The Council of Europe – Centre of Expertise for Good Governance has taken a significant step in advancing the standards of governance by introducing an enhanced set of « 12 Principles of Good Governance. » These principles serve as a benchmark for evaluating and rewarding local governments that exhibit a high level of democratic governance. The assessment is based on these principles, which collectively contribute to fostering democratic governance, upholding human rights, promoting ethical conduct, ensuring accountability, and maintaining efficient administration.
Recently, within the framework of the Project ELoGE, municipalities in North Macedonia and Kosovo* showcased their noteworthy achievements at international conferences held in Skopje and Peja. The presentations served as a platform to highlight the positive strides made by these local governments in aligning themselves with the 12 Principles of Good Governance. The principles, acting as a comprehensive framework, not only facilitate the evaluation of governance practices but also play a crucial role in nurturing democratic values and principles.
The principles set forth by the Council of Europe cover various aspects of governance, providing a holistic approach to assessing the overall performance of local governments. These encompass democratic governance, emphasizing citizen participation and representation, as well as human rights, ensuring that the rights and dignity of all individuals are upheld.
Ethical conduct is another critical dimension addressed by the principles. They underscore the importance of integrity, transparency, and fairness in decision-making processes, laying the foundation for a governance framework built on trust and accountability. The principles further stress the significance of accountability, urging local governments to be transparent in their actions and accountable to their constituents.
Efficient administration is a key pillar of the 12 Principles, emphasizing the need for streamlined and effective governance structures. This includes promoting innovation, optimizing resource allocation, and enhancing the overall efficiency of public administration.
The recent international conferences in Skopje and Peja provided an excellent opportunity for municipalities in North Macedonia and Kosovo* to showcase their commitment to these principles. As part of these efforts, ALDA and LDA Kosovo took a proactive role in promoting the 12 Principles by creating and disseminating a video in English, Macedonian, Albanian. This multilingual approach reflects a commitment to inclusivity and ensures that a diverse audience can engage with and understand the principles.
Looking ahead, the anticipation for upcoming developments in the Project ELoGE in North Macedonia and Kosovo* is palpable. The commitment demonstrated by local governments in aligning with the 12 Principles is a positive sign for the future of governance in these regions. As the ELoGE – European Label of Governance Excellence continues to gain prominence as a program of the Council of Europe’s Centre of Expertise for Good Governance, it is poised to become a beacon for promoting and recognizing excellence in governance practices.