CONGRESS CALLS FOR ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY IN AZERBAIJAN
At the 23rd Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on 17 October, a resolution and recommendation on the situation of local and regional democracy in Azerbaijan were debated.
The report, presented by the co-rapporteurs Jos Wienen, The Netherlands (L, EPP/CD) and Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, Austria, (R, SOC), assesses the developments in grassroots democracy in Azerbaijan since the Congress’s monitoring report of 2003. ALDA member NGO Alliance for Municipality development (BINA), an NGO in Azerbaijan, worked closely with the monitoring group in the drafting of the report.
The Congress welcomed the creation of three national associations of local authorities, but regretted that they do not enjoy an active role in representing municipal interests. Most of the recommendations addressed in 2003 to the national authorities have not been implemented and yet no timeline exists for their implementation. Furthermore, the report expressed serious concerns with regard to the non-compliance with most of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self Government, ratified by Azerbaijan. Co-rapporteur Mosler-Törnström underlined that “there is simply no local and regional democracy in Azerbaijan, no developments, no roadmap since the previous recommendation, and this should be a matter of concern for all of us.”
The report stresses the virtual inexistence of local self-government and the strong supervision of municipalities by state bodies, as well as the weak financial potential of these municipalities. The Congress invites the Government of Azerbaijan to take the necessary measures to adopt an action plan in order to implement the Congress’s recommendations.
Mr. Samir Aliyev, expert from BINA welcomes this monitoring report and congratulates the rapporteurs on their good and serious work. BINA hopes that the Congress will take the necessary steps to ensure concrete follow up to the recommendations in the report to avoid the lack of follow up that was experienced after the monitoring report from 2003.
Download here the draft Monitoring report that was amended in a few places during the adoption by the Congress.
Download here the Congress’ press release on the report.