With 53 votes in favor, 0 against and 1 abstention, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted recommendations to the monitoring report on local and regional democracy in Georgia on November 7 in Strasbourg.
The report follows the visit of the Congress delegation to Georgia in April 2018.
Co-rapporteur Stewart Dickson (UK, ILDG) said at the debates yesterday that “Georgia has gone through significant and important structural changes” since it ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 2004, “investing in development of local democracy.”
“Even though some aspects certainly need to be further improved, we have concluded that the situation of local and regional democracy in Georgia is globally satisfactory,” he said.
The Congress welcomed introduction of direct election of mayors, general increase in financial capacities of local government, as well as development of a comprehensive reform strategy aimed at decentralization and modernization of local government.
However, it expressed concern for “difficulties faced by some opposition members in access to information held by municipal administrations that allegedly prevent them from fulfilling their role in assemblies” as well as “risks of over-concentration of power in the hands of mayor, notably in view of his/her role in the appointment of deputy mayors.”
Georgia’s Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Maia Tskitishvili, also attended the debates. The Minister thanked the rapporteurs “for very detailed analysis and very positive and fair evaluation of the state challenges and prospects of the local democracy development” in Georgia.
She also thanked the Congress for “its recommendations, cooperation and best practice-sharing” during the recent years, “since it played very important role and still does in successful delivery of our objectives.”