Municipal Councils to be held online by Government Decree
Following numerous requests from the presidents of councils and municipal councilors, and with the proposal of the Ministry of Local Self-Government, the Government at its session held on April 7 adopted a Decree supplementing the decree with force of law on implementing the Law on Local Self-Government during the State of Emergency.
This Decree allows the President of the Municipal Council and the President of the Municipal Council of the City of Skopje to convene and chair a session of the council using also communication tools (telephone or conference link with the use of Internet communication and software tools).
Having in mind that during the State of Emergency, when the municipalities and the city of Skopje should be maximally mobilized and functional in order to provide conditions for implementation of the recommendations and measures of the Government for protection and prevention form the coronavirus Covid 19, this decree provides legal conditions councils to be able to hold sessions and make decisions even when the members of the council are unable to physically attend the session.
In case of holding a session with the use of communication tools, the President of the council submits the agenda and materials for the session to the members of the council electronically. The voting will take place through individual voting of each of the members of the council who are singed in for the session, a record will be kept during the session, which, in order to ensure transparency and accountability, will be published immediately after the end of the session on the web-page of the municipality or the web-page of the city of Skopje.
A number of councilors across the country have been advocating for a decision to hold the council’s sessions online for some time now, who, due to the measures for dealing with the crisis and the restrictions on physical presence, were not able to regularly hold the sessions of the council in their municipalities.
Empowering Municipal Councils is a new project designed to increase transparency and accountability in local government by strengthening municipal councils in their functions, particularly in overseeing local budgets. The main aim of the project is to support municipalities in achieving greater openness and inclusiveness, helping to build public trust in local institutions.