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The Managing Board of ZELS and the Minister of Local Self-Government, Goran Milevski discussed the activities for starting the process of a new wave of government decentralization in the country
12 јули 2019

The new Minister of Local Self-Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Goran Milevski, invited by the President of ZELS, Petre Shilegov, was present at the today's eleventh session of the Managing Board of ZELS. At the meeting, Minister Milevski was acquainted with the general attitudes of the local authorities in the direction of undertaking the following activities for continuation of the decentralization process in the country and their completing by January 1st, 2020. In fact, this conclusion was reached at the recent meeting that the Managing Board of ZELS had with the Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev and the members of his Cabinet, on which he expressed his full readiness for providing greater financial stability of the local government units and gradual transferring of competencies from central to local level, in the areas where it will be assessed that is possible and necessary.

Minister Milevski expressed satisfaction for the readiness of the ZELS Managing Board for cooperation and partnership in the whole process. He informed that in the talks with the Prime Minister when assuming the position of Minister of Local Self-Government they confirmed the views that the decentralization process should continue in the areas in which are already created conditions for providing greater financial sustainability and functionality of the municipalities. – “From my personal experience, as a former member of Municipal Council, I consider that there is indeed a possibility for serious changes in financing, as well as in the organization of the local self-government. Considering that there is a mood for transferring certain competencies from January 1st, 2020, in the following period we will have an intensive work that requires more operability and efficiency from all of us”- said Minister Milevski, who also presented certain proposals that could improve the current perennial stagnated conditions in the local government.

- “We are pleased that the central government has shown courage to start the changes in the decentralization process in the country and enable it to definitely continue to move in the required direction. We are aware that this is a serious and extensive process that requires fast and dynamic activities that imply numerous legislative changes, not only in the system laws such as the Law on Local Self-Government and the Law on Financing of Local Self-Government Units, but also changes in at least 30 -50 other laws related to the changes we foreseen. We are absolutely ready, we have the vision that we have also pointed out to the Prime Minister of the state and we want to make big steps that will enable the local government to become financially stable, to have more competencies and responsibilities, and thus to provide more quality services and living conditions for its citizens." This was stated at the meeting by the President of ZELS, Petre Shilegov, who wished at the beginning of the conversation to Minister Milevski a successful work and excellent cooperation with ZELS. Shilegov pointed out that it is best if the outlines of this process are in the hands of the local government in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Self-Government, after which it should be presented before the Prime Minister and relevant ministries. For that purpose, at this session, the Managing Board established a working group composed of three mayors: ZELS President, Petre Shilegov, ZELS Vice President, Visar Ganiu and the Mayor of the Municipality of Veles and President of the ZELS Financing Commission, Ace Kocevski, who will work on defining the overall package of changes. In order to be more operative, it was agreed next week, this body to hold a meeting with the Minister of Local Self-Government and his team.

The changes that should be covered in this process of continuation of the decentralization of the government, which were pointed out at the session of the Managing Board of ZELS, will generally move in three directions. The first and key package refers to the provision of greater financial independence to the local government. It was clearly stated that the municipalities will not accept new competences if primarily the stabilization of the financial operations of the local government and its institutions is not ensured, and that new competencies will not be accepted without providing adequate financial resources for their realization. The second package will be aimed at determining the possibilities for undertaking new competences and their more precise defining, and the third package would refer to the organizational structure of the work of local government. A series of proposals and solutions were presented at the session in order to provide more functional changes in the local government.


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