European Charter of Local Self-Government (ECLSG)

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EUROPEAN CHARTER OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT (ECLSG) – is a specific pattern of the territorial self-government system of the Council of Europe member states, was adopted on 15th October 1985 in Strasbourg by the Standing Conference of European Municipalities and Regions at the Council of Europe. The document came into force on 1st September 1988. ECLSG was accepted in all 47 countries associated in the CoE. Poland ratified it in 1993. One of the momentous effects of the emergence of ECLSG was to include in it the definition of local government: “Local self-government denotes the right and the ability of local authorities, within the limits of the law, to regulate and manage a substantial share of public affairs under their own responsibility and in the interests of the local population.” It should be emphasized that this definition understands the local government both in terms of formal (“law”) and material (“real ability”) categories. ECLSG treats the right of municipalities to self-government as a fundamental right. The ECLSG preamble expresses the conviction that → local communities are one of the foundations of the democratic system. The document also points out that the right of citizens to participate in the management of public affairs is part of the democratic principles common to all member states of the Council of Europe and can be fully implemented at the local level. Hence, the emphasis in the ECLSG preamble on the need to protect the independence of the local authorities, to strengthen it, and build state regimes based on the principle of decentralization of power. The creators of ECLSG noticed the need to strengthen the autonomy of self-government in the legal systems of the member states in the most significant way possible. Hence the regulation contained in the document that the subjectivity of local self-government should be recognized, if possible, by the constitutions [ S. Mazur ].

Literature: European Charter of Local Self-Government and Explanatory Report, Council of Europe 2010 ■ C.M.G. Himsworth, The European Charter of Local Self-Government: A Treaty for Local Democracy, Edinburgh. 2015