BINA, the NGO Alliance for Municipality Development with which ALDA has been cooperating for the past two years, has conducted the monitoring of the correspondence of municipality institution in Azerbaijan to the requirements of the European Charter on Local Self-Governments.
As a result, BINA presented a Monitoring report entitled “Assessment of conformity of organisational and operational aspects of municipalities in Azerbaijan with principles and requirements of European Charter”.
The following step is the expected visit in Azerbaijan of the monitoring group of the European Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
It is already 12 years since the municipalities started to operate for the first time in Azerbaijan and around 30 pieces of legislation have been enacted to regulate the operations of municipalities during this period. Along with the laws and other normative acts (presidential decrees, decisions of Cabinet of Ministers, etc.), the European Charter of Local Self-Government has become an integral part of the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic. This international document entered in force through the adoption of the law of 25th December, 2001 on the “approval of European Charter of Local Self-Government”, which entered into force from the 1st August 2002.
By joining the Charter in December 2001, Azerbaijan undertook various commitments regarding better self-governance in the country. Over the past period, a number of laws and other normative acts have been enacted establishing the legislative basis of forming and developing local self-governance in the country, three municipal elections held, as well as, some measures taken to establish and develop municipalities in practice.
This report is based on the monitoring which tried to determine the extent to which the legislative basis of local self-governance and municipalities already established in the country are in line with the principles and requirements of the Charter.
Upon developing this report, the monitoring group composed of the member organizations of the Alliance reviewed European Charter of Local Self-Government, explanatory “notes” of Council of Europe’s experts to the provisions of the Charter, relevant documents developed by various institutions of Council of Europe dealing with various aspects of local self-governance, recommendations and commentaries of European Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Minister’s Committee and other institutions aimed at resolving specific problems of local self-governance in both Azerbaijan and other countries, held the expertise of laws forming the legal-normative basis of municipalities’ operations in Azerbaijan, and studied existing various challenges associated with municipalities.
The future perspectives of local self-governance reforms depend on the initiatives and attempts of the government, municipal associations, civil society institutes and international organizations.
BINA, the NGO Alliance for Municipal Development, was established in May, 2009 by NGO operating in the field of better local self-governance in Azerbaijan. The Alliance, which is in the process of becoming member of ALDA, primarily seeks to develop and implement sound strategies on better local self-governments (municipalities) and coordinate the efforts of and collaboration between national NGOs in order to strengthen the organisational and institutional capacity of municipalities. The Alliance’s mission is to support decentralisation and democratic processes.
The activities of the Alliance include round tables on a range of local self-governance issues, journalist studies to report on municipal problems via Media broadly, reviewing present situation of local self-governance in Azerbaijan, developing policy papers on various local self-governance problems and making recommendations to the government and carrying out advocacy campaigns of suggestions made. Further information about the Alliance can be found on www.localdemocracy.az.