Council of Europe gives verdict on Latvian local democracy

Representatives of the Council of Europe have drawn up a generally positive assessment of Latvia's democratic credentials in a new report. 

The report was adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, during its 34th Session, on 27 March 2018 in Strasbourg, France. The co-rapporteurs, Xavier Cadoret (France) and Marc Cools (Belgium), presented these conclusions following a brief monitoring visit to the country lasting from 12 to 14 September 2017. 

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CoE Local democracy report

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"There is an honest, fruitful and vigorous dialogue and negotiation pattern between the central government and the local authorities," the report says in its conclusions.

However, "The fiscal autonomy of local authorities should be enhanced. In this sense, there is not a real system of “local taxes” in the technical sense of the term," the report adds.

Cadoret welcomed the fact that State intervention in local affairs is limited and regulated by the law.

“We also observed a fruitful dialogue and negotiation between the central government and the local authorities”, said Cools.

Nevertheless, the report highlighted several points which need to be examined by the authorities of Latvia in order to further improve the democratic framework, in the CoE's view.

“The system of competences should be clarified, as the overlapping between local and central competences must be avoided,” said Cools, who stressed the need to ensure that local authorities have full discretion to manage their own competences.

The full report is available HERE or can be read in the attachment to this story.

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