The Charter effectively applied in the Czech Republic but local and regional financing needs further improvement

In a Recommendation adopted during its 25-27 October plenary session, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe welcomes the effective application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government by the Czech Republic. It underscores however the need to reduce the high dependence on central financing, particularly by the regions, and to address the frequent mismatch between the funding provided and the actual cost of implementing tasks transferred to local and regional authorities.

The Congress notes with satisfaction that in the Czech Republic the system of local democracy is functioning well, and the principles of the Charter are reflected in the political and administrative processes. The Czech legal order protects the rights of self-governing authorities and facilitates citizens to participate in local affairs.

Many positive developments have taken place since 2012, when the Congress last monitored the implementation of the Charter in the country. These include simplification of the system of territorial division in 2020; strategic development of the public administration system; an increase in the share of taxes for municipalities and regions; effective use of technology and clarification of the system for remunerating local elected officials.

The Congress notes that the Czech authorities should pay particular attention to the fragmented nature of the local government structures characterised by many small municipalities with limited administrative capacity and financial resources. It points also out the limited options municipalities have for new sources of funding and for establishing and increasing local taxes and consider that the authorities should enhance the involvement of the local and regional authorities in decision-making processes for all matters that concern them directly.

The Czech authorities are invited notably to ensure adequate financial resources to local and regional level and strengthen consultation and inter-municipal co-operation. The Czech Republic is also called on to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority (ETS No. 207), also highlighted in an exchange of views with David SLÁMA, Acting Deputy Minister of the Interior for Public Administration and eGovernment, Czech Republic that followed the adoption of the Recommendation.

The Recommendation was adopted on the basis of a report on the implementation of the Charter in the Czech Republic prepared by Mr Viorel Furdui (Republic of Moldova, ILDG) and Mr Jani Kokko, Finland (R, SOC/G/PD) following a monitoring visit to Prague, Brno, Jilhava and Velký Beranov from 2 to 4 March 2022.

Czech Republic ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1999. Countries that have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which form the essential basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 46 Council of Europe member states.

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