Rapporteur: Natalia SHYMANSKA (Ukraine)
Early in 2000, the Bureau of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the CLRAE decided to launch an activity on the management of capital cities, structured around:-
- a questionnaire procedure aimed at a selected number of capitals
- a meeting of mayors of capital cities of member countries.
The questionnaire was built around the five considerations which are indicated in the introduction to this report, itself based on the replies received.
The first meeting of Mayors took place in Helsinki in September 2001 at the invitation of its Mayor. A second meeting was held in Kyiv in 2002, at the invitation of its Mayor.
The debates at these two conferences are also reflected, to some extent, in the current report, but also in the accompanying draft Resolution and draft Recommendation.
The report has been drawn up with the assistance of Mrs. Aleksandra Warsztocka, to whom the Secretariat of the CLRAE would like to record its gratitude.
The main aim of the Report on the "Management of the Capital Cities in Europe" is to examine how member states continue their progress towards establishing effective local and regional self-government.
The Report carried out by the CLRAE focuses on relations of city administrations with:
1. Central government
2. Regional/provincial or metropolitan area authorities
3. District authorities
4. Members of the public
5. International policy
The analysis recognises respective legislation and national specifities. The principles of good governance of capital cities are taken from the legislative guidelines and policies of the European Urban Charter (1992) and the European Charter on Local Self-Government (1985), both adopted by the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and in the case of the latter ratified by most by COE member states.
The analysis covers the situation of 11capitals:
- 4 capitals of the member states of the European Union: Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris;
- 7 capitals of the new democracies: Bucharest, Budapest, Kyiv, Moscow, Prague, Tallinn, Warsaw;
The European Charter of Local Self-Government specifies the need for a constitutional and legal foundation for local self-government and defining the concept and establishing principles governing the nature and scope of local authorities' powers: Art.2: "The principle of local self-government shall be recognised in domestic legislation, and where practicable in the constitution". It is important to examine such principles in relation to current practices of European Capitals European Capitals:
Specific legislation on the 11 capital cities (justifying the special status of the capital):
1. Berlin: Constitution of Berlin, 1950
2. Bucharest: Constitution of Romania (concerning all self-governmental levels existing in Romania); special law to be issued especially for the capital city
3. Budapest: Law on Self-Government of the Capital City and the Capital City Districts (1991); since 1994 the regulations on Budapest are incorporated within Law on Local Self-Government
4. Kyiv: Constitution of Ukraine, Law of Ukraine “On the Capital of Ukraine – Kyiv City –Hero”, "On Local Self-Government in Ukraine and "On Local State Administration"
5. London: Greater London Authority Act 1999
6. Madrid: Constitution of Spain, Autonomic Status of the Madrid Community, Special Law on Madrid (to be promulgated)
7. Moscow: Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Federal Law “On the Status of the Capital of the Russian Federation”, the Treaty on the division of competencies and powers between state authorities of the Russian Federation and state authorities of the city of the federal significance of Moscow"
8. Paris: Law 75-1331 (elected Mayor) (1975) and Law 82-1169 (special status on Paris, Lyon and Marseilles) (1982);
9. Prague: Act on the City of Prague;
10. Tallinn: Constitution of Estonia (concerning self-government existing in Estonia) (1992) no special status of the capital city; Tallinn Act to be issued;
11. Warsaw: Constitution of the Republic of Poland, Act on the City of Warsaw, 1994, amendments voted by the Parliament in 2002 and finally it exists a new Act on the City of Warsaw.
I. RELATIONS BETWEEN CITY LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
It should be recalled that the European Urban Charter refers to "the collaboration and solidarity between national and local governments in securing and strengthening, through political and financial commitment, the devolution of decision-making away from the centre towards towns and their communities".
The European Charter of Local Self-government stresses the importance of the principles of decentralisation of power: Art.4.3. "Public responsibilities shall generally be exercised, in preference, by those authorities which are closest to the citizens (…)
Art. 4.4. "Powers given to local authorities shall normally be full and exclusive. They may not be undermined or limited by another, central or regional authority except as provided for by the law"
The comparative study of 11 capitals and the three conferences show that there is a general process of increasing the competences of capital cities due to decentralisation reforms and the establishment of legislative status. Capital cities’ relations with central authorities are, in general, a result of three points of departure:
- the drawing up of a particular status of the capital upon the law on self-government (most Central European capitals);
- particular legislation resulting from strong links or partial merging between the two tiers (Berlin, Moscow, Paris, Kyiv);
- the establishment in the last decade of autonomous capital city structures (London, Tallinn (1991).
1. Legal instruments
In the 11 capital cities the relationship between the two tiers of authority is recognised in national Constitutions, laws on self-government and particular legal acts on the status of the capital.
The majority of the capital cities (9 out of 11) have a special status specified in the special law for the capital city. Only two capitals, Bucharest and Tallinn, do not have a specific law and according the relevant national constitutions they are treated equally with all other
self-governmental levels existing in Romania and Estonia;
Moreover, referring to the autonomous status of Berlin and Moscow, and the particular status of the recently created Greater London Authority, several questions on division of duties and i.e. management of public services are not applicable. It is to note that most capital cities are not subject to supervision by central authorities other than the legality of administrative action.
The opposite situation exists in Paris and Kyiv. In Paris the state plays a significant role and is responsible for many public duties in the capital city (for example, the municipal police, public transport, hospitals).
The closest relations between city local government and central government exist in Kyiv, where the self-government of the city exists with the municipal state administration within one body (joint administration). The administration is headed by the Mayor of the City of Kyiv, elected directly by the City's inhabitants and at the same time, appointed by the President of Ukraine in his capacity of Head of the joint administration.
2. Organisation and resources of executive and deliberative bodies.
According to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, following Art 6.1 "The local authorities shall be able to determine their own internal administrative structures in order to adapt them to local needs and ensure effective management" and the Art 7.1. "The conditions of office of local elected representatives shall provide for free exercise of their functions".
In general, all capitals comply with the above mentioned Article, as they have a deliberative body (municipal council) elected by the inhabitants of the city and the executive authorities appointed by the municipal council (with the exception of the Kyiv capital where the executive authorities are appointed by the state and the Mayor - elected directly by the citizens of the city, and which have to be approved by the President of Ukraine).
In six of the capitals the Mayor is elected directly in municipal elections (Budapest, Bucharest, Kyiv, London, Moscow and since October 2002 also in Warsaw) and in 4 indirectly (Tallinn, Berlin, Madrid and Paris). The number of deputies to the City council, the deliberative body elected by citizens, varies. They reach 200 in Berlin but generally do not exceed 50-60 councillors. The legislative period is usually limited to 4-5 years. However, in Tallinn, where representatives are elected for a 3-years-term, they advocate a prolongation in order to secure a coherent policy. In Paris the city authorities (the Council of Paris and the Mayor) are elected for 6 years.
