joint Council of Europe – European Commission programme for North-West Russia.

A Peer Review project was implemented in the region of Karelia and a Self-Assessment project, based on Council of Europe methodology and the Russian Leadership Benchmark, was piloted in the Kaliningrad region within the framework of the joint Council of Europe – EC programme for NW Russia.

Best Practice Programme

A Best Practice programme in transfrontier co-operation was implemented in NW Russia in co-operation with the Academy of Public Administration in St Petersburg, the Congress of Municipalities of Russia, and the regional local authority associations from the Regions of Kaliningrad and Pskov and the Republic of Karelia

Leadership Academy Programme

In 2008, the North-Western Academy of Public Administration launched the implementation, in 2008-2009, of a “Leadership Academy Programme” developed by the Centre of Expertise. The Centre is providing advice and expertise. The Academy covers organisational costs of the programme (participation costs of 50 Russian officials, the publication, promotion and distribution of our tools).

A statement of co-operation was signed between the Rector of the NW Academy and the Directorate of Democratic Institutions for the implementation of the Programme in 2008-2009 and with a view to developing sustainable co-operation in training and capacity-building for local and regional government officials in N-W Russia.

The first session was organised for two series of participants (25 person per series) in October 2008.

b. Activities in 2009

The Leadership Academy Programme continued and was finalised in 2009. It included two more training sessions, each one including two separate series for 25 participants and lasting 3 days per series.

The two sessions were organised on 9-14 February and 1-6 June 2009 in St. Petersburg. Diplomas were awarded to participants to the full curriculum during the last session.

The programme was highly appreciated and it should become part of the permanent offer of training and capacity-building programmes offered by the N.-W. Academy of Public Administration.

c. Envisaged activities

Several programmes are envisaged and funding is being negotiated. The Centre of Expertise will launch the adaptation of the Toolkit on Inter-municipal Co-operation to Russian environment, in co-operation with the Ministry of Regional Development. This could lead to a fully-fledged programme on Inter-municipal co-operation. Other programmes could concern performance management, public ethics and a continuation of the Leadership Academy Programme.

14. Russian Federation (Chechen Republic)

a. Previous activities

Within the programme of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic, in the area of Democracy and Development of Local Self-Government, the Centre for Expertise in Local Government Reform in 2008 implemented the following specific activities:

1) Workshop on Leadership Development for Chechen Administrators;

2) In-house Training for Chechen Administrators organised in co-operation with the Congress of the Local and Regional Authorities and ENTO;

3) Workshop on Citizen Participation designed with aim of helping Chechen Administrators to improve their communication with citizen groups in order to be more effective partners in local governance

4) Study visit to Austria for was organised in co-operation with KDZ for representatives from the local administrations and Parliament of the Chechen Republic.

b. Activities in 2009

In 2009, within the programme of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic, the Centre for Expertise implemented the following activities in the area of Democracy and Development of Local Self-Government:

1) Roundtable on the “Best Practice Programme for Local Authorities in the Southern Federal District (31 March 2009 Pyatigorsk). The Roundtable followed after the agreement between the CoE and Russian Authorities to open one specific activity in each area of co-operation to the representatives of other federal entities of the Southern Federal District. 26 participants attended the roundtable, among which: representatives from the federal authorities (Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of the President, Commissioner of Human Rights Office) and representatives from the 13 federal entities in the Southern Federal District.

The main objective of the roundtable was to asses the need for the Council of Europe Best Practice Programme in the Southern Federal District, through an open debate and active inclusion of the major stakeholders.

2) Workshop on “Transition from Local Administration to Local Self-Government in the Chechen Republic” (9-10 April, Moscow) organized in cooperation with the Congress of the Local and Regional Authorities and (ENTO.

The objective of the workshop was participants to learn about different ways of interactions between the elected and appointed local authorities, and how to build effective relationship between local councils and local administrators. The learning was focused on gaining practical skills on drafting the Statute of the municipalities, which the participants will be able to use once the (first) local elections are held in the Chechen Republic.

