PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Stefan Buontempo addresses the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on Strengthening Local Government

Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Stefan Buontempo addressed the 32nd Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Strasbourg, France. This session reviewed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government by the 47 member states through a comparative analysis of its implementation and a report on the recurring issues identified in assessments following Congress monitoring and election observation missions.

‘My Government is firmly committed to improving the level of local democracy in Malta and we have embarked on several initiatives,’ said Stefan Buontempo, who went on to explain certain measures taken on board, such as the setting up of a Local Government Good Governance Working Group, training for local government officials, a substantial increase in this year’s financial allocation to local councils amounting to Euros 4 million, and assistance provided to councils that ended the last financial year with a deficit in their working capital, with a view to devising and implementing a feasible financial plan to balance their accounts. Furthermore, Parliamentary Secretary Buontempo referred to the Electoral Manifesto (Local Government), where 92% of 30 measures have already been implemented.

The Parliamentary Secretariat for Local Government is constantly consulting and exchanging views with other institutions that operate in the field of local government, such as the Committee of the Regions, the Centre of Expertise of the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, and the Congress of Local and Regional Activities. Thus, Stefan Buontempo welcomed the invitation from the Congress for open dialogue with a view to improving the level of local democracy.

Other guest speakers included the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, the Minister of Public Administration of Estonia, the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister of Portugal, the State Secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Public Reforms of Finland, and the Secretary of the Council of Europe.

Source: Government of Malta