Foundation for Local Government Reform
Good Governance
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“Democratic societies are based on trust. Without the trust of its citizens the institutions of a democratic society do not function well, and the ability to maintain stability, grow and prosper is seriously impaired. The services provided at the municipal level, and the authority exercised there, are people’s most immediate contact with public institutions. I would argue that it is there that the battle for trust us won or lost.

It is therefore a great pleasure to participate this Round Table that marks the end of a project designed to raise awareness of the 12 good governance principles formulated and adopted by the European States and the Council Of Europe in Valencia in 2007.

To me, these 12 principles represent key objectives for government at any level, but particularly at local level, which bears the responsibility if being the face of government in the eyes of ordinary citizens.”

With these words H. E. Mr. Paul Beijer, Ambassador of Sweden in Bulgaria, his country presiding the European Union, July - December 2009, addressed the participants of the National Round Table dedicated to the topic ‘Good Governance Principles at Local Level – Practices and Recommendations’, 25 September 2009, Sofia.

Ms. Zinaida Zlatanova, Head of Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, and Mr. Andrey Kovatchev, president of the Bulgarian delegation into the Group of the European People's Party in the European Parliament and member of the Committee on Regional Development of the European Parliament, also addressed the forum.

Mr. Ginyo Ganev, National Ombudsman, held the key presentation at the Round Table. In his speech the National Ombudsman stressed that decentralization is a main tool in achieving the Europe of regions and the good governance principles application at local level guarantees the building of new relations between local governments and the citizens.

Ms. Maria Dimitrova, Head of the Managing authority of the Operational program ‘Administrative Capacity’, shared the experience in good governance attainment through projects carried out under the program.

The second part of the forum was dedicated to the practices and recommendations in the field of good governance principles application at local level.

Ms. Ani Nedkova, European Institute, presented European practices in the field, namely practices from France.

Mr. Hakif Emin, Local Ombudsman in the Municipality of Kardzhali, presented the experience of the municipality in participatory self-assessment in application of the 12 good governance principles through a methodology, developed by the FLGR team in the summer of 2009 and commissioned by the National Ombudsman.

The Round Table was completed with a discussion on recommendations towards local governments in deepening of good governance principles application.

80 participants from more than 30 towns in Bulgaria - representatives of central government local governments, municipal experts, local NGOs, educational and community centers, and media took part in the forum. They highly appraised the Round Table:

Angel Angelov, ADIG Foundation: “I would like to thank you for the possibility to participate the Round Table. The organization was of a very high level and the presenters were remarkably competent. For me it was a school in local governance.”

Nadezhda Doneva, City of Dryanovo: “Thank you for the invitation to take part in the National Round Table on good governance, held on 25 September, 2009. It was very valuable and fruitful. The working materials are extremely practically oriented.”

The National Round Table ‘Good Governance Principles at Local Level – Practices and Recommendations’ was part of the project ‘The Good Governance Principles: Bridging Citizens and Governments’, financially supported by GMF/ The Balkan Trust for Democracy/ Bulgaria Fund.

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