EUR 2.3 Million Project Launched to Help Local Governments Deliver Better Services

Jul 27, 2017

Today a new project entitled “Improving Municipal Governance” was launched in Skopje by Minister of Local Self-Government Suhejl Fazliu, Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski, European Union Ambassador Samuel Zbogar and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Louisa Vinton.

The total value of the project is EUR 2.3 million and it is funded by the European Union. The project will be implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Local Self-Government, the Ministry of Finance and local governments over the next 30 months.

“The European Union is continuously assisting the country to build a better future for its citizens. This project will help municipal governments to deliver high-quality public services to its citizens and thus improve people's lives” said Ambassador Žbogar.

The decentralization process that started in 2001 has devolved a wide range of responsibilities from central to local governments. However, many municipalities still struggle to provide adequate services to their constituents. These shortcomings are particularly severe in smaller, rural and remote municipalities, which need assistance in designing and funding services to address the needs of specific groups, particularly women, minorities and vulnerable or marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities.

The project comprises three inter-related components:

1) Improving the monitoring, design and provision of already decentralized services;

2) Helping municipalities undertake new services in line with inclusive local development plans; and

3) Ensuring that municipalities can secure sufficient revenues to deliver all necessary public services.

The project will also provide up to EUR 25,000 in funding to some 30 municipalities to help them address priority needs, particularly for vulnerable groups, with the aim of ensuring better living standards for all.

“The local self-government system requires systematic support. Existing weaknesses in implementation need to be identified and new measures need to be proposed based on an established monitoring and analysis system. The monitoring of the functionality of the local self-government is a responsibility of the Ministry of Self-Government and our main objective is to help the municipalities meet the needs of the citizens and offer quality, efficient and transparent services”, said Local Self-Government Minister, Suhejl Fazliu.

“I believe that this project will offer an exceptional opportunity for all participants to regularly exchange opinions on fiscal decentralization processes. I also believe that we will improve the financial work of the municipalities as well as their transparency. In the forthcoming period, we will continue to implement all activities as planned, in order to improve the administrative and financial capacity of the municipalities. All of this will result in the efficient collection of revenues and a more transparent, more responsible and more effective delivery of local services to citizens”, stated Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski.

“Decentralization helps to underpin democracy by giving people a greater say in decisions that affect them, especially in areas of everyday concern such as education, healthcare, culture and recreation,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “We are delighted to have this new opportunity to support our local and national partners in ensuring that all municipalities have sufficient funds, skills and legal authority to fulfil the expanded responsibilities to residents that come with decentralization.”

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