Stavanger, Time, Lillesand and Bærum Municipalities have been awarded the Council of Europe distinction for innovation, good governance and local democracy. «The four municipalities do a good job and deserve the accolade,» says Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Liv Signe Navarsete.
The Minister herself participated in the presentation of the awards at the mayor conference in Oslo on 23 May.
«The four municipalities have much to teach others in different areas. I want to congratulate Time, Stavanger, Bærum and Lillesand with the coveted award and extend my best wishes for their continued success,» says Navarsete.
Stavanger received high marks for its extensive work on inclusion and diversity. Time's strength is particularly related to openness and good public access to information. Lillesand's main strength is related to innovation and the municipality’s openness to change. Bærum is an efficient municipality and will have much to teach other municipalities about the provision of efficient and effective services.
The municipalities themselves, citizens and experts assessed the local democracy and governance situation in the four municipalities.
The municipalities have been tested according to the twelve principles of the Council of Europe’s Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level. These principles include, among other things, whether the municipality facilitates fair elections, representation and participation, whether the municipality is run efficiently, whether ethical conduct is safeguarded, whether the municipality embraces innovation and openness to change and whether the municipality supports and works for human rights, cultural diversity and social cohesion. The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities are working together to implement the strategy in Norway.
While the municipalities scored differently on the various principles and show different strengths, all four achieved such high scores on all the principles that they qualified for the award.
Together with Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, Norway has been a pilot country in the implementation of the strategy. We are the second country to award the prize.
«This is a new instrument. By measuring themselves against the twelve principles for good local democratic governance municipalities can identify their strengths and weaknesses. This will contribute to the development of local democracy in each municipality, which will benefit citizens and could also be an inspiration for other municipalities,» says Navarsete.
The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development’s media line: +47 22 24 25 00