Latvia/ Latvian presidency focuses on good democratic governance: international conference and round table on ELoGE in Riga
Promoting good democratic governance is one of the priorities of the Latvian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (May 17-November 15, 2023).
The Council of Europe's Centre of Expertise for Good Governance (CEGG) is helping the Latvian authorities to ensure good democratic governance. To achieve this goal, in cooperation with a leading Latvian think-tank, Providus, the CEGG has contributed to the implementation of the European Label of Excellence in Governance (ELoGE) project. (ELoGE) project, which includes assessments of participating municipalities against a national good governance benchmark, offering them a remarkable opportunity for learning and improvement. Local authorities that have demonstrated their compliance with the 12 Principles of Good Democratic Governance will receive the Label at a final ELoGE ceremony.
In this context, the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, in cooperation with the Center of Expertise and Providus, organized an International Conference on Good Governance at Local Level, which took place on May 26, 2023 in Riga. The Conference was organized under the auspices of the Latvian Presidency together with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and brought together some one hundred participants - stakeholders in Latvia's local governance apparatus, such as the Ministry of Local Government, local authorities, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Regional Development.re, local authorities, the Rights Defender, the National Audit Office, other state institutions, NGOs, as well as representatives of foreign authorities responsible for local governance policies. The Conference included three discussions with experts from the Council of Europe, addressing some of the most relevant challenges for local democracy in Latvia, such as the issue of supervision of local authorities and strategic municipal planning. The final part of the Conference was devoted to the results of ELoGE implementation in Latvia, where Minister Māris Sprindžuks awarded the Label in the form of a crystal dodecahedron to 5 municipalities. Lessons learned from the Conference included a commitment to further investment in good democratic local governance, including through the exchange of European best practice.
Prior to the Conference, on May 25, 2023, the Expertise Center in cooperation with Providus organized a roundtable on national ELoGE practices at which Latvian practitioners were joined by peers from Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Northern Macedonia, Estonia and Norway. Participants exchanged lessons learned from their respective ELoGE programs and commented on how the tool could be improved. Other countries interested in implementing ELoGE had the opportunity to learn more about the tool. In addition to the peer-to-peer discussion, representatives from the supervisory ministries of several countries expressed their interest in strengthening cooperation with the support of the Center of Expertise.