3) Study visit to Finland for nine representatives from the local Authorities and Parliament of the Chechen Republic was carried out from 11 to 15 May 2009. The aim of the study visit was to provide the Chechen delegation with an overview of functioning of democratic governance in a Council of Europe member state. This year the Chechen representatives expressed an interest in visiting Finland, and learning the Finnish system of local government. Different levels of the Finnish public administration were presented to the delegation by visiting the Finnish Parliament, one Finnish ministry (Ministry of Finance), city of Helsinki and two municipalities (Vihti and Jarvenpaa). This know-how transfer was provided both theoretically and practically.

4) Workshop on “Legal and Institutional Framework of Local Self-Government in the Russian Federation” (3-4 June, Moscow). 15 participants among which representatives from the Commissioner of Human Rights office and from the executive authorities in the Chechen Republic attended the workshop. The main objective was participants to learn the basic principles of organisation of the local self-government in the Russian Federation in the light of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The relationship of the Charter with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and with the federal and regional legislation was elaborated and discussed with great interest.

5) Workshop on “Strategic Development of Local Self-Government in the Chechen Republic in the light of the inter-municipal co-operation” was held on 27-28 October in Moscow. Participants learned the basic principles of organisation of inter-municipal co-operation in the Russian Federation in the light of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the federal and regional legislation.

c. Envisaged activities

In 2010, the Centre of Expertise will continue to support Chechen administrators and elected local officials by organising five supplementary preparatory activities:

- a seminar on the leadership capacities of the newly elected officials;

- a seminar on the performance of the new competencies of the local authorities;

- a practical workshop on the social-economic planning of territories (open for the representatives from the Southern Federal District);

- a legal assistance in developing normative acts in the local self-government units (municipal statutes);

- and a workshop on the fiscal competencies of the local authorities (budgetary policies, increase of revenues, tax property).

15. Serbia

a. Previous activities

Programmes of exchange of best practices, leadership and performance management at local level

Between 2006 and 2008, the Centre of Expertise contributed to the successful implementation of Phase I of the Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on « Strengthening local self-government in Serbia ». This Programme included a component on building the capacities of Serbian local authorities divided in three distinct projects. Two projects focusing, on the one hand on the promotion of local leadership (benchmark of an efficient and democratic local authority), and on the other hand the exchange of best practices, were launched in 2006 and completed in early 2008.

A third capacity building programme aimed at promoting the use of performance management mechanisms in Serbian local authorities (in different key areas of the local administration: local economic development, communication with the citizens, internal communication, waste management  and management of staff) was launched in 2007 and completed late 2008. It was implemented in cooperation with the Serbian National Association of Local Authorities (SCTM), which also supported the implementation of the two other programmes, and involved 10 Serbian (Bor, Majdanpek, Medijana, Vranje, Sremska Mitrovica, Sremski Karlovci, Senta, Pancevo, Kragujevac and Novi Beograd) and 6 French municipalities (Suresnes, Nevers, Le Creusot, Bricquebec, Boulogne-Billancourt and the Territoire de Belfort) twinned. The Programme was implemented with the support of the French Embassy in Belgrade.

General conclusions of the Leadership and Performance Management Programmes were discussed during a final Conference held on 3rd October 2008 in Belgrade with representative of key national and international local government actors. On that occasion, a Leadership Manual and a Guide to performance management at local level were presented and later disseminated to all Serbian municipalities with the support of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM).

b. Activities in 2009

A 2nd Round of the Performance Management Project was launched in September/October 2009 within the framework of a new Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia Phase II.

This new Round is again implemented in cooperation with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM) as well as the French Embassy in Belgrade, and associate 5 French and 5 Serbian twinned municipalities (Le Creusot/Majdanpek; Suresnes/Kragujevac, Nevers/Sremska Mitrovica, Bricquebec/Sremski Karlovci, Territoire de Belfort/Novi Beograd). Moreover, it should also associate 3 German municipalities (Offenburg, Ulm and Ingolstatd) with a view to favour greater exchange of know-how and experience.

The methodology and approach to be used are similar to the ones used during the 1st Round of the Project. However, the Programme this time focuses on the performance mechanisms and related indicators to be applied in order to improve the measurement and management of performance in the regulations on local budgets and the handling of municipal property. In addition, the Project is complementary to legal assistance activities led by the Council of Europe, also within the framework of the new Joint Programme with the European Commission, with the aim to submitting to the Serbian government, and its responsible Ministry for Public Administration, proposals for improvement of the legislation in the areas of local budgeting and property.

