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The Managing Board of ZELS held its twelfth session
8 ноември 2019
 

On November 6th, 2019, the Managing Board of ZELS held its twelfth session, where a series of current issues related to the implementation of the competences of the local authorities, as well as the operation of ZELS, were discussed.

At the beginning of the session, the attendees reviewed the ZELS’ Draft-Budget for 2020, the ZELS’ Work Plan for 2020 and the Public Procurement Plan for the following year. These important documents on the operation of ZELS were unanimously adopted by the Managing Board, and they will be reviewed by the General Assembly of ZELS. It was determined that the next, fifth session of this highest body of ZELS (General Assembly) will be held on December 5th, 2019 in Skopje. At the session, a proposal was made for a new member of the ZELS Committee of Councils, from the Polog Planning Region, due to changes in the position of the current representative in this body, which should be presented to the General Assembly.

ZELS is also preparing for the adoption of a new strategic plan for the period 2021-2026, due to which the members of the Managing Board have determined the composition of the ZELS Strategic Planning Commission, which in the following period should actively work on defining the further directions of action of the Association.

At the session was established a Lobby group for gender equality of men and women, which is consisted of female mayors, female presidents of councilors and male mayors. The aim of this lobby group is to represent the interests of local gender policies in front of the central government.

The attendees were also informed about the introduction of the citizens’ mass informing and warning system 112, which was recently presented to the ZELS’ Network of TFFUs. Municipalities are expected to accept and support this system, so they will be required to appoint a person from the employees who will have access to the system and accept the diverted calls, but also will input all pre-defined required data.

Information on the draft-document of the Working Group responsible for determining the formal legal aspect and defining future steps in the decentralization process was also presented at the session. It was pointed out that so far several meetings have been held, which, besides representatives of the local government, were also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Local Self-Government, led by Minister Milevski, as well as representatives of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and certain ministries. It was pointed out that ZELS has reached harmonization with the central government in certain areas, in particular with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, but that there are still some ambiguities regarding the views with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Ministry of Health. Partial harmonization has also been reached with the Ministry of Interior. Analyses of the summarized views and proposals are being made, after which an analytical approach for identifying all the laws that need to be amended will follow, in order to ensure harmonization with the determined views. Efforts are being made part of the determined laws to enter into the parliamentary procedure by the end of this year and to be adopted by the MP's before the dissolution of the Parliament.



The members of the Managing Board reached certain conclusions on the submitted requests to ZELS. Among them was the initiative by the Municipality of Kumanovo for certain amendments to the Law on Expropriation; then the initiative by the Municipality of Mogila, on the regulation of the status of local communities; the request from ADKOM for joint meeting with the Managing Board of ZELS and the request of the Association of Pensioners for signing a new Memorandum of Cooperation. Regarding the Law on Expropriation, it was proposed to submit the initiative to all municipalities in order to provide other remarks and then to be reviewed by the ZELS Urban Planning Commission. Regarding the issue of the status of local communities, it was pointed out that it is already part of negotiations with the central government on a new wave of decentralization.

The request of the Mayor of the Municipality of Debar for providing support from the central government for repayment of public enterprises' debts to state institutions, in particular to the Health Insurance Fund, was also presented. Other mayors were also involved in the discussion, who pointed out that there were public enterprises that were transferred debts by the central government and demanded to write off the interest rates. It was concluded that ZELS, in consultation with the municipalities, should determine the amount of the debts of the municipal public enterprises, as of October 31st, 2019 with separated data on the main debt and the interest rates.

The attendees paid special attention to reviewing the initiative of several smaller municipalities, as well as the municipalities of Pelagonija Region, on the maintenance of regional roads. There is a general dissatisfaction with the maintenance of these roads, especially in the winter, as well as dissatisfaction with their continuous destruction, dominated by forest economies in timber transport. Citizens turn to the local government and there they express their dissatisfaction with all this, even though it is not responsible for regional roads. It was concluded that ZELS would submit a letter to the Public Enterprise for State Roads, where would specify the specific remarks and would offer some options for further maintenance of these roads.

Representatives of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia presented the opportunity for presentation of local authorities in the “DUBAI-EXPO” fair, which will be held from October 20th, 2020 to April 10th, 2021. It is envisaged that municipalities will be presented first, in a period of 25 days, respectively until the middle of November 2020, so the pavilion space of 385 m2 is being provided free of charge, and there are a number of other benefits related to the transportation of materials and other. It was concluded that ZELS would send to the municipalities all the detailed information on this event, and that by December 15th, 2019 they would declare about their interest in participating in the “Dubai Expo” fair.

There was a particular discussion on identifying the initiatives of ZELS in the new Law on Legalization, which is in the procedure. The discussion was focused on the amount of the communal fees that the municipality will collect for providing a legal status of illegally built facilities after March 03, 2011, if they are in the planning scope. It was also emphasized the need to provide an appropriate legally prescribed precise evidentiary procedure, which would provide relevant evidence for the period of building of the facilities for which legalization requests would be submitted, as well as to precisely determine the forbidden building zones for which the municipality will not be able to provide legalization at all.

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