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7 Mar 2017

Belarus to share local government practices with European countries

MINSK, 7 March (BelTA) – The upper house of the Belarusian parliament is set to share local government practices with the European countries, Chairman of the Council of the Republic’s Permanent Commission on Regional Policy and Local Government Alexander Popkov told the media on 7 March, BelTA has learned.

The senator noted that Belarus has the status of the invited observer in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. From November 2016 to October 2017 Belarus has been co-chairing the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP). The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe unites 47 countries today. Belarus has not become one of them yet. “We, however, possess useful experience and are ready to share it with our European partners, study their local government approaches,” the senator said. The CORLEAP includes 18 members of the Eastern Partnership states and 18 EU countries. “CORLEAP is a political forum based on mutual interests and commitments. Its goal is to discuss, consult, supervise and monitor all the matters related to the Eastern Partnership, both at local and regional levels,” said the chairman of the Permanent Commission.

Belarus is one of the Eastern Partnership full members and has recently taken part in a number of events aimed at expanding cooperation with the member states of the initiative. The events, for instance, discussed new projects and instruments of the European Union to promote urban sustainable development and the local economic development in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine. According to Alexander Popkov, through the cooperation with CORLEAP it is possible to attract not only ideas but also resources and adopt the best practices.

“The Conference of Local and Regional Authorities for the Eastern Partnership and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe would like to learn about Belarus’ local government practices,” Alexander Popkov said. For instance, the Congress suggests holding the corresponding conference in Belarus. The CORLEAP also initiates a meeting of the organization’s bureau and plans to invite specialists of the Eastern Partnership member states.

Joint events are planned under the aegis of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the CORLEAP in the second half of May. During these events representatives of different countries will visit Belarusian regions. In the near future a working group will be set up to organize the forthcoming events.

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