Specific activities are foreseen in late 2010 between Serbian, French and German Municipalities, with a view to meeting the following objectives:

    § Raised awareness of the elected representatives and the officials of the Serbian, French and German pilot local authorities regarding the role and importance of the measurement and performance management at local level which includes a range of processes, techniques and methods that facilitate the identification of targets and measurement of progress towards achieving these;

    § Assessment of the knowledge and experience of the Serbian, French and German pilot local authorities in the field of performance management and identification of the good practices to be learnt from;

    § Identification of distinct and/or, if possible, common indicators to improve the measurement and management of performance in the fields of budgetary and financial planning/management of property;

    § Promotion of inter-municipal co-operation/exchange of experience with the formulation of recommendations aiming at improving the performance of Serbian, French and German local authorities;

    § Consolidation of the capacities of the Standing Town and Municipalities Conference of Serbia (STMC) and the link with its members;

    § To facilitate the exchange of experience and the development, when appropriate, of lasting partnerships/projects between Serbian, French and German local authorities (though development of actual twinning is not the objective of the Project).

    § Use the conclusions of the Project to support the revision of the legislation in the field of budget and property in line with the needs and priorities of Serbian local authorities, through provisions of new legislative recommendations and subsequent testing of proposed changes in practice.

A questionnaire on the experience of pilot municipalities in managing performance in the field of budgetary and financial planning/management of property (activity also covering the issue of property was drafted in September 2009, with the support of local and international experts and dispatch to all French and Serbian pilots.

A Joint launching Workshop was then held on 30 September and 1 October 2009 in Belgrade, with the representatives of Serbian and French pilots, the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, the French Embassy as well as Council of Europe’s experts.

Following the meeting, performance management tools specific to local budget and property were drafted with the support of the Council of Europe experts and sent to all pilot municipalities for completion. Feedback will be discussed during a Joint Workshop held in Belgrade, with a view to identify relevant proposals of amendments and improvements of the Serbian Laws on local budgets and municipal property.

c. Envisaged activities

1. Continuation of activities of Phase II of the Joint Council of Europe/European Commission Programme dealing with the performance management applied to local budgets and property, with the participation of Serbian, French and German Municipalities.

The following activities are foreseen: bilateral meetings of CoE experts in each of the 5 Serbian pilots to help them fulfil those templates and provide necessary advice (activity also covering the issue of property), a Joint Workshop with French and Serbian pilot local authorities to discuss the conclusions of those field visits and finalise the Performance Management tools, and finally a Joint Conference/ Roundtable to discuss results of the performance management activities in light of review and elaboration of the Law on local budgets and assessment of the Law on public property.

2. Implementation, in the framework of Phase II of the Joint Council of Europe/European Commission Programme, of a new set of activities dealing with human resources management at municipal level, with a view to contribute to the reform of status of Serbian local government officials

New modern human resource management tools (job descriptions, procedure of selection and recruitment, and mechanisms of evaluating staff performance) are to be drafted on the basis of human resources needs assessment, and tested in several Serbian local authorities.

Conclusions of such testing and subsequent recommendations shall be used to suggest amendments to the related legislation of status of Serbian local government officials. The new HRM tools shall then be disseminated to all Serbian municipalities, with the support of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia (SCTM).

16. Switzerland

a. Activities in 2009

Following the official request by the Training Centre for Local Authorities within the Ticino Cantonal Government (CFEL), the Centre of Expertise was assisting in launching the Best Practice Programme in the Ticino Canton. The Centre contributed in developing the methodology, and transferred to the CFEL the know-how required to design and implement the programme.

The Best Practice Programme for local government in Ticino, one of the 26 Swiss Cantons, was officially launched on the conference on 16 October 2009, organised by the Training Centre for Local Authorities in co-operation with the Council of Europe. The event was fully sponsored by the Bank of the State and hosted by the Mayor of City of Lugano.

Over hundred participants attended the conference among which Mayors, Councillors and other local elected officials, municipal secretaries and other appointed officials, and 45 civil servants from the Ticino administration who completed 2008-2009 courses organised by the CFEL, and who received their diplomas at the ceremony.

