Baltic conference on European Union and Local Government Evaluation Norbert Pijls 23 – 25 April, 2003 Riga, Latvia
Soup Limitations • Limited time for formulating results • Limited perspective for formulating results Expectations: • General conclusions for the Baltics • Points for further discussion
Objective 1 • Increased awareness in the Baltic States of the influence of the EU on the local level • Improved knowledge of adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire at the local level • Improved knowledge of EU Funds • Familiarity with lobbying for local governments in the EU
Objective 2 • Increased awareness of the need for local governance reform in the Baltic States • Increased awareness about need for increasing the administrative capacity of local governments • Increased responsibility of national institutions to assist local governments on the implementation of the acquis communautaire • Increased responsibility of national institutions to assist local governments in acquiring European Funds
1A: Improved knowledge of adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire General: • Distinction between direct effect and indirect effect for local governments. • Make information accessible for local governments (information centres) • Article 10: Loyal co-operation is expected • Article 226: Member state liability (this also affects local governments) • Key players and their roles • Committee of Regions is your representative player. Agree on procedures for selection of representatives of local governments
1A: Improved knowledge of adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire Procurement: • EU procurement takes place in a glass house • EU public procurement breaks the tradition of home supplier • EU public procurement leads to competition with foreign companies • Local companies will go to court if necessary • Current public procurement legislation in the Baltics is EU conform • Developing and implementing procedures at local level will take time [and not always lead to good results]
1A: Improved knowledge of adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire State aid: • State aid becomes problematic when it reduces the freedom of competition and trade between member states • Clarification is needed on state aid in relation to privatisation of public tasks • Procedures need to be developed on how to inform the EU commission on ‘local’ state aid • In case of uncertainty of possibilities of state aid notify the EU commission.
1A: Improved knowledge of adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire Water management: • Good maintenance of existing installations is a first step • EU conform water management starts with joint development of planning strategies (scale, legislation, institution building and economy [cost recovery]) • National governments give no priority to water management (nor in legal nor in financial terms). Local government should put it on the agenda
1A: Improved knowledge of adoption and implementation of the acquis communautaire Social Affairs and employment: • Policies for social affairs and unemployment are unified by a bottom up approach: open co-ordination method • Open co-ordination stimulates learning from other countries • Develop capacity at local level for statistical analyses • Important problems in EU member states are mismatch of demand and supply in the labour market and insufficient co-operation between stakeholders to overcome this gap • Reintegration is more difficult in the case of long term unemployed, low education, alcoholism and an aging population.
1B: Improved knowledge of EU Funds • Pre accession funds • Information on PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD widely available • Absorption capacity seems to be sufficient. • There is however: • A lack of good proposals • A lack of project management skills at local level • A lack of small local governments working together to achieve funds • A lack of familiarity with outsourcing • Competition within and between countries • The principle of jealousy
1B: Improved knowledge of EU Funds • Structural funds • Information on ERDF, ESF, EAGGF and FIFG not yet widely available • Project Proposal Facilities are being made available for local governments • The role for local governments: • Project identification • Project development • Partnership building • Project management and monitoring • Co-funding, payments and financial control • Local governments need logical framework trainings
1C: Familiarity with lobbying for local governments in the EU • Lobbying is the exchange of information • Lobbying is based on a network of changing coalitions that try to exercise influence • Lobbying is 80% homework and 20% meetings • Effective and efficient lobbying for local governments needs close co-operation (between local governments and between local government associations) • Next step: representative office for the Baltic States in Brussels?
2A: Increased awareness about need for increasing the administrative capacity of local governments • Administrative capacity is considered insufficientby local governments in all Baltic States • Lack of local expertise on legal EU issues • Support from political and management layers is prerequisite for change • Supply and demand of training needs to be fine-tuned through co-operation between Training Centres and Local Government Associations • Stimulate amalgamation in Latvia and Estonia
2B: Increased responsibility of national institutions to assist local governments on the implementation of the acquis comm. • In all Baltic States local governments need more assistance of central government • Associations fulfil a central role in opening communication channels • Loc. Gov. EU Information desks at national level • Provision and pre-selection of information • Assistance to local governments with advice • Answering questions • Maintain and broaden network of expertise
2C: Increased responsibility of national institutions to assist local governments in acquiring European Funds • National government is aware of need for assistance but needs information for defining role of local governments • Local governance should be mentioned as key issue in National Programming Document and Single Programming Documents • Local governments associations should lobby for both • Timely preparations of projects for local governments needs timely information from central government on programme requirements and deadlines • Co-operation between national and local governments is needed to find sufficient sources for co-financing • Establish a national EU information centre for local governments that provides info. on EU funds