Not all cities have a clear division of responsibility between the administration structures of the political Municipal Council and the Executive body. The Council and Executive in Tallinn, Paris, London, Berlin and Moscow have their own independent administrative structures.
In Bucharest there are neither sufficient administrative structures existing either within the local authorities in the capital city, nor other Romanian cities.
There exists a common administration in some capitals (Madrid and Warsaw). Madrid has the same administrative structure both for the Municipal Council and the Executive body. In Warsaw the Municipal Council formally does not have its own administrative structure, separate from the executive body, but within the structure of the Executive Body, there is a part that serves the Municipal Council.
It is to note that in Budapest, contrary to many cities in Europe, no "Executive Committee" exists - the mayor, deputy mayors, head of office usually keep "cabinet meetings", but these have no formal role.
The situation in Kyiv is the most complicated, as there is no Executive body appointed by the City Council, but only by the state.
3. Specific obligations imposed by the government
The capital city must not only be managed properly in its own interest. It always plays a significant role for its region and the country as a whole. Capital cities are usually the strongest centres of education, science, culture, economic development, possessing enormous growth potential, being an engine of development on the regional and national scale.
It is in the national state's interest to impose obligations for the capital city to make it take care both of their own and national affairs simultaneously not violating their rights stated in the European Charter of Local Self-Government, Art.4.5. "Where powers are delegated to them (local authorities) by a central or regional authority, local authorities shall, insofar as possible, be allowed discretion in adapting their exercise to local conditions".
Generally, most of specific obligations imposed by central government on the capital cities are related to the exercise of tasks imposed by the status of the capital. The form of such
co-operation usually derives from law (Moscow, Kyiv) or an agreement between two sides, by which the capital city has the responsibility to deliver certain services (Tallinn, Budapest, Warsaw, Berlin).
Certain capitals undertake such specific tasks although there are no direct obligations deriving from law or agreement with the central government (Madrid, Bucharest).
Apart from a higher standard of infrastructure and security than required in other municipalities, City authorities participate in events of national and international importance, are responsible for protocol service, security of foreign authorities, organising elections, collecting state taxes on their territory, preservation and restoration of the historical, cultural, religious, architectural sights as well as landscapes of national significance.
The government often provides special financial resources for extra costs by the city (Tallinn, Bucharest, Budapest, Moscow, Kyiv, Warsaw, Berlin). However, some capital authorities consider the financial support from central budget as inadequate (Moscow, Kyiv, Warsaw).
In Madrid there is no economic compensation from the central government for fulfilling the tasks related to the functions of a capital city. A similar situation exists in Moscow, as the draft federal budget for 2001 did not provide for any subsidies at all in this respect. This is contrary to the European Charter of Local Self-Government Art.9.2 "Local authorities' financial resources shall be commensurate with the responsibilities provided for by the constitution and the law".
4. The independence of the City budget
The independence of the city budget is referred to in - Art. 9.1. of the European Charter of Local Self-Government: "Local authorities shall be entitled, within national economic policy, to adequate financial resources of their own, of which they may dispose freely within the framework of their powers".
City authorities shall exercise their duties and responsibilities out of revenues, which they raise in association with central government. However, there is a wide range of regulations concerning these issues and determined by respective legal acts on financial autonomy. In general, the city budget receipts must have an appropriate proportion between subsidies and own tax and non-tax incomes according to the Art.9.3.of the European Charter of Local
Self-Government: "Part at least of the financial resources of local authorities shall derive from local taxes and charges of which, within the limits of statute, they have the power to determine the rate".
In Capital Cities local taxes and other local revenues represent:
- Totality or quasi-totality of the budget: Moscow (earlier federal subsidies were granted for Moscow, because of its functions as a capital, but since 2001 the federal budget does not provide any subsidies; however, much of Moscow’s own income is transferred to the federal budget (30% of its budget).
- Major part of the City budget: Berlin (59%) (a significant federal grant represents and will represent in the future special East-Berlin fund -32% of the total incomes of Berlin), Budapest (71%), where there is a tendency of increasing "own revenues" because of the significance of the business turnover tax paid by companies located in Budapest (local tax), Madrid (68%), Paris, Bucharest, Prague and Warsaw (ca. 87,6%);
- Ca. 50% of the City budget of Tallinn
- Quasi-totality of receipts from central government: Kyiv (3%) and London (only the Council Tax).
However, the principle of state control over parts of the income to the city budget does not reflect the widening fiscal and financial independence of local authorities on expenses in the exercise of the office.
5. Division of responsibilities in public services
Generally the responsibilities of most of the local public services were transferred to local self-governments, either to the municipal or district authorities according to the Art.4.3. of the European Charter of Local Self-Government: "Public responsibilities shall generally be exercised, by those authorities which are closest to the citizen. Allocation of responsibility to another authority should weigh up the extent and nature of the task and requirements of efficiency and economy".
The local self governments are usually responsible in some respect (with some exceptions specified below) for determining the development and urban renewal program of the city, providing the public services (water supply, gas, heating system, waste disposal etc), public transport system (ensuring the safe functioning of main streets, bridges, maintaining of local public roads), educational and cultural services (parts of education, museums, exhibitions etc), basic health, municipal police etc.
In Paris the central government plays a significant role in providing some public services such as municipal police, fire brigades, municipal transport, health protection and partly culture. Also in Bucharest, Tallinn and Kyiv there are major centralisations within exercising local tasks, as the central government is responsible for education (in Tallinn only higher and technical), health protection and local police. In Bucharest and Kyiv within the central government's duties also remain tourism, culture, protection of the handicapped and children, environment protection (only in Kyiv) as well as, in the case of Tallinn, electricity, gas and road maintenance.
Conversely Madrid, Warsaw, Moscow and Budapest enjoy the most autonomy and the decentralisation of the public services on their territory.
Central government remains responsible for major public services reflecting the countrywide character of infrastructure in capital cities. This concerns transport facilities such as airports, central railway and sometimes underground, although in these areas local authorities are in the process of assuming selected responsibilities. Central government is usually responsible for the major social systems, such as pensions, social security and unemployment benefits.
In most European capitals the issuance of construction permits, specific taxation and planning, often remains within the competencies of the City.
A need for decentralisation has been expressed regarding: energy and water supply, environment and waste management, transport (underground, maintenance of public roads infrastructure, parking), municipal police and security.