The initiative “Innovative Municipality 2010” was based on the Centre of Expertise’s Toolkit I on Capacity Building. The two thematic areas for which the municipalities will compete for the award refer to the innovations in the local government (innovation in internal management and innovation in local government external action). The first thematic area include all initiatives regarding internal organization, human resources management, accounting and auditing, financial management, total quality management, efficiency promotion, etc.; while in the second thematic area all initiatives regarding improvement in public services delivery, economic development promotion, infrastructure building, social and cultural promotion, citizens’ engagement, etc. will be considered.

b. Envisaged activities

The co-operation and implementation of the Best Practice Programme with the Training Centre for Local Authorities within the Ticino Cantonal Government will continue in 2010. The deadline for submitting the applications is April 2010, and the Centre will assist the CEFL in finalising the evaluation and selection criteria (short listing of municipalities and actions in the field visits). The awarded municipalities will be officially recognised at the conference in October 2010, when the second round of the programme will be officially launched.

When presenting the candidature, participants will accept to disseminate knowledge in case of receiving the award. Particularly, they will be asked to organise a day-long presentation in the municipality with the support of the Training Centre for Local Authorities, and they need to be ready to provide further assistance to all other interested municipalities.

17. “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

a. Previous activities

From September 2006 to February 2007, the Centre of Expertise implemented a Leadership Benchmark project for local government with the financial support of the Government of Japan. The project was implemented in co-operation with the national Association of Local Self-Government Units (ZELS) and with support from the Ministry of Local Self-Government. As a result of this project and following the consultation workshops, the Leadership Benchmark and its self-assessment tool were amended and published.

In May 2007 the Centre of Expertise secured an agreement on a substantial Joint Programme with the EAR in Skopje on capacity-building for local government. The programme “Leadership Benchmark and Best Practice programme” started in June 2007 and was completed in February 2009. The Programme included three modules:

    - a Leadership Development programme including further dissemination of the Leadership Benchmark, Peer Reviews and Self-assessment process;

    - a Programme on public ethics at local level, including the development of standards on public ethics, a national campaign on the “Transparent Municipality”, selection, award and dissemination of good practices;

    - a Best Practice Programme: identification, official recognition and dissemination of best practice in local government leadership, service provision and community participation.

b. Activities in 2009

The joint programme “Leadership Benchmark and Best Practice Programme” was completed in February. Nevertheless, the study visit to UK was organized for the representatives from the municipalities awarded for the best practice, as well as the final conference for dissemination of the results of the three modules (Best Practice, Leadership Development and Public Ethics) was organized in January 2009.

Performance Management Programme

The Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform assisted the Ministry of Local Self-Government to launch a programme on Performance Management for Local Authorities. A round-table on “Performance Management for Local Authorities: International Experience and New Approaches for “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” was held in Skopje on 27 August 2009 for the members of the Working Group for Co-ordination of the Decentralisation Process (the senior officials from the line Ministries).

The aim of the Roundtable was to present the European approaches on the Performance Management in order to raise the awareness of the central and local authorities on the role and importance of the performance management. At the round-table the participants adopted several conclusions that were submitted to the Ministry of Local Self-Government. They agreed that the performance management concepts and techniques should be introduced and implemented in the local context; it was advised to start the programme in a number of selected pilot municipalities, and later on to be replicated in all units of the local self-government.

In November 2009 the Centre of Expertise continued the implementation of the performance management programme with the Association of the Units of Local Self-Government (ZELS). Four pilot municipalities were selected (Debar, Strumica, Veles and Stip) and the introductory workshop on performance management for 25 representatives from the municipalities was organised in Skopje.

c. Envisaged activities

The implementation of the Performance Management Programme will continue in 2010. Pilot municipalities independently will develop Plans for Performance Management in the two identified areas: public cleaning and property tax. Plans will be submitted to ZELS and the Council of Europe for further revision. Final Conference will be organised to present the results and to develop a strategy for dissemination of the programme to the other municipalities in the country.

18. Ukraine

a. Previous activities

In the framework of a Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission concerning fighting corruption in Ukraine, the Centre of Expertise implemented in 2007-2008 a module of capacity building for local authorities in the field of public ethics at local level, which was organised around the newly created Benchmarking and Improvement Programme on public ethics at local level.

b. Activities in 2009

An ambitious capacity-building programme was prepared for Ukraine and several governments (in particular Denmark and Switzerland) showed an interest in funding it. Such funding is currently being discussed.

