Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Governance and citizenship

Local autonomy - 22.10.2015

"The new forms of local governance cannot be used as an excuse to reduce local autonomy"
The need to control public deficits has resulted in forced reforms of territorial administration (e.g., decentralisation, recentralization, regionalisation) as well as in new forms of governance,” said CEMR president, Annemarie Jorritsma at a debate organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Congress of Europe, on 21 October.

Through cooperation between towns, contracts between municipalities and central governments or partnerships with the private sector, local governments are changing their relationships with their national governments.” 

Members of the Congress, including Mairi Evans, councillor of Angus (Scotland) and president of CEMR’s Committee of young elected representatives, debated and voted a resolution highlighting some of the new forms of governance that are emerging across Europe and how they are redefining the way towns and regions deliver public services.  

These new forms of governance cannot be used as an excuse to reduce local autonomy,"  stated CEMR president, 'but rather as an opportunity to deliver services in a more flexible, transparent and effective manner while keeping political independence of local elected representatives and their administrations.”  

This is why the resolution calls on local governments to work together to ensure that these new forms of cooperation do not undermine local autonomy and to ensure an increased participation of citizens in local governance.
Background information

Watch the interview with CEMR president in the framework of the debate at the Council of Europe.

Press release from our Scottish association (COSLA) following the vote on the resolution at the Council of Europe is available in English.

CEMR’s publication “Decentralisation at a crossroads: Territorial reforms in Europe in times of crisis”
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