The second aspect concerns finances i.e. price control on public services, the functioning of which is organised by local governments - such as public transport, electricity and gas supply (Budapest) and public services controlled by a state-determined city budget (Tallinn). In some capitals cities initiatives concerning outsourcing of certain public services have already been undertaken (Tallinn).
6. Participation in decision-making about projects carried out by central government
The coexistence of different levels of administration in capital cities requires co-operation i.e. bilateral agreements, consultations and other forms of involving city authorities in major central government projects. Not only regulations and formal structures are necessary to permit good co-operation between the city authorities and central government, but also political will and informal communication.
Generally capital local authorities are consulted to some extent on projects carried out by central government. Sometimes the central government is obliged by law to conduct consultations about projects carried out by central government in the territory of the city (Kyiv, Budapest, Warsaw, Berlin). For example in Budapest, central government must obtain permission from the local government to build a public property, even if the site belongs to the state. Also the legislation on Berlin obliges central authorities to consult local self-government and conduct an environmental impact study before carrying out spatial planning projects.
The law also guarantees an involvement of Moscow in designing and implementing major state projects, but in reality its views are not always taken into account.
In some cases, law does not strictly determine such consultation. This leaves open two possibilities: one when there is good political communication between two tiers of government - the negotiations are usually fruitful and profitable for both parties, such as in Tallinn. The situation is the opposite in Budapest where relations between the two levels are not good.
In Paris the city authorities are responsible for urban planning and they issue building permits. However, the central government is in a strong position to issue permits itself for its own land, even if it is contrary to the urban plan of the city. The city authorities of Paris are not adequately consulted about the major projects of central government. Another problem concerns management of state property or construction or demolition permissions that are not within the competences of city authorities in Paris.
The weakest form of consultations exists in Bucharest. Less than 5% of central government’s projects are subject to consultations with the city authorities. Also Madrid has little impact on the urban planning of the city.
There is a necessity to improve and establish formal structures of obligatory consultation between the city capitals and central government.
7. Cooperation between the two tiers - latest developments
The responsibilities for most of the local public services have been transferred to the capital cities local self-governments, in line with Art.4.3. of the European Charter of Local
Self-Government: "Public responsibilities shall generally be exercised, by those authorities which are closest to the citizen. Allocation of responsibility to another authority should weigh up the extent and nature of the task and requirements of efficiency and economy". Sometimes the duties within the competences of the cities, or being delegated to the cities, exceed their financial possibilities (construction of bridges, motorways, metro lines, etc.). Cooperation between central governments and the municipal authorities is usually good in such cases.
(Berlin, Tallinn, London, Madrid). In Berlin it is specified by special formal agreements (Capital City Agreement 1992 - concerning the performing of the capital functions and Agreement on Financing the Capital City 1994 - concerning the additional burdens imposed as a result of the city’s status as the German capital). In London the good liaison exists within housing and urban regeneration. In Bucharest and Madrid, unlike Paris, there exists a body connecting the two tiers (in Bucharest -Administrative Committee which decides on the main direction of politics concerning local public services - remaining within the competences of the state authorities; in Madrid – Federation of Spanish Cities and Provinces). However, in Paris such a cooperation is realised with the participation of the state representative (“Prefet” of the Region and “Prefet” of Paris), but not within the formal body.
In Tallinn there is good cooperation between these two tiers, especially in the field of physical planning, but sometimes there are problems, as some land on Tallinn’s territory still belongs to the state. Tallinn usually cooperates in larger projects with the central government through local government umbrella organisations (for example Association of Estonian Cities).
Although, in Kyiv the cooperation between two tiers is the closest comparing to the other cities, it does not mean it is perfect. It is connected with the fact that the City executive bodies have double subordination (the appointment of the heads of departments as well as the mayor is agreed with a representative of the state). Such a situation achieves a balance between national and local interests (city authorities have a great impact on the preparation of the draft of the laws concerning the interests of the city), but on the other hand, restricts the independence of the self-government.
Then again, the cooperation between these two tiers is rather poor in Budapest. It even worsened in recent years, as the central government withdrew nearly all of its extra support for the Budapest projects.
Recent improvements include:
- framework documents (concerning contracts between these two tiers, being realised in the period of four or five years) setting out rules of co-operation in Paris. It ensures financial security in the long-term period;
- the fact of undertaking reforms generally strengthening the specificity of self-government structures in capital cities (London, Kyiv);
- progress in appeal procedures for administrative decisions being questioned by central authorities – local self-government obtained the access to the Constitutional Tribunal and applying the parliament rules similar to these, which were applied in the autonomic regions and in the central government (ex.: a vote of confidence and no confidence in the situation of dismissing the president of the city - Madrid);
- unification of people registry (complying of city authorities’ registries with national registries) (Tallinn);
- coordination on EU-accession campaign (Warsaw).
8. Economic development of the capital
As indicated in the Urban Charter “local authorities have a role of economic enablers, assisting enterprises and creating conditions within a town which are favourable to economic development”. The economic development of a town is essential, if it is to make a contribution to the standard of life of its users. The control over economic development of the town which local authorities should be able to ensure, is a result of various conditions. In order to create favourable conditions for towns it is necessary to have a good relationship with the central government, surrounding area, social improvement (employment and leisure), adequate urban infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications, utility services, social and communal facilities, etc) and collaboration between the public and private sector.
One of the most important measures for achieving economic development is the opportunity for employment, particularly for young people seeking their first job. It is significant especially in the policies of Paris (there exists a good co-operation between the city, state, region and Commercial Chamber in this respect), Berlin (especially in structurally weak regions) and Madrid (it was established through the Municipal Institute for Employment and Professional Trainings).
Capitals with a rather small impact on the economic development are: Bucharest (it is the central government that affects the politics in this respect), Kyiv (there is a necessity of passing, among other, the law on the local taxes and communal property), Moscow (the state owns a controlling stake of many industrial, transport, communication firms operating in the city).
The most active policies for attracting foreign economic activity are in Paris (through the association “Paris Development”) and Berlin, where many special aid programmes were established in order to provide support for enterprises, particularly aiming at promotion of the industries of the future and according to the rules of the sustainable development. An essential element of Berlin’s economic policy is the development of economic relations with foreign countries.
In nearly all capitals the city authorities have an influence over the economic development through giving or refusing building permits for new developments. Moreover, in Paris some quarters are revitalised to facilitate the implementation of enterprises. Tallinn influences city development through providing infrastructure in prioritised locations for new housing districts, on condition that investment companies build according to the guidelines of the city.
Madrid has significant influence on the development and planning of economic activities in the region, internal commerce, industry, consumer protection and agriculture.
