In Belarus, centralized control system deprives local authorities and citizens of the possibility and desire to take the initiative.
This opinion shared in the talk with the EuroBelarus Information Service the chairman of the Enlightenment Public Association “Lew Sapieha Foundation” Miraslau Kobasa when summing up the results of the work for this year.
- We were working in two directions. The first is the promotion of local self-government, and the second is aiding local NGO’s in organizational development, - tells Miraslau Kobasa. – As to the first direction, we finished working on development concept of local self-government, created road map of development of a self-government system and developed a project of a new administrative and territorial division that provides for the switch to the two-level system of local government.
- Whereas in other countries it is governmental structures and research institutes that are involved in conceptual design, we do it without outside help, and that requires much more time. Next year we are planning to continue working on separate elements of the concept of local self-government reforming, i.e. analyze the financial provision of administrative-territorial units within the two-level system of local government.
- Several years ago we were talking about the inevitable change of the existing administrative and territorial division, - recalls the head of the organization. – The authorities do not agree with such approach, but economic situation makes them introduce changes. Thus, during 2013 the number of administrative and territorial units was considerably reduced.
According to the chairman of the Enlightenment Public Association “Lew Sapieha Foundation”, all sorts of consultations for the public organizations, citizens and local authorities, seminars and conferences were of importance this year. The organization also continued its publishing activities; this year a bulletin on local self-government and six brochures were issued.
Miraslau Kobasa noted that for now the association hasn’t reached proper level of understanding with the authorities; so it will continue working on developing cooperation and dialog in the future. Cooperation with the local authorities in strengthening the role of the village headmen is one of the directions in which this work should be carried out, believes the expert.
- Of course, we understand that we only fill in holes, not solve problems. To improve the situation in general we need real reforms, and the introduction of self-government is one of them, - sums up the chairman of the Lew Sapieha Foundation. - In Belarus, centralized control system provides for total control of the authorities and society, but makes the creation of democratic social constitutional state impossible.