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In Skopje, over 150 mayors and council presidents discussed on advancing decentralization

On November 21 and 22, The Annual Conference on Decentralization and Local Governance was held in Skopje “Empowering Communities – New Momentum for Decentralization”.

The conference was opened by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and was attended by Minister of Local Self-Government Goran Milevski, ZELS President and Mayor of the City of Skopje, Petre Shilegov, EU Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia, Samuel Zbogar, UNDP Resident Representative in our country, Narine Sahakyan, mayors of countries from the region, as well as over 150 mayors and presidents of municipal councils from the country.

The purpose of the conference was to exchange views on improving the local government system by deepening decentralization and transferring new competencies from central to local level.

PUBLIC CALL for taking part in the “Empowering Municipal Councils” project

The main objective of the project “Empowering municipal councils” financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is to provide support to municipal councils to be more effective and autonomous bodies, to better deal with the influence of the executive, to appropriately fulfill their constitutionally assigned roles of legislation, oversight and advocacy. As a result, these efforts will increase the transparency and accountability of the Mayor towards the Council and of the municipality towards the citizens and will improve the living conditions in the local community through successful implementation of the priority community projects.

NINE MUNICIPALITIES WILL RECEIVE 558,000 USD AS PART OF A SWISS PROGRAM FOR STRENGTHENING LOCAL DEMOCRACY

A workshop was held in Skopje today with more than 60 municipal councils’ presidents discussing ways to improve the system of local self-government in the wake of the ongoing decentralization process in the country.

The event, organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), also announced the public call for the participation of 9 additional municipalities in the project “Empowering Municipal Councils” which already includes 15 municipalities: Chair, Ohrid, Strumica, Sveti Nikole, Valandovo, Veles, Centar, Kumanovo, Brvenica, Zhelino, Gostivar, Struga, Kochani, Kavadarci and Mogilla.

The municipalities that will be selected will receive trainings which will help municipal councilors to more effectively oversee local budgets and communicate more directly with citizens when setting priorities for municipal budget spending.

Municipal Councils closer to citizens through Facebook and YouTube

The municipalities of Veles, Strumica, Valandovo and Sveti Nikole have recently started to live stream the Municipal Council sessions on the social networks Facebook and YouTube.

The live streaming of Municipal Council sessions is part of the “Empowering municipal councils” programme which anticipates 12,000 Swiss francs support for projects that improve transparency and accountability of municipalities, as well as citizen participation in the policy-making process at local level.

In the upcoming period, the municipalities of Chair, Ohrid, Kavadarci, Kocani, Mogila, Brvenica and Zelino will also start to live stream their council sessions on Facebook and YouTube.

UNDP and UN Women continue cooperation to strengthen the capacities of municipal councilors

A coordination meeting was held yesterday between the UN Women and UNDP project teams to discuss upcoming activities within the project Empowering Municipal Councils.

Among other things, the synergy between the two organizations’ projects was discussed to achieve greater impact on policy making at the local level.

Project teams work together to strengthen the capacities of municipal councils and other stakeholders in the areas of good governance and gender responsive budgeting.

А Forum on development of the decentralization and improvement of the functionality of municipalities took place in Mavrovo

Under the organisation of the Ministry of Local Self-Government and UNDP this weekend in Mavrovo, ZELS representatives, mayors, representatives of the competent ministries and experts discussed the decentralization process and the improvement process of the functionality of municipalities.

The forum was also attended by the council presidents of Kumanovo, Bitola and Centar municipalities who shared their views and expectations on improving the role of the municipal councils in the decentralization process.

The dialogue between the central and local governments was also welcomed by the deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, Ms. Sanja Bojanic.

The mechanisms and capacities of municipalities for civic participation and development of the local democracy were also discussed at the forum,

Nine new municipalities included in the Programme for Empowering Municipal Councils

The municipalities of Kumanovo, Centar, Gostivar, Zhelino, Brvenica, Struga, Mogila, Kochani and Kavadarci are the new nine municipalities being included in the programme for empowering municipal councils, following their selection through a public call for participation at which applications were sent by 48 local self-government units throughout the country.

In the following 18 months, about 150 councillors from these municipalities shall have the opportunity to participate in the Capacity Development Programme for municipal councillors, which includes trainings on 11 topics in the fields of public finance management, spatial and urban planning, as well as on subjects related to innovations in governance,

The first projects to be implemented under the Program for Empowering Municipal Councils were selected

Through the Community Forums held in Veles, Sveti Nikole, Valandovo, Strumica, Cair and Ohrid, the citizens of these municipalities, together with local government representatives, selected the projects that will be implemented in their communities over the next 6 months.

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Through the four forum sessions held in November and December 2018, besides the citizens, civil and youth organizations, the business sector, as well as the representatives from the education and social case also took part with their proposals of initiatives for realization of priority projects. After the proposed initiatives and the separate discussion for each one,

Municipal councillors from six municipalities successfully completed the Capacity Development Program

With the last training for the councillors from Chair and Ohrid, the implementation of the Capacity Development Programme for the municipal councillors from Veles, Sveti Nikole, Strumica, Valandovo, Cair and Ohrid municipalities, ends this weekend in Skopje.

For the past eight months, the councillors from these municipalities have been improving their knowledge and skills on 11 topics related to public financial management, human resources management, spatial and urban planning, innovation in governance, inter-municipal and inter-ethnic cooperation, gender equality and good governance at the local level.

A total of 80 councilors who participated in the training sessions received certificates for successful completion of the Capacity Development Programme for municipal councillors.

Training cycle for municipal councillors continues in Veles and Ohrid

In the next next two days, the training cycle for municipal councillors continues in Veles and Ohrid. The municipal councillors from Sveti Nikole and Veles will improve their knowledge in the area of spatial and urban planning in the local self-government units, while the councillors from Chair and Ohrid will strengthen their capacities on topics related to gender equality and inter-ethnic cooperation at the local level.

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Meanwhile, the municipal councillors from Strumica and Valandovo concluded the second cycle of trainings, and thus became the first councillors who completed the Capacity Development Programme for municipal councillors.

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