Belarus looks to improve local governance

Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko has said that he wants to develop the country’s local governance structure and has “instructed” the Belarusian parliament to adopt a law to expand the power of local governments, Belarusian state news agency Belta reports.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Anders Knape, the Belarusian head of state also expressed his hope of an improvement in relations with Europe’s leading local government human rights organisation, pledging that Belarus “will make progress towards greater autonomy of local authorities”.

“Belarus could use many of your best practices. I think that close contacts between local authorities and corresponding agencies of the European Union would be an efficient tool in the fulfillment of these plans,” Mr Lukashenko told the CoE Congress President on April 29.

Welcoming the Belarusian interest in improving local governance, Mr Knape stressed that the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities stands ready to support possible reforms. “Belarus has always been and still is of interest for the Council of Europe and our congress in terms of cooperation,” he said.