Most of the capitals also influence the level of local taxes; however, autonomy in local and revenue-orientated tax-policy is always sought after. Madrid introduces various fiscal advantages aimed at stimulating the creation of enterprises and economic activity in the city as well as elimination of bureaucratic barriers and reduction of initial costs to create businesses.
Capitals of Central and Eastern Europe are core areas of economic transformation and therefore obliged to establish good infrastructure and administrative conditions for foreign investments.
9. Main difficulties in cooperation
A strong element throughout the Charter is the notion of collaboration and solidarity among national and local governments in securing and strengthening, through political and financial commitment, the devolution of the decision-making process away from the centre towards towns and their communities. Despite the increase of powers given to capital city authorities there are still some obstacles:
· co-operation not regulated by legislation (Bucharest, Kyiv, Moscow); in Moscow changes and contradictions in the Federal law have an adverse impact on the management of the city. In this connection, there is a need for legal clarity in Moscow and Kyiv. The other problem that arises in these two above mentioned cities is that the demarcation of state property is not adequately defined by legislation and in the constant attempts made by the central government (in Moscow - federal authorities) to reduce the city’s budgetary resources;
· political problems (Budapest, Bucharest);
· conflicting political and financial interests on matters connected with the city’s status as the capital (Berlin, Paris); In the case of Paris the most significant problem concerns the municipal police, which is under the competences of the representative of the central government (so-called “Prefet” of the Police);
· lack of communication between central and local authorities; insufficient participation in decision-making process, turnover of personnel in city administrative structures as well as central government policy focused on development of rural areas (Tallinn);
· lack of special funds in central budget for supporting capital city infrastructure (Prague, Warsaw);
· lack of sufficient participation of the municipal authorities in the legislative process affecting the city (Warsaw);
· lack of common bodies of co-operation between the city and the central government (Bucharest);
II. RELATIONS BETWEEN CITY AUTHORITIES AND THE REGIONAL/ PROVINCIAL OR METROPOLITAN AREA AUTHORITIES
With reference to the European Urban Charter, “the boundaries of the city are never the limits of urban society. The city needs its surrounding region for functions which are often considerable consumers of land, e.g. airports; for a variety of settlements for urban dwellers and for open air recreation. Conversely, the region needs the city for its services (cultural, medical, retailing) and for jobs”.
However, in recent years there has been an intensification of a metropolisation and globalisation process. These processes include changing relations between a central town and the region around it. It also involves not-continuous manner of using the urbanised space. A settlement structure consisting of hierarchy settlement units began to be replaced with global net flows, in which the metropolises became the dominant elements. In this connection the significance of the relations between big towns and their regions diminishes.
However, the significance of the connections linking the towns with different regions, countries and continents is increasing. Global and information economy locates in significant growth centres, deepening the existing split between town centres and surrounding regions (so called hinterlands). It happens on a worldwide scale, in countries and regions. In this connection the regions surrounding the growth centres begin to lose their role. In the past settlement structure was limited by the boundaries of national countries, but now it exceeds country borders. The junctions of the nets are linked by rapid transportation systems (motorways, trains, planes) as well as by modern telecommunication nets (among others satellite phones). The “channel effect” often arises in the region, because the rapid transportation system does not often encompass places between two regional junctions. On the other hand, globalisation stimulates the process of strengthening regions, some of them becoming more independent. They restructure themselves in order to compete in the global markets. Consequently in some cases the regions become an integral part of an international network. Such processes give rise to a lot of challenges both for the city authorities and regional authorities, because the intensification of the globalisation processes cause an increase in the competitive pressure on the metropolises and regions.
In order to achieve a competitive advantage, a town or a region should have:
· diverse economy system;
· good access thanks to rapid transportation system;
· proximity to scientific and research centres;
· skilled human resources;
· favourable living conditions;
· good services for business.
According to the European Urban Charter “a balanced development of the city with its surrounding region is required - reflected through regional planning, active collaboration between cities and local authorities within the surrounding region and joint decision-making. The result is the harnessing of respective potential for mutual benefit, avoidance of unnecessary mobility and more rational use of environmental resources”. In this connection local authorities should examine the inter-relationship of their town within its region, while preparing their policies, strategies and programmes for their administrative areas,
The replies to this part of the questionnaire reflect the differentiation of administrative levels in European countries. Therefore in some cases this aspect of the capital city relations refers to more than one partner (county, region, other local authorities). Furthermore, other issues are regional self-government structures, which are not established in all of the Council of Europe member states. It is also worth mentioning that the relations between the city and the region have a different character in capitals of the federal countries (Madrid, Berlin) compared with unitary countries (other capitals).
In some cases the relations between the city and its surrounding or neighbouring region are very strong (Tallinn, Berlin, Madrid) while in others not (Budapest).
1. Legal basis of the relationships between the two tiers
Most capital city authorities conduct their co-operation with regional/provincial authorities based on legal acts:
· In France – Act on the region Ile-de-France (1976); the region of Paris became decentralised;
· In Spain – Regulation of the basics of local system; all tiers are mutually independent;
· In Romania – Act on the regional development (adopted in 1999), which was a basis for establishing the regions for economic planning;
· In Germany – (between the land of Berlin and the land of Brandenburg) 12 international treaties and 45 administrative agreements;
· In Poland – Act on the Central Government Administration in Voivodship (1998) and Act on the Voivodship Self-Government (1998);
· In Ukraine among others– Act on the Local Self-Government”, Act on the Local State Administrations, Act on the Capital of Ukraine – Kyiv City Hero”;
· In Estonia – The Act on the government of the Republic (1995), Act on the Local Government Organisation (1992), Act on the local taxes (1994);
· In Hungary – Act on the Local Self-Governments, Act on Territorial Development (1996); the regions established mainly for planning-statistical reasons (NUTS-2).
An important part of the co-operation between the two tiers is also regulated by special administrative agreements.
2. Distribution of powers and resources
In some countries regional authorities are autonomous whereas in others they are answerable to central government
The replies indicate:
- self-government/s and central structures on a city, county and/or regional level – (i.e. Paris, London, Warsaw) ;
- no self-government structures on regional level – (Budapest, Tallinn, Kyiv);
- city as a region: governed by the same administration (Berlin, Bucharest, Moscow, Prague).
In most countries the financial links between the two levels of self-government are weak, other than special funds for joint tasks, being subject to agreements. In Madrid, Berlin, Warsaw and Kyiv there are no permanent financial links between two tiers, because they have financial autonomy. In the above mentioned cases financial relations consist of financing the tasks delegated to the city by the region or vice versa. However, in Budapest there are no such financial links.
