Sempre più acceso il dibattito in Serbia sulle autonomie locali. Vengono riconosciuti al Governo gli sforzi verso l'approvazione di una nuova legge in questo campo ma le municipalità denunciano che fino ad ora tutto rischia di rimanere come prima.
In Serbia non è stata ancora approvata una nuova legge che regoli i rapporti tra Stato ed istituzioni locali. Il dibattito è comunque acceso. Abbiamo la Vojvodina, che ha goduto di forte autonomia, poi revocata nell'era Milosevic, che rivendica il diritto all'autogoverno anche con i gesti clamorosi e polemici di Nenad Canak, Presidente del parlamento regionale. Poi vi è la presa di posizione di molte municipalità, in particolare nel centro-sud della Serbia, a favore di una riforma in chiave regionalista. Ma anche la società civile non è estranea, è anzi vero il contrario, ai dibattiti sull'autogoverno locale.
Il Governo ha iniziato a lavorare su queste tematiche ed ha preparato una prima proposta di legge. Borislava Kruska, Sindaco di Pancevo, fortemente attiva su tematiche ambientali, l'ha recentemente commentata per il quotidiano Danas, affermando che le proposte del Governo non sono accettabili. "Nonostante si sia previsto l'inalzamento dal 5 all'8% della percentuale di risorse che dovrebbero rientrare ad ogni municipalità dalle casse statali, questo provvedimento non è certo sufficiente. Senza una vera e seria decentralizzazione fiscale non ci saranno le condizioni per uno sviluppo delle realtà locali" ha sottolineato. "Mi aspetto inoltre che la questione ambientale venga inserita nel disegno di legge in questione" ha aggiunto Borislava Kruska, "ed invito il Governo serbo, il Ministro della Giustizia ed i governi locali ad operarsi affinchè ciò avvenga".
Ada Sostaric, corrispondente da Belgrado per conto dell'Osservatorio, ha intervistato per noi Miljan Medenica, portavoce del presidente dell'assemblea della città di Belgrado, per capire come i rappresentanti della realtà locali della Serbia si stiano muovendo in questo contesto di transizione da uno Stato centralista ad uno forse regionalizzato. Quali i problemi, quali le risorse, quale il ruolo degli enti locali nella Serbia dei prossimi anni.L'intervista è redatta in lingua inglese.
Intervista a Miljan Medenica,portavoce del presidente dell'Assemblea della città di Belgrado
When describing the situation of the local government not too many things have changed in the period from October 5 last year onwards. Actually no new laws have emerged. It would be of great importance that the new law on local government is passed, which will provide more decision-making power for people employed in this sector.
The old law does not give any kind of real power to the mayor. The only function the mayor actually has is representing the city in public, and promoting the activities of the city. The function of the Mayor of Belgrade, Mrs. Radmila Hrustanovic is to lead the assembly of the city. Actually the real job of Mrs. Hrustanovic is president of the city assembly, while the title "Mayor" is just a formality. Therefore, her main function is to lead the assembly once every two months, explained Medenica.
Among other things the new law is necessary in order to regulate the status of the person leading one town/municipality. Medenica stressed that it is expected that the new law on local governance will proscribe for each town/municipality the eligibility to directly elect its president of the city assembly, i.e. mayor. At the moment, one can still find circumstances in which the mayor is being elected from a group of committee members in the assembly. The assembly is voting for the members of the executive board and its president, and these two are actually the main actors in decision-making, related to the policy of one city/municipality. The executive board of one city is, therefore, the body responsible for any kind of decisions on the municipality level. This body of representatives makes decisions, such as on the amount of the budget per year, on the plan of the development of one city, etc. On the other hand, the mayor does not formally participate in this kind of decision- making.
Nevertheless, the public is the one branding the role of the mayor as being very important. However this is again a mystification in comparison to what the powers of the mayor actually are. Medenica commented that the impact a mayor has, as a person of integrity, reflects the impact he or she will have in the assembly of the city, because the powers of the mayor proscribed by the law are in reality limited. Therefore the real power of the Mayor varies from situation to situation.
When answering the question of whether something has improved in the local government since October 5th of last year, Medenica stressed that the most important thing that happened is the fact that the new government is preparing this draft law on local governance. "They see that something is wrong and that it needs to be resolved. The way of thinking changed and that is a crucial moment for improvement", said Medenica.
In describing the current situation, Medenica gave the example of Belgrade's 16 municipalities all under the rule of the city assembly of Belgrade. Those municipalities have only a few powers and all other important decisions are voted on and made somewhere else. Because of this, it is of outmost importance, said Medenica, for city of Belgrade to be discharged of some of the authority it possesses now in order to function more efficiently. At the same time, in doing this, the municipalities would receive a more important role.
Another problem is one of limited budgets. The money from one Belgrade municipality is still controlled by the city, which may use this money to give to another municipality.
Therefore, the new law will probably sanction this, by strictly defining the power of each of the municipalities.
A good example of the way ground is being made for the implementation of the changes in all segments of Serbian society, Medenica mentioned, besides the changes in the way of thinking, is the transparency in various business transactions, which was not the case in the past decade. For each transaction, public announcements precede them. Therefore, anyone who is interested may participate, and everyone is able to see how the process of transactions functions. "That was not the case during the rule of the previous regime", commented Medenica.
Medenica said that the new government is also trying to eradicate the various types of mechanisms that emerged during the last decade. He used the example of the containers (for rubbish), pointing out that during the rule of the Serbian Movement of Renewal (SPO) on the local government in Belgrade, the price of the container was DEM712, while now it costs DEM 400.
Medenica concluded that today in comparison to the previous regime, the work of the city government is much more transparent than it used to be. All the relevant information about what is happening at each moment in the town is available to the public. Anyone may be informed about what the current events, plans, projects, etc. are. Mystery is no longer present, and people are not just supposing or guessing about what is happening "inside the gates of the castle", because they have a chance to know. .
Still we have to wait for the implementation of the new law on the local government. .
Minister of justice and local government, Vladan Batic stated that new law on local government in Serbia will bring many innovations among which are: the joining of the civil and public sector at the local level, various types of protection of rights by local government, a new type of relationship between the state organs, and the financing of municipal bodies. Batic concluded that the new structural model of local government focuses on power sharing and a strong president, mayor, of each municipality who will be directly elected. .
The best example to describe the situation at the moment would be to remind oneself that some time ago a mayor of one large municipality, when asked to describe the situation in the local government, said sarcastically that local government has no important role in any kind of decision- making, and has no budgets and funds. Consequently, he concluded our decisions are based on from which side of the street are we going to start cleaning the city. .