Presentation on theme: "Local Government in Estonia Rodolphe Laffranque. Estonia in brief Area : 45,227 sq/m Population : 1,347 million inhabitants including : -69 % in urban."— Presentation transcript:
Estonia in brief Area : 45,227 sq/m Population : 1,347 million inhabitants including : -69 % in urban areas -31 % in rural areas Density : 31 inhab/sqm Capital-city : Tallinn
Main dates to remember 24 th February, 1918: Declaration of independence of Estonia and establishment of the Republic of Estonia. 15th June, 1920: Adoption of the first Estonian constitution. 17th June, 1940: Occupation of Estonia by the Soviet Union. End of the first period of Estonian independence. 3rd March, 1991: Referendum on independence. 20 th August, 1991: Restoration of the Republic of Estonia. 28 th June, 1992: Referendum on the adoption of the constitution. 29 th March, 2004: Estonia is incorporated into NATO. 1st May, 2004: Estonia joins the EU.
Territorial Structure Estonia is a unitary state and is divided into : 15 regions (maakonnad) = central government field offices 227 local authorities (kohalikud omavalitsused) = local government -33 cities (linnad) -194 rural communes (vallad)
Institutional Structure at the national level President of the Republic Head of state, 5year-mandate Elected by RiigikoguRiigikogu Unicameral parliament 101 MPs directly elected for 4years Judicial system State Court (19 juges) Supreme and constitutional court District Court court of appeal County courts administrative tribunals County courts and administrative tribunals The Government Prime Minister (named by the President ) and Ministers The Government is appointed by the President after a vote for nomination by Parliament Law Chancelor Ombudsmann and responsible for constitutionality of acts of parliament and treaties and of legality of all the law Office of State Controls run by the State Controller; in charge of financial and budgetary control over public administration Executive BodiesLegislative BodyJudiciary and Comptrolling Bodies
Central Government Regional Offices Regions are not autonomous public authorities They are regional offices (maavalitsused) lead by regional governors Every governor (maavanem) represents the Government in the region. He/She is appointed for 5 years by the Cabinet following a proposal issued by the Prime Minister His/her fields of responsibilities are : -Environment protection policy -Spatial planning and economic development -Co-ordination of services in case of emergency crisis -Control over individual decisions made by local authorities
Local Government Structure Since 1992, Estonia has only have one sole tier of local government : the communes
Local self-government in Estonia The legal basis of local government The structure of local government The control over decisions made by local authorities Local councils’ responsibilities Local councils’ resources
The legal basis of local self-government (1) The Constitution was voted on 28th June, 1992 -Chapter XIV determines the rules applicable to local authorities and their operation. - Article 154 recognises the principle of local self-government: “All local issues shall be resolved and managed by local authorities, which shall operate independently pursuant to law“ The European Charter of Local Self-Government was ratified by Estonia on 28 September, 1994
The legal basis for local self-government (2) Local Government Act (2 June,1993): determines the organisation of local authorities Territory of Estonia Administrative Division Act (February 22, 1995) : determines the division of the territory of Estonia into counties, cities and rural municipalities Act (16 June, 1993) on Budgets for rural communes and cities Act (16 September, 2010) on the financial management of local councils (to susbtitute for Local Taxation Act to be abolished by 1st July 2012) Act (27 March, 2002) on local elections Act (28 June, 2004) aiming at amalgamation of local authorities.
Communes as self-governed authorities (1) Constitution, Article 155 « Local authorities are rural communes and cities. Other local authorities can be created according to the law» Up to-day Parliament has created no new local authority
Communes as self-governed authorities (2) 227 communes : 33 cities and 194 rural communes. They all have the same legal status. Only 5 communes are over 40,000 inhabitants Average population : 5,600 inhabitants. 50% of communes have a population of under 2,000 inhabitants.
The three biggest Estonian cities Tallinn (400,394 inhab.) Tartu (101,169 inhab.) Narva (68,680 inhab.)
Local governement organisation Every local authority is made up of a local council and an executive body as the communal administration. In cities the local council is called linnavolikogu and the local executive body linnavalitsus. In rural communes, the local council is called vallavolikogu and the executive body vallavalitsus.
The local council The local council is the deliberative body for the commune. It is directly elected for a 4 year-mandate.. The number of councillors depends on the size of the local authority : 79 in Tallinn City Council, 49 in Tartu and 7 (legally the smallest number) for Ruhnu commune. The council elects its president.
The Right to vote at local elections Estonian citizens of 18 years or more who permanently live within the borders of the related commune ; EU member-state citizens of over 18 who permanently live in the related commune ; Foreigners (non EU citizens) of over 18 who permanently live in the related commune and have been granted a long term or permanent residence permit.
The local executive body The “municipal government“ (linnavalitsus / vallavalitsus) is the executive body of the local authority. The mayor is at the head of the executive body authority (linnapea in cities and vallavanem in rural communes). -is elected for a four-year mandate by the local council -is in charge of the mayor’s traditional duties The members of the governing body have to be confirmed to office by the local council
Organisation of districts within communes Any commune is entitled to devide its area into districts called linnaosa in cities and osavald in rural communes This is the case for 2 cities : Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve ; and 2 rural communes : Vinni and Väike-Maarja. Each district must set up its own executive body (a district governing body and a district mayor). Communes can freely create other bodies in the districts. In Tallinn they have created an ‘administrative assembly’ (halduskogu, an equivalent to neighbourhood committees, ‘conseils de quartier’)
Control over decisions made by local authorities Local councils’ decisions are under external and permanent control by central government Control is implemented by –the regional governors (maavanemad), –the Office for State control (Riigikontroll) and –the Law Chancelor (õiguskantsler).
Local councils’ responsibilities Education : building, maintaining and management of nursery, primary and secondary schools. Since 2001 communes have payed for teachers on behalf of central government Social Assistance : to elderly and hadicaped people, … Health Culture, management of leisure and sports facilities Garbage collection and waste management Drinking water distribution and sewer system Roads and public parks maintainance Transport Housing Town-planning
Local councils’ resources Every local council has its own resources to enact its policies : human resources financial resources
Human Resources Local Government Staff Act (25 January,1995) 3 categories of members of staff : -Permanent staff (ametnikud), -Subsidiary staff (abiteenistujad) et -Contracted-out staff (koosseisuvälised teenistujad). Total number of local government staff : 68,754 members, 49% of all public sector employment in Estonia (141,164 jobs) (in 2009) 5,325 members of local government staff were permanently employed (in 2009).