On 14 May a conference on fiscal decentralisation in the Eastern Partnership countries provided a platform to debate the challenges and opportunities connected with fiscal decentralisation.

Fiscal decentralisation represents a crucial element in the reform process in the Eastern Partnership countries (EaP), and is key to their effective local democracy. Further efforts should be made from the side of the European Union to support the EaP countries in their efforts for fiscal decentralization, it was therefore concluded.

The conference was jointly organized by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF),the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP), the Committee of the Regions (CoR), and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe; local and regional representatives from the EU and Eastern neighbouring countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) gathered to discuss the topics. Effective political decentralisation can only be successful if the transfer of powers to the regional and local level is accompanied by the corresponding financial devolution, stressed Mercedes Bresso, CoR First Vice-President, while opening the conference. She concluded: ‘The local and regional public finance reform should be considered as an urgent priority, a sine qua non condition in the process of decentralisation and strengthening of local and regional authorities in the EaP countries.”

During the debate, it was highlighted that all six EaP countries except Belarus are part of the Council of Europe’s charter of local self-government and, as such, have already made a number of commitments in this respect. EU and international partners should support the full implementation of the charter and its provisions regarding fiscal resources for local authorities. It was also suggested that such provisions and more specific goals on how to support fiscal decentralisation should be included in the future EaP roadmap. Specific proposals will be developed as a follow up to the conference.

The CSF is particularly happy of the fruitful cooperation with the Committee of Regions, CORLEAP and the Council of Europe, and look forward to further develop this cooperation in the future.

On 14 May a conference on fiscal decentralisation in the Eastern Partnership countries provided a platform to debate the challenges and opportunities connected with fiscal decentralisation.

Fiscal decentralisation represents a crucial element in the reform process in the Eastern Partnership countries (EaP), and is key to their effective local democracy. Further efforts should be made from the side of the European Union to support the EaP countries in their efforts for fiscal decentralization, it was therefore concluded.

The conference was jointly organized by the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF),the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP), the Committee of the Regions (CoR), and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe; local and regional representatives from the EU and Eastern neighbouring countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) gathered to discuss the topics. Effective political decentralisation can only be successful if the transfer of powers to the regional and local level is accompanied by the corresponding financial devolution, stressed Mercedes Bresso, CoR First Vice-President, while opening the conference. She concluded: ‘The local and regional public finance reform should be considered as an urgent priority, a sine qua non condition in the process of decentralisation and strengthening of local and regional authorities in the EaP countries.”

During the debate, it was highlighted that all six EaP countries except Belarus are part of the Council of Europe’s charter of local self-government and, as such, have already made a number of commitments in this respect. EU and international partners should support the full implementation of the charter and its provisions regarding fiscal resources for local authorities. It was also suggested that such provisions and more specific goals on how to support fiscal decentralisation should be included in the future EaP roadmap. Specific proposals will be developed as a follow up to the conference.

The CSF is particularly happy of the fruitful cooperation with the Committee of Regions, CORLEAP and the Council of Europe, and look forward to further develop this cooperation in the future.