Political commitment to decentralization observed in Macedonia, says Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

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Political commitment to decentralization is observed in North Macedonia, but more clarity in law and practice is needed to further improve the decentralization reform in the country, says a recommendation adopted today by the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

Co-rapporteurs Harald Bergmann from the Netherlands and Zdenek Broz from the Czech Republic welcomed the government’s strong emphasis on the decentralization process, as evidenced by the adoption of a new Programme for Sustainable Local Development and Decentralization 2021-2026, MIA’s Strasbourg correspondent reports.

Broz noted that since the previous recommendation in 2012, the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government has been signed and ratified.

Bergmann pointed out that despite the observed progress, there is persistent lack of clarity in law and in practice concerning the division of competences, which leads to their overlapping. According to him, local authorities need adequate financial resources for performing their tasks, as municipalities continue to be highly dependent on central government transfers.

In addition, co-rapporteurs concluded there is a general “need to increase compliance with integrity obligations in local appointments.”

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