In most cases the distribution of power is balanced. The tiers are both independent and adopt decisions autonomously within their own competences, without interference from other authorities. However, in respect of tasks delegated by the state or region the city authorities are directly answerable to central government or regional authorities. Again, the situation is different in Budapest where the distribution of power is not balanced. There is not adequate representation of Budapest in the Council of the Central Hungarian Region.
In Estonia, the county governments, being answerable to central government, are the supervisory and advisory offices of local government. County governments are elected for a 5-year term, compared to the local governments elected for a 3-year term. This gives the county a crucial role, as continuous governance as an intermediary between the local and central government.
In Spain and Germany the situation differs. Both are both federal countries. Thus the regions are in a strong position – they have a wide autonomy. Co-operation between two tiers takes place on the basis of special agreements (in Germany the co-operation is additionally supported by the “Co-ordination Council”). The legislation of regional levels in both countries is binding on local government. However, all tiers of local and regional governments have their own competences and own administration.
Only in Poland and France is there a distinction between autonomous regional authorities and regional authorities that are answerable to central government (in Poland voivodship self-government co-exists with the voivod, the latter being an organ of the state administration; in France regional self-government co-exists with the “Prefet“ of the Region – also being a state representative.
3. Joint management of resources, public services
The European Urban Charter states: “local authorities, in preparing their plans, policies, strategies, proposals and programmes for their administrative areas, must examine the inter-relationship of their town within its region. This is needed in order to take into account the competitive and complementary plans of other municipalities and assess possibilities of collaboration, e.g. joint access to resources (water, minerals, etc); where residents of one jurisdiction work in or use the services of another; where the needs of a particular area require natural or man-made resources from another. This involves establishing working relations with other local government jurisdictions; with higher level administrative levels with planning responsibilities for a wider area”.
In most of the capitals the land within the territory of the town is regulated by the municipal self-government, with the exception of Tallinn where a considerable part of the land belongs to the state and is governed by a county answerable to central government. Only 5% of the total area of Tallinn belongs to the city.
In most cases, independent local authorities exercise the control over land and other local natural resources. Joint management usually exists along specific agreements. However, the intensity of co-operation remains modest and is limited to tasks exceeding the City boundaries, i.e. public transport, waste management, environment policy.
In Budapest a Physical Plan for the Budapest Agglomeration, i.e. concerning the area of Budapest and surrounding settlements is being prepared, if passed it will be binding on all the local governments.
The example of co-operation between the Land of Berlin and the Land of Brandenburg concerns, by formal inter-Land agreements, joint regional planning and management of education, national heritage, fire prevention, business promotion, waste-management and employment policy. Joint institutions involved in such cooperation are: Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Berlin-Brandenburg Association of Business Promotion Societies, Berlin-Brandenburg Fire Insurance Company etc.
In Budapest, Tallinn and Warsaw there are no public services jointly managed between the city and regional government.
Regarding the control over the area and natural resources, the share of responsibility may be considered to be balanced in Warsaw and Madrid. On the contrary, in Paris and Kyiv, the problem is lack of land at the disposal of the city for development of new investments. In Paris problems arise with municipal infrastructure, as many canals and waterways that formally belong to Paris are situated beyond the city boundaries; the local communities in question often contest this kind of ownership.
In Madrid and Paris, regional transport is jointly managed. In Madrid a good co-operation between two tiers exists also in the field of environmental protection. In Paris there is good cooperation in construction and management of high schools.
4. Positive and negative developments in co-operation
The general aim of co-operation between the two tiers should be creation of conditions for a balanced distribution of development opportunities and potential in order to bring about similar living conditions. The aim should be to strike a balance between the interests of the city and that of the region. Thus the emphasis should be on common regional planning conducted by these two tiers. Such approaches differ depending on the country.
Warsaw and Berlin have an effective co-operation on setting out a joint long-term strategy for the region and city. However, Polish regional self-government is often not in a position to fulfil the financial obligations resulting from such agreements. So far, the City of Warsaw has received insufficient revenue to carry out policies for the whole city and the Mazovia Region. The new Act on the management of the Warsaw Capital (27th October 2002) has improved co-operation between the two tiers.
Since 1995, Berlin and Brandenburg have had a very good co-operation in regional planning based on the Planning Agreement. In order to support such co-operation several bodies were established (among others: Joint Planning Departments, Berlin-Brandenburg Planning Conference, Regional Planning Conference etc.). The co-operation between these two Lands is increasingly strong on economic matters, such as providing economic assistance and encouraging firms to set up business or relocate. Another positive development in the
co-operation was the establishment in 1997 of a policymaking body “Transport and mobility in Berlin and Brandenburg” with the task of drawing up a strategy for developing the region into a major transport centre.
Administrative and political problems arising from legislation have been identified in the Budapest and Paris replies. In Budapest the local governments have considerable power and they are often not interested in participating in territorial co-operation.
In France the answerability of the town and departments to the region is contradictory to the rule stating that in France there is no hierarchy between any tiers. There is also a problem with the division of competences between these two tiers – especially in stimulating and attracting economic development.
In Estonia, it is generally difficult to conduct spatial planning and larger development plans concerning all local authorities within the region, as there does not exist a regional tier of
self-government. However, it is a good example of co-operation on waste management and environmental projects.
Kyiv authorities consider the new status of the capital as a good and consistent basis for co-operation between city and region. Since the new Law on the Capital of Ukraine came into force the relations between two tiers became clearer; a joint project is being implemented between the Kyiv City and Kyiv Region – the General Development Plan of Kyiv Agglomeration for the period to 2020.
In Madrid the most important development in co-operation was the application of the “local pact” meaning in practice decentralisation of the competences from the state and autonomous region to the communes, as well as since 1999 the access of the local institutions to the Constitutional Tribunal in order to defend local autonomy (it was necessary to change a Constitution to realise it). The two tiers co-operate successfully within public transport (there exist unified tariffs), economic development (a common institution was established to support newly created enterprises), security, social services and infrastructure.
In Bucharest in 1999 a Law on regional development for regional economic planning was passed. However, it is unfortunate that there is no self-government on the regional level.
In conclusion, it can be said that capital cities and their surrounding area have an inevitable clash of interests. The urban and the suburban area have deep economic and social differences. Although there are some difficulties in the co-operation between two tiers, in most capitals such a co-operation is improving through legislative, financial and institutional regulations as well as agreements.
