Resolution 117 (2001)1 on local democracy in Ireland

The Congress, bearing in mind the proposal of the Chamber of Local Authorities,

1. Having taken note of the report and the draft recommendation on local democracy in Ireland drawn up by Mr Louis Roppe (Belgium, L), rapporteur, Chairman of the Institutional Committee of the Chamber of Local Authorities, following two official visits by the rapporteur in January and March 2001, including visits to Dublin, Galway, Carlow and Maynooth;

2. Considering the willingness of the Irish Government and parliamentarian authorities to pursue the political debate on local government in Ireland, with a view to improving the legislative basis and conditions for the exercise of local authority,

3. Notes that the current Minister for the Environment and Local Government is committed to undertaking the necessary steps with a view of ratifying the European Charter of Local Self-Government as soon as new local government bill 2000 is adopted by the parliament;

4. Considers that this step would represent a clear expression of a commitment to the renewal of local government in Ireland;

5. Encourages all associations of local authorities in Ireland to act in closer co-ordination when defending local government interests at national and international level;

6. Encourages Irish local elected representatives to commit themselves to strengthening local democracy in their country, and particularly to keeping submitting practical proposals to the governmental and parliamentary authorities, through the intermediary of their representative associations, in the context of the above-mentioned debate;

7. Instructs its Institutional Committee to:

a. follow developments in the political debate on local democracy in Ireland, the parliamentarian debate on the local government bill 2000 and keep the Congress appropriately informed of any development that might justify the preparation of a second report;

b. follow up particular new development in areas such as:

– steps undertaken with a view to ratifying the Charter and recognition of the principle of subsidiarity;

– functions of local authorities;

– local finance;

– directly elected Cathaoirleach’s (Chair/Mayor) role in local government;

– provisions on remuneration and leave of elected representatives;

– dual mandate;

– relationship between local elected council and manager;

– development of strategic policy committees and of corporate policy groups;

– role of central government;

– regional authorities;

8. If appropriate, may consider holding a conference in Ireland to promote the European Charter of Local Self-Government, with a view to its ratification.

1 Debated and approved by the Chamber of Local Authorities on 30 May 2001 and adopted by the Standing Committee of the Congress on 31 May 2001 (see Doc. CPL (8) 4, draft resolution presented by Mr L. Roppe, rapporteur).



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