Improving the quality of municipal service by the example of administrative reforms in the UK and Sweden
This chapter presents papers by the participants of the working group “Local Governance and Local Democracy”. Oxana Chernenko, Ass. Prof. of HSE, and Susan Guerra, Municipality of Oslo, Unit for Sustainability, were the academic supervisors of this group, Chuck Hirt, Council of Europe, expert, head of Citizens Network.
The group worked on the following research problems. According to the
European Charter of Local Self-Government (1985), “Local self-government denotes the right and the ability of local authorities, within the limits of the law, to regulate and manage a substantial share of public affairs under their own responsibility and in the interests of the local population”. To what extent does practice of municipal governance in the Russian Federation give us justification of this phenomenon?
Almost everywhere in theRussian Federation municipal management is not based on local self-government. The process of transferring management functions to local communities level is not developing but rather declining. The signs of interaction of local self-governance with municipal management can only be seen in rural settlements and towns. They are weak in city settlements, despite of the favorable local environment, and are not shown in any way at the municipal areas level where bodies of municipal management associate themselves with the government, and this
aspiration is supported by the regional level of the state government(power). The institute of local authorities institute is different by nature, which causes constantly arising problems with the explanation, and furthermore, with prediction local selfgovernance trends. Absence of a developed methodology does not allow to provide standard consistent recommendations about the structure of municipal authority. The
object of research is still “too young” (despite the deep tradition of self-governance in Russia, not only in rural communities, but also in towns) and still very much dependent on the local social and administrative features, as well as on the territorial and spatial features of the country.
The aim of this project was to study and analyze models of self -governance at the level of local communities through cross-country comparison (especially from a legal perspective) and to see how the European experience can be implemented in Russia.
These issues are discussed in the participants’ papers, including “Reputationbased governance and making states ‘legible’ to their citizens” by Lucio Picci, “Improving the quality of municipal service: cases on administrative reforms in the UK and Sweden” by Julia Minaeva, and “Local Governance in Scandinavian countries: is there a Common Model?” by Svetlana Tokunova.