III. RELATIONS BETWEEN CITY AND DISTRICT AUTHORITIES
The relations between the tiers of city administration must strike a balance between a coherent city policy, which ensures an adequate development of on the one hand a city as a whole and on the other hand all districts. A clear division of responsibilities between the two tires is necessary for effective management. According to the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Art 4.3) “Public responsibilities shall generally be exercised, in preference, by those authorities which are closest to the citizen. Allocation of responsibility to another authority should weight up the extent and nature of task and requirements of efficiency and economy”. The European Urban Charter also stresses the notion of collaboration and solidarity between local governments and their communities. Setting up political bodies on district level is an important means of promoting a higher degree of citizen involvement in public administration. However, in some cases districts have too many competences (Budapest and until recently Warsaw) while in other cases they have too few (Kyiv) for efficient management of a capital city.
1. Administrative structure of the capital
There are three models used for Capital city administration. In all cases there is a city government (a council and a board) as well as auxiliary units –districts, “boroughs”, “okrugs”, “raions”:
- one tier administration: Madrid ,;
- two-tiers administration: Berlin [12, formerly 23], Budapest , Kyiv [10, formerly 14], , Paris , Prague , Bucharest , Warsaw , Tallinn ;
- three-tiers administration: Moscow [10 okrugs since 1991 and 125 raions since 1996]
particular status: Greater London Authority with 33 boroughs (single-tier local authorities)
2. Legal basis and arbitration procedures between the two tires
The powers and responsibilities of district authorities are generally defined in legislation on self-government and the particular status of the capital. The following regulations have been indicated in the capital cities:
- district statute endowed by the City authorities (it means that the statute has to be passed by the city council) (Warsaw, Tallinn);
- Berlin Constitution, District Administration Act and General Responsibility Act (Berlin);
- a by-law (Prague),
- “bloc of competences” (Paris) – result of negotiations based on the law on Paris;
- special Law on Madrid;
- special city law “On raion councils in the city of Moscow” (Moscow);
- “Law on Self-Government” (Budapest).
Moreover, arbitration procedures should be available to district authorities in order to defend their legal rights. The most precise regulations have been indicated by the city of Berlin where the “arbitration board” (for financial affairs) and “the Berlin Constitutional Court” (for protecting other legal rights) were established. In general, district authorities can contest alleged violations of their rights before an administrative court. However, in Bucharest conflicts between the tiers can be solved only by mediation, due to lack of arbitration procedures. In Paris, the Mayor of Paris has an arbitrary role in such matters. Although in Moscow and Kyiv the districts (“raions”) in theory have the right to defend their rights in court (there exist external arbitration procedure), in reality the Council of the city in Kyiv has a decisive arbitrary role.
3. The structure and resources of district authorities
In all capital cities there exist auxiliary units but sometimes they form part of the city authorities (deconcentration – Tallinn, Warsaw and Madrid) while in other cases districts are very independent (decentralisation -Budapest). In Moscow and Kyiv both forms of auxiliary units exist – “okrugs” as the deconcentrated bodies and “raions” as the decentralised units.
With the exception of the “okrugs” in Moscow and Kyiv district authorities comprise deliberative body (council) and executive body(board); also in Moscow and Kyiv the “raions” authorities have such bodies.
The district council, like city councils, is usually elected in local elections for either a
four- year term (Moscow, Kyiv, Budapest, Warsaw, Bucharest) or three-years term (Tallinn), by citizens who are permanent residents in the districts.
In Madrid the districts have the character of territorial bodies that are absolutely subordinate to the city authorities (principle of deconcentration) and do not have councils elected by citizens. It is within the competences of the city government to create the district councils. Their composition and competences were foreseen in the special law on Madrid: the city government designs the president of the district council and its 19 members. However the latter are nominated by the politic groups represented in the city administration.
In most capitals the districts have executive bodies and their own administrative structure. However, in Bucharest the district authorities, like the city authorities, do not have their own administrative structures. With the exception of Madrid and Budapest, the chairman of a council is elected among the capital city councillors (in Moscow and Tallinn on a proposal from the mayor of the city). However, in Budapest and Bucharest he or she is elected directly. In Tallinn the structure of the district government has to be approved by the city government.
In Berlin the district administration forms part of the Land authorities, since the districts do not have their own legal personality. The district councils determine basic features of the administrative policies of their territories but must adhere to the framework of legal and administrative rules established by the government of the Land (Senate). Their role is to make recommendations and requests to the district office (consisting of the mayor and the district councillors). The district office must inform the district assembly of the measures that will be undertaken. However, the district mayor has the right to object to decisions made by the district office. The districts in Berlin are able to affect legal decisions of the city via the district mayors’ council (consultative body that regularly meets under the chairmanship of the Mayor of Berlin). Although its opinions are not legally biding on the Senate, they carry considerable political weight.
In order to coordinate district and city interests, the following administrative measures have been taken:
- city councillors have seats in district councils
- participation of district representatives in city councils sessions or other formal contacts of the executive, deliberative and administrative bodies. The relations between two tiers reflect different degrees of personal connections:
- no personal links between city council and district council (Berlin, Moscow, Bucharest
- The mayors of districts can participate in the city meetings as observers – without the voting right ( Prague, London);
- the representatives of the district can take part in the relevant meetings of the city council; also the councillors of the city are invited to meetings of the district councils (Kyiv, Budapest) with the right of consultation;
- district representative/s is/are member/s of the city council or a part of the district council is made of city councillors (Paris, Tallinn - half of the members of the district council belong to the city council)
- districts administrated by city public officers or councillors and being integral part of municipal administration; the president and the councillors of the district are designed by the city government -“mayorship" (Madrid);
District authorities are entitled to proper financial allocations in order to enable them to perform their functions. Given the subordinated character of the tier, most of the resources are direct subsidies from the city budget based on the extent of responsibilities.
With the exception of Kyiv and Bucharest, the district authorities receive enough financial resources to exercise the responsibilities given to them by law.
In Moscow, Kyiv, Berlin and Budapest the districts (=”raions”) are free to use their financial resources unless funds have been transferred to districts for a particular purpose. They shall prepare, approve and implement relevant budgets (taking into account the estimated transfers from the city budget). In Kyiv the budgets of the districts are drafted by the city authorities.
In Tallinn, Warsaw and Paris the budgets of the municipal districts are parts of the city budgets. Yet in Tallinn and Paris the district authorities have possibilities influence the drafting the city budget.
In most capital cities the transfers from the city budget form the main bulk of district revenues. However in Budapest it is the other way around, i.e. the districts’ own revenues surpass the transfers from the city. That is because of local business taxes.
In some cases the city transfers more funds to less developed districts to decrease differences in the development (Moscow, Kyiv).
Similarly as in Budapest, the districts in Tallinn may collect local taxes (advertisement tax for outdoor media).
