Recommendation 83 (2000)1 on evaluation of regionalisation in central Europe, especially in Poland

The Congress,

Bearing in mind the proposal of the Chamber of Regions,

1. Having regard to the report on the evaluation of regionalisation in central Europe, and especially in Poland and its conclusions, presented by Mr Leon Kieres, Vice-President;

2. Considering Recommendation 65 (1999) on the current state of, and prospects for, regionalisation in Europe and the Recommendation 34 (1999) of the Congress and Recommendation 1349 (1997) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the draft European Charter of Regional Self-Government and their impact on territorial reform projects in the member countries;

3. Welcoming the progress made in countries of central Europe in the field of regionalisation and in advancing with the necessary administrative reforms;

4. Underlining again the political and economic benefits of decentralisation, devolution and of delegating decisions making power to the regional level which facilitates the direct political participation of citizens and their strong engagement in favour of the development of the living conditions in their community;

5. Taking into consideration the political, economic and organisational problems as well as the social and human aspects resulting from deep administrative reforms when creating regional structures and the necessity to train at short notice a qualified administrative manpower being motivated and convinced of the objectives to reach;

6. Underlining the need for an exchange of experiences in this field between the countries which have already a certain experience in this field and those starting work on administrative and territorial reforms;

7. Recommends to governments of member countries :

a. To recognise the political, economic, social and cultural advantages of decentralised democratic structures for the development of the whole country and to consider regionalisation as a measure to prevent conflicts and to encourage the expression of minorities values and their integration into the structures of the civil society;

b. To create a mechanism for the exchange of information between countries having made the same experiences with administrative and territorial reforms with a view to facilitate the transfer of this knowledge for avoiding evident problems and obstacles during the phases of preparation and implementation of the concept and the appropriate legislation in countries with reform projects;

c. To recognise the positive effects which can have regionalisation on the development of the economy at national as regional level and to consider therefore the creation of regions as an important step for adapting the economic and political structures to the needs resulting from European integration and globalisation;

d. To attach in the preparatory work for establishing regions the priority to the clarification of the division of competencies between the different tiers and to the means and systems planned for the redistribution of budgetary resources and financial transfers;

e. To assure that in the preparatory phase of regionalisation, the political and administrative actors co-operate with those of the civil society, independent experts and specialised institutes for the elaboration of a conceptual framework for decentralisation to reach a consensus being as large as possible;

f. To examine and monitor the preliminary results during the different phases of a territorial reform and to transmit them to the responsible political and administrative actors as well as those of the civil society with the view to create their positive engagement to bring together their interests and to promote a dialogue for co-operation and the co-ordination of actions;

g. To take into consideration the fact that the development of qualified human resources is a main key for the success of any administrative reform creating regional structures; for this reason, training of new cadre for public administration should start as soon as the preparation of reforms begins;

8. Recommends the Committee of Ministers :

a. invite the CDLR to study the experiences made in member countries and especially in those of central Europe with administrative and territorial reforms creating territorial communities or authorities at different levels and to launch a comprehensive study on the basis of the report presented by Mr Kieres to the CLRAE with the objective of analysing the difficulties and the obstacles which state authorities have to overcome when preparing and implementing territorial reforms and to show means to eliminate or avoid them.

1 Debated and approved by the Chamber of Regions on 23 May 2000 and adopted by the Standing Committee of the Congress on 25 May 2000 (see Doc. CPR (7) 3, draft recommendation, presented by Mr L. Kieres, rapporteur).