Strengthening control over the authorities through a network of civic representation
The creation of an effective deliberative and consultative body attached to the Chernihiv Regional Council will provide the spur to greater activity of civic organizations in the region and an improvement of relations between members of the public and the authorities. This was one of the conclusions reached during a roundtable on 19 September organized at the initiative of the civic network “OPORA” [“Support”] on “Civic activity in the Chernihiv region”
The roundtable took place as part of the project “Control over the authorities through a network of civic representation in the Chernihiv region” which is presently being carried out by the Chernihiv civic organization “ARMADA” under the auspices of “OPORA”, with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy [NED]. The project is aimed at teaching members of the public how to stand up for their rights and interests in their relations with the authorities and bodies of local self-government, and to also encourage civic organizations in district centres to study, bring to the attention of the authorities and to help to resolve citizens problems.
The roundtable was attended by representatives of the Chernihiv Regional State Administration and the City Council, the district administrations, as well as representatives of civic organizations in Chernihiv, Horodnya, Shchors and Prypuk.
Having analyzed the present situation with the civic movement in the region, the participants agreed that there was a lot of scope for improvement. Existing regional civic organizations in the Chernihiv region concentrate their activities in the main in the regional centre.
The work which is carried out in the regions remains unsatisfactory, and members of the public are typically passive in public life and little able to defend their interests. A number of steps are needed at state level in order to develop civic activity and various civic initiatives and to create the conditions for real public participation in state matters. It was with this aim that “OPORA” was one of the initiators of a “Doctrine for the development of the public sector”.
Possible mechanisms for making members of the public and improving relations with the authorities which can be introduced by civic organizations were the basis of an appeal signed during the roundtable to the Head of the Chernihiv Regional Council Nataliya Romanova. The appeal containined the suggestions to create a deliberative and consultative body attached to the Chernihiv Regional Council which would include authoritative civic leaders of the region, representatives of political parties not elected to the regional council, the local intelligentsia and other interested individuals. The appeal also proposes that the regional council begin financing projects of civic organizations working in the area.
Tetyana Pekur, Viacheslav Kuzmenko, “OPORA”