The Centre of Expertise took part in several meetings in Kyiv, in order to discuss this programme with the expert appointed for evaluating programmes to be funded by the Danish government, to support the Strategy and to discuss with other international donors.

c. Envisaged activities

There is a high demand for good quality capacity-building programmes for local government in Ukraine.

Depending on the finalisation of current discussions with several governments, several programmes could be implemented:

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

    - support to the implementation by Ukraine of the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level;

    - a Best Practice Programme;

    - a Performance Management Programme;

    - a Leadership Academy Programme;

    - a Local Finance Benchmarking Programme.

APPENDIX III – Relations with other bodies and organisations

a. Relations with other Council of Europe bodies

The Congress and the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR)

The Centre of Expertise has institutional relations with the two Council of Europe bodies which are also represented on its Advisory Board, the Congress and the CDLR. The Centre of Expertise relies on legal instruments adopted by the Committee of Ministers on the basis of the work of the CDLR and on policy documents and advice given by both the CDLR and the Congress. It also relies on them for information concerning the capacity-building programmes the Centre of Expertise can offer to the attention of central governments and local authorities. The various networks sponsored by the Congress (NALAS, ALDA, ENTO) also co-operate with the Centre Expertise, which remains open to other concrete proposals for practical and efficient co-operation.

During 2009, the Centre’s staff continued to take part in the meetings of the CDLR and several of its expert committees. The situation and the prospects of the Centre were discussed by the CDLR during its meetings. The Centre published Toolkit III, which is entirely based on the work of the CDLR.

Inter-secretariat meetings were held with the Congress in order to examine the best ways to improve co-operation. Specific planning documents for the activity of the Centre were prepared and presented to the Congress Secretariat

ENTO

Within the specific programme of co-operation with the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic, the Centre organized training on the “Organisation of the municipal government in light of the forthcoming local elections in the Chechen Republic” in Moscow on 9-10 April 2009, and workshop on “Strategic development of local self- government” in Moscow on 19-20 November 2009, in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (ENTO).

b. Relations with the European Union and its institutions

The European Commission is co-financing a large number of programmes in countries covered by the Centre of Expertise, through joint programmes with the Council of Europe. The Centre of Expertise contribute, since late 2009, to the implementation of Phase II of the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia” co-financed by the European Commission. This programme include 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.

The European Commission co-funds a substantial number of the Centre’s country-specific programmes through Joint Programmes with the Council of Europe.

c. Relations with the OSCE

In 2009, the Centre of Expertise worked with the OSCE to provide assistance to the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro with the preparation of a model Code of Conduct for local officials and elected members and with the establishment of Ethics Commissions. The Ethics Commissions will be responsible for dealing with violations of the Codes of Conduct adopted by municipalities. Follow-up activities on ethics were planned and will be implemented in co-operation with the OSCE Mission in Montenegro in 2010. They will include the implementation of the Municipal Ethics commissions, a technical analysis on the implementation of the National Action Plan for Fighting Corruption at Local Level, a programme on “Transparent Municipality” based on a national Benchmark on ethics and transparency.

In 2010, the Centre of Expertise and the OSCE will jointly support a High Level Conference on Transparency at local level and a national media campaign on Transparent Municipality in Montenegro.

The Centre has also developed since 2004 a close cooperation with the OSCE Presence in Albania, which has effectively contributed to the successful implementation of various programmes aimed at building the capacities of Albanian local authorities. Such cooperation is continuing in the framework of two new projects dealing with the human resource management at municipal level as well as inter-municipal cooperation, implemented in the framework of a larger Programme on “Reinforcing Albanian local and regional structures”, financed by the Swiss Government till late 2011.

d. Relations with other international partners

VNG International

A co-operation project with VNG International was developed and launched in Montenegro in 2009. The project supports the identification and dissemination of good practice in ethics and transparency in municipalities. It is based on a national Benchmark on Ethics at local level, a media campaign and a selection and dissemination procedure for good practice. This project, implemented in co-operation with OSCE, will continue in 2010.

The Centre of Expertise supported as partner a VNG International application for Matra funding related to the implementation of a capacity-building programme in Moldova; however, this application was not successful.

