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NEXPO 2011-Innovative Communities Open for All

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Our call to the European Union – involve local government!

We call on the institutions of the EU:

  • To include the local government dimension in its strategic and operational planning for EU enlargement
  • To involve local government, in particular via our national associations and their network NALAS, in relevant consultations and dialogue
  • To ensure that relevant accession-related financing programmes are available to assist local government prepare for accession and achieve high quality development
What we need from our national governments

We call on our central governments:

  • To accelerate the process of decentralization, with the transfer of the necessary competences, financial and human resources
  • To involve our local government associations at all stages in the processes of decentralisation, financial decision-making, and preparation for EU membership
  • To continue consultations and cooperation with the Council of Europe whose expertise is essential for compliance with European standards
Our proposals for pre-accession financing

We urge the EU and our central governments to implement the following points:

  • Our local government associations, including NALAS, should be involved from the outset in the negotiations, consultations and priority-setting
  • The instruments should include specific local government-related priorities, and should also ensure that the local government dimension of other broad priorities (e.g. equal opportunities, social inclusion etc.) is clearly identified
  • A significant proportion of pre-accession financing should be dedicated to sub-national governments, in consultation with central governments, to enable them to prepare properly for EU membership
  • To this end, there should be specific programmes or budget lines for local and regional governments, with processes adapted to their role and situation as democratic public institutions
  • Provision should be made to finance local government technical assistance units, managed by local government associations, to support local authorities in drawing up good quality project proposals
Towards EU accession – the challenges for local governments

We face at least four main challenges in preparing for EU membership and beyond:

  • A very large proportion of EU laws and rules have to be implemented by local governments, or have a direct impact on them
  • As the governments closest to citizens, we need to build a “European dimension” to our work, bringing Europe closer to our citizens, involving them in big EU issues and providing good information
  • The overall quality of our local government administrations needs to be enhanced, to meet the standards of good governance, manage resources effectively, deliver good public services, achieve positive results for citizens, and attract inward investment
  • Our local development strategies need to be well-planned, participatory and citizen-focused, and able to make best use of territorial funding programmes (IPA, structural funds etc.)

 

Download NEXPO Declaration [.pdf, 142 kb]