The National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia welcomes public statement made by the Ministry on regional Development and infrastructure of Georgia on reforming LG system in Georgia and on Establishment of working groups at the ministry for preparation and coordination LG Reform. We at NALAG believe that continuation of LG reform that started in 2004 will serve for strengthening of Georgian municipalities and self-governing cities and will result at devolution of more financial recourses and competences to the local level. In this regard NALAG intend to cooperate very actively with all decision-makers as well as with LG units to achieve balanced decisions tailored on real needs of local authorities and population. NALAG submitted letter of cooperation to MRDI in November 2012 and asked for consultations and communication, we received feedback from Minister Narmania on appointment of the deputy minister responsible for communication with NALAG.
Hereby we regret the fact that NALAG was not invited to take part in the working groups (that was formed in December last year) on Local government reform, even we have not been dully informed about plans of the ministry. Furthermore, none of elected local officials (neither from ruling coalition nor from UNM) have been ever informed about plans and ideas from the ministry. Nevertheless, there are plenty of unofficial documents circulated among NGO community, as well as rumors about future plans of MRDI, such an uncertainty creates big mess and violates constitutional right of Georgian Municipalities to be consulted in timely and most efficient way on the matter what have direct effect on them.
We urge the ministry as well as all international organizations working on LG issues in Georgia to take into consideration the fact that Georgia is a signatory to the European charter on Local Self-Government and the Government of Georgia has obligation to honor principles of this internationally binding document, furthermore, there is the recommendation of Committee of Minister (Rec (2004)12) that sets up very specific conditions for involvement of LSGUs and LG associations in the process of: preparation, designing, implementation and evaluation of LG reform.
Hereby we attach REC.(2004)12 to this appeal and hope that relevant officials at the ministry, as well as in international organizations, will make adequate conclusions. On its side NALAG will monitor developments very closely and in case of further violation requirements of the European charter (article 6, par 4), constitution of Georgia (Article 1011, par. 3) and the organic law of Georgia on local self-governance (article 7 par.3; Article 4 par. 2.) we reserve right officially apply to the secretly General of the congress and members of the committee of ministers of Council of Europe to call an urgent session on Georgia and take appropriate measures to ensure protection of LG’s in the member country.
President of NALAG