Open Society Institute

A programme for the Implementation of the CoE – UNDP – LGI (OSI) Toolkit on Inter-municipal Co-operation was developed for Croatia in 2009. It will be implemented in 2010 with joint support from the Council of Europe’s Centre of Expertise and the Open Society Institute (Budapest).

KS

Since 2008, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) is financing, from funds provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the implementation of some councillors’ training and strategic municipal planning activities in Georgia. These are due to continue till late 2011.

French Observatory of Local Authorities Performance (OPPALE)

The Centre of Expertise continues its close cooperation with the French Observatory of Local Authorities performance, which was set up in 2007 at the initiative of the Association Finance-Management-Evaluation of French local authorities, with the support of the French National Institute of Local Government Studies (INET) as well as the French National Centre of Local Public Service (CNFPT).

The Observatory, which has for main objectives to favour exchange of know-how and experience between French local authorities in the field of performance management, aims to serve as resource on key topics of interest. It is composed of officials of French local authorities, of elected representatives as well as specialist or representatives of training institute or universities.

The Centre of Expertise is a member of the Steering Committee of OPPALE and has also joined the Working Group on the definition and global approach to strategic and performance management, with amongst others, the cities of Bordeaux, Nantes, Pau as well as the Department of Gironde. In 2008, the Centre of Expertise took actively part in several meetings of working group and plenary sessions of the Observatory. On that occasion, it contributed to the drafting of a manifesto on the French approach to performance management and presented other European approaches in particular in the United Kingdom and in Norway.

Since early 2009, the Centre of Expertise is leading, together with the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, the Working Group of the Observatory on “the European experiences of performance management”, and in that framework a best practice comparative survey with a sample of French, British, Belgian and Norwegian pilots municipalities. The analysis of such survey, carried out with the support of the respective national associations of local authorities, and the IDEA in the United Kingdom, is under progress, with a view to be discussed between all key stakeholders. The survey should be extended in 2010 to further European countries, in particular Germany, Spain and Italy.

French National Institute of Local Government Studies (INET)

The Centre has developed close ties with the French National Institute of Local Government Studies (INET), based in Strasbourg, which trains the senior officials of French local authorities. A formal co-operation agreement was signed in May 2008. This agreement foresees the inclusion of a specific module on the capacity-building activities of the Centre of Expertise into the training programmes of the INET, regular visits by INET trainees to the Council of Europe, the production of joint publications on key topics of interest, the creation of a common expert database as well as the co-organisation of joint events.

In 2009, the Centre of Expertise and the INET have organised two successful joints events. One was a Joint Meeting co-organised with the City of Strasbourg, entitled “Local democracy and citizens participation: European challenges and answers”, which took place on 13 October 2009, at the European Youth Centre.

This event gathered around 60 participants, experts of the Council of Europe, INET students, elected representatives, officials and members of Strasbourg quarters councils as well as delegates from various European municipalities in particular Offenburg in Germany, Pinedar de Mar (Province of Barcelona) as well as the Province of Gerone in Spain. This Meeting between local and European actors gave the possibility to examine the tools that the Council of Europe has at its disposal to promote citizen participation at local level and civil participation in general, as well as discuss the various approaches of European municipalities, in this field, and in particular Strasbourg.

The debate that followed, with the experts of the Council of Europe, the INET students as well as the elected representatives and officials from Strasbourg and other European municipalities, that came to present their experience, has enabled to discuss in details of the relevance of those tools and approaches, and in particular of the improvements that could be made, in order to promote fully a citizen coproduction of the municipal action and promote it.

Finally, the interest of developing exchanges of experience and a joint thinking on such a key topic in Europe, through the Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at local level of the Council of Europe, whose one of the 12 principles is dealing with citizens’ participation, were discussed during a Roundtable open to the public, that was held just after the Meeting on the following topics: “Local democracy and citizen participation in Europe: why and in which aims? Which challenges for European building?”

The other event co-organised with INET was a 2nd Edition of the Joint Council of Europe/INET Seminar on “The European approaches to strategic management” which took place from 15 to 17 December at the Council of Europe Headquarters in Strasbourg. Like it was case in 2009, in additional to Council of Europe’s experts, elected representatives and experts from different countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Spain) presented on that occasion their approaches to strategic management, their successes but also the challenges they have been facing, and exchanged their views with the INET students.

