Presentation of Research “Municipal Mayor - Representative or Dominant?”

Plate: Hotel Grand
Date: 7 November 2012

The lecturers

Slobodan Petrovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government Administration

Besnik Tahiri, Master of Science of Decentralized Governance and International Development

Menduh Vlashi, Chairperson of the Municipal Assembly – Hani Elezi

Besa Luzha, Representative of FES-it

Fatmir Matoshi, Director of NGO “D-Press”

Leonora Kryeziu, Director of the Political School of Prishtina

Topics


•    Local Government Reform and Decentralization in Kosovo – different institutions, different views?
•    Accountability in Local Governance - Municipal Mayor - Representative or  Dominant
•    Triangle in Local Government: Mayor (executive) - municipal assembly (legislative) – citizen (civil society) - municipal perspective.

Kosovo Local Government Institute recommends review of salaries for Municipal Assembly delegates in order to increase the quality of work of Assemblies. KLGI warns degradation and disinterest of various experts to compete for the Assembly if they are sanctioned by law to work with current payments as the municipality assembly only. Pristina, 07 November, 2012 - Kosovo Local Government Institute held an annual conference and presented a study entitled “Municipal Mayor - Representative or Dominant?”

 This publication analyzes the institutional balance of the institution of Mayor against the Municipal Assembly and Executive, and relationships of Mayor with local stakeholders and citizens.

In his opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Slobodan Petrovic, thanked the Kosovo Local Government Institute for continued commitment in the field  of local government, and also referred to developments in the field of local government four years after the promulgation of the Constitution. Mr. Petrovic said that, since the decentralization process started the important steps took place leading to more efficient services to citizens, and that this process should continue. 

For this purpose, according to Mr. Petrovic, the recommendations arising from various institutes and civil society and other stakeholders in this process should be taken into consideration.

Mr. Besnik Tahiri, Director of the Kosovo Local Government Institute, stated that, "The basic conclusion of this publication is that the role of the institution of Mayor in local governance system in Kosovo calls for more control, balance and above all internal institutional accountability, and against public".

Mr. Tahiri elaborated that the publication proves that due to the very strong role of the institution of Mayor on the one hand, and the passive role of Municipal Assembly on the other hand, combined with civic apathy results in the appearance of a democratic deficit very concerning to current and future developments of local government.

According to Mr. Tahiri, in essence publication aims to clarify the position of the institution of Mayor as a key institution in the triangle, Mayor (Executive) - Municipal Assembly (legislative) - Citizen (civil society).

The conference was characterized by an interactive debate among municipal officials, civil society representatives and other participants. Also at the conference was presented the perspective of municipalities and civil society in this process of Municipal Assemblies reports (legislative) in relation to the Municipal Mayor (Executive).

Head of organization D-Press, Mr. Fatmir Matoshi, said that, "if carefully observed the power of the Mayor against the Municipal Assembly, and especially if we analyze the relationship of this institution against citizens we will witness the concentration of power at this address".

And this reality, according to Mr. Matoshi, should be changed because we see mismanagement of funds, bad-execution of the mandate, and citizens stripped of influence. Mr. Matoshi cited the need for legislative changes, as well as to establish clear accountability practices within the institutions and in their relations to citizens.

Meanwhile recommendations arising from this study indicate that: Mayors should establish clear communication platforms with the public and citizens, in order to ensure that policy-making at the municipal level is accountable, inclusive and transparent.

Also, it is imperative that except municipal mandatory committees, Mayors should make efforts and encourage the establishment of sectoral committees of the Assembly in order to increase municipal action between the legislative and executive authorities.

It is imperative that MAPL and Association of Municipalities initiate rising of revenue for municipal councilors and municipalities should provide spaces for action and technical support including office space, and other resources sufficient to operate.

Regarding the selection of directors of directories, KLGI strongly recommends modification of selection forms, moving from the appointments to selection through an open competitive process (academic and professional) based on meritocracy and clear criteria. KLGI also recommends establishing a separate budget line for civil society organizations in order to increase their active participation.