Doc. 9964

7 October 2003

The promotion of local self-government along Council of Europe borders

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mr Martínez Casañ and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

      The Parliamentary Assembly has always been convinced of the importance of the smooth functioning of local self-government for the purposes of strengthening democratic values and has made its contribution to developing such self-government in all Council of Europe member countries.

      The Assembly has always emphasised the essential role played by local authorities as the basis of any democratic system and has supported the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which advocates the democratic establishment of decision-making bodies at the local level, enjoying broad autonomy in terms of their powers and responsibilities and having the requisite resources for discharging their duties.

      Moreover, the Assembly has always stressed the potential advantages of entitling territorial authorities to engage in mutual co-operation - with full respect for central government powers - not only within a given state but also with authorities in other countries, with a view to conducting mutually beneficial tasks.

      This is why, as stipulated in the European Outline Convention on Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities, transfrontier co-operation agreements in such fields as regional, urban and rural development, environmental protection and the upgrading of infrastructure and service provision for citizens are highly conducive to the economic and social progress of transfrontier regions, as well as to the promotion of solidarity among the European peoples.

      Having regard to the positive experiences and practical results obtained by the Council of Europe so far, the Assembly considers that the latter could usefully forge co-operation links in the field of local self-government and transfrontier co-operation with countries along the Council’s outside borders.

      Consequently, it requests the Committee of Ministers and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) to consider the possibility of developing such links and of creating a legal framework to enable territorial communities in countries bordering the Council of Europe to benefit directly from its acquis in the process of reinforcing local self-government and developing transfrontier co-operation.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

Martínez-Casañ, Spain, EPP/CD

Agudo, Spain, SOC

Akselsen, Norway, SOC

Anttila, Finland, LDR

Crema, Italy, SOC

Fehr, Switzerland, LDR

Goulet, France, LDR

Gubert, Italy, EPP/CD

Högmark, Sweden, EPP/CD

Ilaşcu, Romania, NR

Kužvart, Czech Republic, SOC

Lengagne, France, SOC

Lobkowicz, Czech Republic, EPP/CD

Muižniece, Latvia, EPP/CD

Ohlsson, Sweden, SOC

Schicker, Austria, SOC

Støjberg, Denmark, LDR

Timmermans J., Belgium, SOC

Txueka Isasti, Spain, EPP/CD

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group