4. Powers of district authorities
With the exception of autonomous boroughs of London and the districts in Budapest, district authorities are subject of legal supervision by city authorities in determining their activities. They have been given responsibilities, which concern mainly maintaining certain infrastructure within district boundaries such as roads, engineering systems, etc. The most common areas transferred to districts are related to social welfare, culture, environment, education, spatial planning, fire protection as well as partly civil defence and informing the public about public activities.
In most capitals the districts are in a weak position comparing to the city. However, in Budapest there is no hierarchy between the municipal and district governments but they are economically independent. The districts have important local functions such as the right to issue building permissions and public neighbourhood services while the city owns public utilities and has got the responsibility for matters that concern the whole or large parts of the city.
In Kyiv the city can give some municipal property to districts to manage. However, a transfer in the opposite direction requires a local referendum.
In Moscow the districts are charged with preparing local socio-economic development programmes and with managing city property that is under administrative control of the district. Apart from this, districts hold few competences and the city authorities can overrule all their decisions.
In Tallinn and Paris the districts councils can make only recommendations, to the city authorities, about legal decisions within their competences. The districts also have a consultative role concerning implementation of public investments. However, they autonomously manage certain social, cultural, sports and educational services.
In addition to Budapest, Berlin districts also have relatively large competencies and they are free to use the financial resources allocated to them as well as deciding about their own staff. They also have significant legal powers with regard to urban development planning.
Although the Madrid district authorities are not very autonomous they still have some important competences such as approving public work projects and related contracts.
In Bucharest, district authorities hold the same powers as all Romanian cities, i.e. they are responsible for spatial planning, establishing local taxes, co-operation with public authorities, healthcare, road maintenance and markets.
5. Challenges to and areas of Cooperation between the two tiers
Cooperation between the tiers exists in various sectors and is of administrative character. An opinion or approval of district authorities is usually required for construction and spatial planning as well as other major projects carried out by the city.
Clashes of interests of the following kind occur between the tiers:
- political (Budapest, Paris)
- administrative (Berlin, Tallinn)
- legal (Moscow)
- financial (Bucharest, Kyiv)..
Although the two tiers co-operate closely in many fields in Bucharest, lack of clarity about division of competencies cause conflicts, in particular in the field of health, housing and management of public properties. The lack of the arbitration procedures further aggravates the situation.
In Budapest the most serious problems are due to political conflicts between the municipal and districts authorities on the one hand, and between the mayor and the assembly on the other hand. The latter case occurs because the mayor who is directly elected does not always represent the majority party in the local assembly. Lately the districts’ have gained more power in relation to the city level as more transfers are allocated from the central budget to districts. The rare co-operation that occurs between the two concern renovation of historic buildings and public areas.
In Kyiv the biggest problem is the failure to implement municipal legislation, which is due to both ambiguous legislation and public officials’ disregard for legislation. There is no “law on municipal property” and that causes disputes between the state, city and districts regarding competencies about movable and immovable properties. In 2001 the number of districts was cut from 14 to 10. At the same time some more competences were given to the districts (among others the function of ordering public works connected with social infrastructure). Nevertheless, only the most active districts in Kyiv take part in investment activity in their territory (constructing of schools, nursery schools, etc). A problem is also an excessive redistribution of own resources from the richer districts to poorer ones – which decreases motivation to increase own incomes.
In Tallinn the co-operation between the two tires is very fruitful as the city always has to operate on the districts’ territories and has to request their opinion in the planning process. The decentralisation of some functions to the districts has tightened co-operation further and made the municipal services more accessible to the citizens. The main remaining problem for the districts is that they can only issue recommendations about legal decisions. The limitation lies in the Local Government Organisation Act which states that some competences belong only to the city council and can not be decentralised to any other level.
In Berlin the co-operation between the two tires essentially takes place within the Mayors’ Council. However, problems frequently arise when the main administration intervenes in areas within the responsibility of districts, but that affect the city as a whole. As a consequence the main city administration was given the power to issue special instructions to districts, in the interests of the city as a whole. Another problem in Berlin concerns differing assessments between districts and city, about districts’ financial needs.
Following discontent with the previous structures, the Polish Parliament on 15 March 2002 adopted a new “Act on the Political System of the Warsaw Capital”. The Act came into force on 27 October 2002, i.e. the day of election for the self-governmental authorities (communes, counties, and voivodships). The Act made the City of Warsaw one single commune while districts were created as replacement for the previously existing 11 independent communes. Also the Warsaw County was abolished as an administrative body and all its powers were given to the city authorities. This Act was a success as it brought clarity. The Warsaw City Council then specified the tasks and competencies of the districts. The new Warsaw management structures are very modern and they will increase transparency and efficiency. It is worth noting that Warsaw became the owner of all investments and technical infrastructure in the whole city, contrary to the previous situation when the city had only acted as supervisor and co-ordinator.
In Paris the law states that the co-operation between the two tires is obligatory. Hence there are regular meetings between the Mayor of the city and the Mayors of the districts. Moreover, districts are even better consulted than what is required by law. The consultations concern, inter alia, town planning and infrastructure projects implemented in a particular district. However, a negative consequence of implementing such consultative procedures is the delay it causes in implementing projects. In addition there are some conflicts between districts and the city that arise out of different political colours being in majority at the two levels.
To conclude, in most capital cities the problem lies in the division of powers between two tires. Some capitals have chosen to extend the powers of districts along the principle of decentralisation. In other capital cities the problem is precisely that districts hold too much power and the interests of the city as a whole are not adequately considered. That was the case in Warsaw and still is in Budapest. Thus a balanced division of power between city and its subordinated levels presents a challenge for conducting a fair and effective management of the city.
IV. THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE CITY AUTHORITIES AND THE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Actively involving members of the public in decision-making to ensure a better understanding and acceptance of local policies is of outstanding importance for democracy. Because of the sheer size of capital cities, it is particularly difficult to establish a good dialogue between city authorities and the public.
1. Citizens’ channels for taking part in local affairs
Apart from elections, the other forms of direct democracy used in every capital city are:
· referendums and surveys
· public meetings and conferences
· applications and petitions by citizens
· establishing NGOs, charity funds
· setting up unions of citizens at district level
· direct meetings: organisation of public hearings, public meetings with mayors/deputy mayors, councillors, mayors of districts
· media: city administration Internet sites with information and access to administrative procedures, publications on city policy to be received by citizens, broadcasting
· meetings of the City/district council open to citizens and media,
· modern and efficiently structured communication to receive citizens’ claims: i.e. Linea Madrid, People’s Question Time in London, Morning Coffee in Tallinn
· opinion polls conducted regularly
According to international standards of legislation on free access to information, local self-governments are obliged to provide citizens with relevant information. In modern media democracy the importance of citizen-orientated communication has been widely recognized. Considerable progress has been observed in the capitals, particularly in Eastern Europe, where responsibility for policy making as well as access to information had earlier been beyond the reach of citizens. For example in Tallinn the municipal website now gives the residents an overview over not only what the city is doing and where to turn with a specific question, but it also provides information on the salaries of all city servants and their contact details.
