Promoting Citizen Participation in Armenia: 200 mayors and municipal councillors discuss citizen participation
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is hosting two seminars on the theme “Promoting citizen participation in Armenia” in Yeghegnadzor and Aghveran on 14 and 16 July 2015. About 200 mayors and municipal councillors representing all the provinces (marzes) of Armenia will take part in the seminars.
The purpose of these regional seminars is to enhance the level of citizen participation in decision-making at a local level in Armenia. During the opening plenary session, the local and international organisations and experts will present the tools and best practices for citizen participation in line with European standards at local level, including the pilot Citizen Participation initiatives supported by the Council of Europe. In group workshops, the participants will discuss participatory budgeting on a local level, the role of municipal councillors and civil society in promoting the participation of citizens in the decision-making process and the role played by information and communication technologies.
The two seminars are being funded by the government of Denmark as part of the ''Support for the Consolidation of Local Democracy in Armenia'' project, a Council of Europe and Congress contribution to developing local political governance in Armenia and enhancing citizens’ trust in democratic institutions.
The proposals emerging from the seminars will be set out in a document, “Citizen Participation Guidelines,” which will be disseminated among Armenian mayors, councillors and other interested parties.
Armenia became a member of the Council of Europe in 2001 while signing, among other documents, the European Charter of Local Self-Government (CETS No. 122), which came into force on 1 May 2002. On the 13th of May 2013 Armenia ratified the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority (CETS No. 207). The provisions of the Additional Protocol became part of the Armenian legislation (RA Law on local self-government) on 19 June 2013. On 26 March 2014 the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation 351(2014) on the state of local democracy in Armenia, which, inter alia, recommends Armenian authorities to apply instruments promoting citizen participation at a local level, and to seek opportunities to stimulate local residents’ interest in their work and achievements.
Marité Moras, Head of the Co-operation Activities Unit, + 33 6 50 39 29 07,Marite.MORAS@coe.int
Armen Varosyan, Senior Project Officer, Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, + 374 10 546322 (ext 117), Armen.VAROSYAN@coe.int
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