The direct involvement of people in how money is spent in their communities improves efficiency and reduces costs. If within the European economy a balance is called for between austerity and growth, not least should such economic measures apply at local levels.
The Council of Europe supports direct citizen participation and people’s responsibility for their local communities (Res. 1874 (2012) on the promotion of active citizenship in Europe). It also encourages best practice in its 47 member States and their towns and regions particularly through initiatives promoted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. And through its own improved co-ordination, the Council of Europe is already taking steps to assist delivery of local democracy (Outlook to the Future, Report to the Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government in agreement with the Congress).
The Council of Europe’s support for enhanced local democracy accords with the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the “Twelve Principles of Good Governance at Local Level”.
In Europe, the stronger democracy becomes at local levels, the more its citizens will regain confidence in national and international democracy.
Therefore, to achieve this aim, the Parliamentary Assembly calls on all parties to work together to strengthen local democracy in Europe.