Capital city authorities deem it necessary to establish formal mediating structures gathering i.e. business representatives, professionals, ethnic groups and associations of citizens to discuss matters of common concern and find appropriate solutions. These advisory bodies are active both on city and district levels. Besides, these bodies may be considered as more legitimate to represent population interests than informal lobbying structures. In practice, aggressive interest groups tend to play a leading role in public consultations.
Such advisory bodies established recently are for instance: Mayor’s Advisory Cabinet (London), OKiDS (Warsaw), CICA – Comité d’initiative et de consultation d’arrondissement, Conseil de Paris (Paris) and Kyiv City Assembly (Kyiv).
As far as petitions are concerned, the authorities are obliged to respond to petitions according to terms and delays prescribed in the relevant legislation (or to peoples’ representatives such as the Mediator, in the City of Madrid).
2. Consultations with the public on major projects run by central or local government
The organisation of elections, referenda or other voting procedures are undertaken in the case of important projects run by central or local government that could influence the every-day life of citizens. These remain the most important legal procedures which the authorities are legally obliged to undertake. Nevertheless, such procedures are not undertaken very often.
The differences in citizens’ rights in this respect are considerable: in Bucharest, upon citizens’ application the city council can decide to extend public consultations on a given matter to a referendum (excluding financial matters - local taxes etc.). The City of Berlin foresees referenda about early termination of the legislative period of the House of Representatives, inter-land treaties and amendments to the Constitution. In Tallinn referenda in municipalities have been found useful regarding mergers of municipalities.
3. Issues arising from the division of powers within the city administration levels and its impact on citizen participation
The dialogue with members of the public is a result of direct democracy, a clear consequence of decentralisation. It has been proven that a well-defined distribution of powers enhances the possibilities of an efficient dialogue. Therefore authorities of the capitals which have reformed their administration by transferring district-related tasks to district authorities are in position to enhance the participation of citizens. However, some capitals sometimes experience a conflict of responsibilities between various levels of administration. For example, Tallinn suggests that "the co-operation with the county government should be more precise". The City also indicates some problems with districts, which functions should either be enlarged or diminished. The real decision making process takes place in the city council while the district council's power is limited to some fields such as admission of advertisement permits in the district. According to Tallinn's experts this should be changed. A similar situation has been observed in Warsaw before the city's governing system reform on the 27th October 2002.
All the cities emphasise the significance of the distribution of powers representing decentralisation as the best way to improve the decision-making process in compliance with public opinion.
V. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Both in the European Urban Charter and the European Charter of Local Self-Government the right to conduct an international policy remains one of the essential rights of local governments. According to Art. 10 of the European Charter of Local Self - Government authority “Local authorities shall be entitled, in exercising their powers, to co-operate and, within the framework of the law, to form consortia with other local authorities in order to carry out tasks of common interest. Furthermore, to form and participate in international networks of co-operation and exchange is, at present, a key feature in the construction of a wider Europe.
1. Legal authority to conduct international relations
All Capital Cities have authority to conduct their own international policy. A particular department of the City Hall leads international co-operation and consequently the Mayor of the city supervises it. The extent of the authority is regulated by legislation (constitution, federal laws, special status). Some Capital Cities (Warsaw, Paris, Kyiv) report on their international activities to their central authorities.
The character of Capital Cities autonomy to pursue international relations can in some cases be described in terms of the legal status of the capital. For example, Berlin, within a federal state, is in a position to exercise its constitutionally guaranteed federal rights in inter alia, contributing to the formation of the Federal Republic’s policy towards the European Union. Meanwhile, the city of Moscow directly conducts international and foreign trade relations with the executive authorities of cities and regions of foreign states and also participates in the work of international organisations on an intergovernmental level. However, Warsaw, Tallinn, Budapest, Bucharest, and London do not have any legally guaranteed rights in this field.
2. Institutional forms of international cooperation
The capital cities carry out their international relations both in direct contacts and through established networks.
The forms of international co-operation consist of:
- Signing of, and acting within, agreements and joint projects with foreign partners;
- establishing co-operation in various areas such as: politics, joint investments and other economic agreements, urban infrastructure, culture, education and science as well as technology transfer;
- representation of the capital both in and vis-à-vis international institutions and in international events;
- granting special funds in the municipal budget for international co-operation.
These activities are conducted by departments of international relations, which have become integral parts of the overall city administration. At this stage the following organizations and events concerning specific cooperation of capitals have been named: Union of Capitals of the European Union, Summit “Capital Cities for EU-Enlargement” (Warsaw2000), Summit of World Mayors (Paris, 2000), 3rd Conference of Capitals of South-East Europe (Bucharest, 1998).
3. Main objectives of international cooperation
The principal objectives are:
- representing the interests of capital cities on the international level in respect of national and wider geopolitical interests;
- reinforcing co-operation on various issues of the city and in particular capital city policy in order to enable: exchange of experiences and advice on reform projects and provision of political, cultural, economic and socio-political information;
- attracting foreign investments and fundraising;
- maintaining cultural contacts (i.e. Association internationale des maires des villes francophones, London partnerships with Delhi and Kingston/Jamaica).
To confirm these objectives capitals are involved in co-operation with organizations, eg:
- the European Union: participation in the work of the UCUE (i.e. Vienna, Warsaw, Budapest), both as member or observer; network of capital cities of the candidate states; maintaining a special office in Brussels (i.e. Berlin, Paris, Vienna) with the task of gathering information for own administration as well as representing interests of the capital city vis-à-vis European institutions and raising of EU funds;
- a greater Europe: Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (i.e. Budapest, Bucharest), Eurocities (Berlin, Budapest, Tallinn, Warsaw), Educating Cities (i.e. Budapest); Metropolis (i.e. Warsaw);
- Regions of Europe and special networks: i.e. networks gathering capitals from Baltic and Mediterranean region and South-East Europe, “villes francophones”;
- worldwide networks - friendship agreements between capitals and oversees cities (i.e. London with i.e. Delhi, Dhaka, Berlin with Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Warsaw with Fort Worth etc.), privileged relations within the Commonwealth of Nations; know-how transfer to developing countries (Association of the diffusion of municipal techniques, Paris).
The need for further development of international cooperation is emphasised by many cities and they wish to maintain a strong network with other capital cities in order to together solve problems that occur in particular in capital cities.