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11 Dec 2018

Plans to set up local self-government association in Belarus

Plans to set up local self-government association in Belarus

MINSK, 11 December (BelTA) – There are plans to set up a national association of local self-government bodies in Belarus. The conference to set up the association is supposed to take place in April 2019, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich. Mikhail Myasnikovich opened a seminar on the development of associations of local councils of deputies on 11 December.

Mikhail Myasnikovich remarked that Belarus is intent on tapping into the practical experience of the Council of Europe member states while taking into account national interests. He reminded that Director of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Jean-Philippe Bozouls visited Belarus in November 2018. Negotiations took place in the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament. Views of the sides were brought together. “In my opinion, it would be productive for us to discuss approaches to harmonizing Belarusian legislation with provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. We could also discuss matters concerning the establishment of a national association of local self-government bodies (including the development of a roadmap), including the matters, which should be discussed during a conference on setting up the national association of local self-government bodies, which is due in Minsk in April 2019,” said the head of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament.

Mikhail Myasnikovich pointed out that some groundwork had already been laid. The Local Self-Government and Self Administration Law incorporated the basic principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government back in 2010. “Belarus has not acceded to the charter yet, but we should move on. And we are doing just that. Legislation is being improved. The council for interaction of local self-government bodies under the Council of the Republic has stepped up work in regions of the country. But if we look at things objectively, we have a lot of things to do yet. We see them and are working on them,” said the senator.

Setting up associations of local councils of deputies in the regions is a promising avenue in efforts to develop the local self-government system. The experience accrued by the Grodno Oblast and Mogilev Oblast associations of local councils of deputies is a case in point.

Belarus will endeavor to use recommendations of foreign colleagues taking into account national interests. “Considering the considerable expert potential of the Council of Europe, Belarus is interested in acquiring information about the best practices of the Council of Europe member states in this sphere of public work. At the same time we are ready to share our accomplishments,” said the head of the upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament.

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