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Definition and concept

The European Commission uses the term "Local Authority" (LA) in its widest sense as directly or indirectly elected public governing bodies at sub-national level possessing within a given territory, as defined by law, a degree of autonomy from the central government and a set of competences to deliver public goods and services to citizens. They encompass a large variety of public governing bodies at various levels i.e. municipalities, communities, districts, counties, provinces, regions etc. As defined above, LAs vary across a range of dimensions, including: population size, number of tiers in the local government system, urban vs. rural, mandates and functions, human and financial resources, linkages with customary institutions, degree to which they are downwardly accountable and representative, and their financial arrangements.

Associations of Local Authorities (ALAs) are to be understood as umbrella organisations based on membership and representative at national, regional, continental and international level, with a permanent body established as an autonomous entity in accordance with the legislation in force in the country of registration.

Multi Annual Programme


The new Communication on Local Authorities - 15/05-2013

In line with the Council Conclusions on the 'Agenda for Change' (October 2012) and with the commitments in relation to Local Authorities of the Busan Outcome Document (December 2011), the Commission has decided to redefine its policy towards Local Authorities in partner countries through a Communication. The focus will be on the empowerment of Local Authorities and their Associations in partner countries, as recognised and fundamental actors in national development processes.
The Communication has been conceived in continuity and complementarity with the Communication of the Commission Local authorities: Actors for development COM (2008) 626 final (adopted on 8.10.2008). It builds on the results of the Structured Dialogue with Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities for an efficient partnership in development as well as on the contributions of a stakeholders’ consultation carried out between end of August and December 2012 in different regions of the world, on the basis of the Issue Paper “Local Authorities in Development”.

The executive summary and the final report of the consultation are now available.

Events

Regional seminar Tunis

From 20 to 22 November 2012 will be held a regional seminar in Tunis

Local seminar Lebanon

On the 20 March 2012 hold a National seminar in Lebanon (Beyruth)

Decentralised cooperation

Decentralised cooperation is a modality of development cooperation, between European Local Authorities and Local Authorities form the partner countries.
As the modality mechanism based on long-term and equal institutional partnerships, decentralised cooperation between EU Local Authorities and their counterparts in third countries bring added value to the implementation of development actions, through continuous peer-to-peer learning, transfer of know-how and enhancement of local actors’ participation in the public space at local level.
In April 2013, DEVCO publishes an EC launched study on "Capitalisation of European experiences of decentralised cooperation."

References

Further info