Experience of Slovakia: open lesson for strengthening the CLPA capacity in local finance

During two days, the 19th and 20th of October, the members of CLPA (The Congress of Local Public Authorities) had the opportunity to learn from the experience of Slovakia in the field of local finance.

How did the mayors of Slovakia succeed in obtaining clear instruments of tax base strengthening and how did they represent their ideas so as to benefit from clear financial instruments free from misunderstandings and in the interest of the communities and to what extent the used tactics can be applied in the Republic of Moldova? These are cardinal questions to which there were identified answers in the framework of a genuine exchange of experience between the representatives of LPA Association from Slovakia (ZMOS) and CLPA members.

In the first day of experience exchange, the CLPA experts as well as the Moldovan mayors introduced the guests into the peculiarities of the LPA activities and the main directions targeted by CLPA, which is a representative association of the LPAs from the Republic of Moldova. Subsequently, there was organized a meeting that highlighted the most important issues and challenges of LPAs in the context of the current socio-political situation. Thus, there were raised and discussed various issues, particularly those related to the local public finance system, the decision-making process at the level of associations, services provided to members in the field of local public finance, performance-based budgeting at the local level, etc.

The Executive Director of CLPA, Viorel Furdui, said: “Why Slovakia? Because Slovakia is a country that is comparable to the Republic of Moldova – by size, by population, and also, to a certain extent, by the similar past. We had, practically, the same starting point, but the Slovaks are many steps ahead us in terms of implementation of reforms in LPA. In addition, we have to admit that there is an excellent understanding at the human level. This aspect has been noted during the mutual visits made by the Moldovan and Slovakian mayors. Although we speak different languages and the local public administration system is on a different level of development, there is a certain compatibility and a sincere openness which we have to make use of and that could help us advance on the way of reforms.”

Later, a session of questions and answers followed, and the mayors who were present at the meeting were eager to know how the Slovakian LPAs managed to strengthen their capacity and what steps were taken for obtaining the decisional and financial autonomy which is a golden dream of any mayor. The informal communication was a real plus of the meeting, resulting in the identification of new priorities for CLPA which will certainly crystallize into concrete proposals addressed to the central authorities.

The project “Strengthening the CLPA capacity in public finance” is implemented by the Congress of Local Authorities from Republic of Moldova in partnership with the Association of Local Authorities from Slovakia (ZMOS) and the Association of financial officers of the Local Public Administration from Slovakia (AKE SR) and is funded by the Regional UNDP Office for Europe and CIS countries. Project duration is: September 2015-October 2016. Read more in attached Press release (in English).