RIGA - The Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has decided to make a fact-finding visit to Latvia, following the letter of the Latvian Association of Local Governments (LPS) concerning the territorial reform in Latvia and possible breaches of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, LETA learned from LPS.
During the Monitoring Committee meeting in Strassbourg this week, LPS chairman Gints Kaminskis (Latvian Greens Party) reported on the progress of the territorial reform and alleged breaches of the Charter.
Accoridng to LPS, the Monitoring Committee chairman Leendert Verbeek informed that a visit of the delegation to Latvia will be organized in early December. Also, the Congress will send a letter to Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development), asking for explanations to the concerns raised in the letter.
Kaminskis reminded that the Charter provided for the rights of the local communities or the society to decide on the borders of their territories. People in regions and the state have the rights to voice their opinions and these opinions should be taken into consideration. "In relation to the territorial reform in Latvia, the situation is completely different - the ministry's consultations with residents are formal and do not provide answers to their questions," said Kaminskis.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is an institution of the Council of Europe, responsible for strengthening local and regional democracy in its 47 member states and assessing the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. As the voice of Europe’s municipalities and regions, it works to foster consultation and political dialogue between national governments and local and regional authorities, through cooperation with the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.