Finally, as it was the case in 2008, several training sessions have been organised, at the Council of Europe Headquarters, within the framework of a Programme called “Managing in complexity” during which INET students were introduced to the main Centre of Expertise’s tools, as well as European approaches (mainly British and Norwegian) to performance management. 6 training sessions of that kind were held in 2009 and a similar number is foreseen in 2010.

ENACT of Nancy (Ecole Nationale d’Application des Cadres de Nancy)

Contacts have also been established with the ENACT of Nancy, which like the INET, is a structure of the CNFPT (National Centre of Local Public Service). A joint training session focusing on the Centre’s tools in the field of performance management and strategic municipal planning, was organised in Strasbourg on 10 September 2010 for Heads of International Relations of French local authorities.

Discussions have also been held with the Council of Europe Directorate of Communication with a view to open in Nancy an Information Point, in order to promote Council’s activities near ENACT’s students, as well as set up likely video training sessions, including presentations of Centre’s tools as well as various European approaches to key topic of management of local administration. Following the restructuring of the European Affairs within the CNFPT, it now appears that such an Info Point, if confirmed, could finally be opened at the INET in Strasbourg. This is to be clarified in the course of 2010.

University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour

The Centre of Expertise has deepened its successful cooperation with the University of Pau beyond their common involvement in the activities of the French Observatory of Local Authorities Performance (OPPALE). Both structures co-organised in June 2009, in Pau, a Colloquy entitled “Comparative analysis of performance management tools and models at international level”. The first two days of this event, which brought together around 150 participants, focused on the tools and means to reinforce the capacities of local authorities in the field of performance applied to the operational/strategic planning, economic development and citizen participation. The third day was devoted to a comparative analysis at international level of different ways of managing performance at local level. A follow-up conference to this event is scheduled in June 2010 in Bordeaux.

Contacts with German local authorities (Offenburg, Ulm, Ingolstadt)

Contacts have also been established with 3 German municipalities.

Elected representatives and officials of the City of Offenburg were invited to share their know-how and experience in the field of citizen participation as well as strategic management during events co-organised by the Council of Europe and the INET. These were a Joint Meeting on “Local democracy and citizen participation” held in October 2009 with the City of Strasbourg and a Joint Seminar on “European approaches to strategic management” held in December 2009.

Offenburg as well as Ulm and Ingolstadt were been approached in order to participate in the activities on performance management applied to local budgets and municipal property, co-organised with Serbian and French municipalities, in the framework of Phase II of the Joint Programme on “Strengthening local self-government in Serbia” to be implemented until late 2011.

The active participation of these 3 German municipalities as well as others, such as Leipzig, in various capacity-building programmes activities of the Centre, notably those dealing with citizen participation in South Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus, and/or the development of specific capacity-building programmes in Germany is also being discussed.

Finally, contacts have also been established with the City of Offenburg in the framework of the promotion of the Strategy and Label for Innovation and Good Governance at local level. Its likely participation, with other German municipalities, in the ongoing testing of the Label is being discussed.

f. Relations with local stakeholders

All country-specific programmes (with the exception of the Leadership Academy Programme) are implemented with the help of local partners. Most often, these partners are associations of local authorities. In countries where these associations do not have the capacity to implement such programmes or where they have shown no interest but there is clear interest from other organisations, whether governmental or not, the Centre may team up with such partners for the implementation of these programmes. Specific information about the partners is represented within the description provided for each country-specific programme (see Appendix II).

APPENDIX IV – List of abbreviations

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

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

CARDS: EU programme - Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation: www.cards-ipr.org

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

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

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

DLRDGG: Department of Local and Regional Democracy and Good Governance

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

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

ENTO: European Network of Training Organisations for local and regional authorities: www.ento.org

HR: Human Resources

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

KDZ: Austrian Centre for Public Administration Research: www.kdz.or.at

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

MFA: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

TALGA: Training Agency for Local Government in Albania

TCA: Georgian Training Co-operation Agency

TNA: Training Needs Analysis

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: www.zels.org.mk

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 Decision taken on the recommendation of the 14th Conference of European Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government.

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

5 “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.”



 Top

 

  Related Documents
 
   Other documents
 
   External links