Assembly members as representatives of the people
Members of the municipal assembly are the elected representatives of the people and are mandated as elected representatives to make decisions on behalf of their constituents. This idea is based on the principles of a representative democracy with the idea that people delegate their voice to a person of their choice, so that he/she can present their needs in the decision-making processes.
Members of the municipal assembly shall perform their duties in a transparent and accountable manner. Every action on their part must be open to the public so that the public or political entity to which this member belongs, is able to hold him/her to account if they feel that their interests are not being properly represented.
Their actions must be visible to the public so that the public (or the political entity to which this member belongs) is able to challenge them when they feel that their interests are not being adequately represented. In order to be aware of the work of their representatives, Article 45.1 of the LLSG states that meetings of the municipal assembly and all its committees are open to public.
Assembly members as facilitators for the community to contribute
Members of the assembly are expected to be in close contacts with citizens they represent, while they are obliged to raise in the assembly all the needs and requests of residents within the municipality. The right of participation to democratically influence decisions of public bodies is a constitutional category, while there is a special chapter on this in the LLSG.
A participatory democracy is the one where citizens have the right not only to elect their representatives, but also to actively participate in the decision-making of the government on constant basis.
Citizens do not vote in the assembly, but they may influence their electives to represent their views on any topics that affect them, while members of the municipal assembly should always be open to this contribution.
Assembly members as a bridge between municipal assembly and the community
The municipal assembly shall, at all times, take decisions that affect the life of the citizen, either by adopting different plans or by approving specific projects. Therefore, the municipality should publish these activities and distribute them to the public in order to increase transparency and promote public participation in the decision-making. The Administrative Instruction on Transparency in Municipalities states that all decisions, meetings, etc., are are made public through public announcements in the most frequented places, on electronic and print media, as well as on the electronic website of the municipality and on the social networks. The work of municipalities is a matter of public interest, and consequently members of the assembly should look at relevant communication strategies of the respective municipalities in order to get familiar with the communication mode of their municipality.
Assembly members vote for adoption of assembly decisions
Assembly members shall have the responsibility to make important decisions through their vote in the assembly on issues such as statutes, regulations, and budget. Assembly members need to be informed about the content of each issue they are voting on, as they have the opportunity to confront their opinions throughout the discussion at the municipal assembly meeting, and consequently to influence the entire decision-making process in order to maximize representation of public interest.
Assembly members as municipal performance monitors
Members of the assembly shall play a key role in the monitoring mechanism of the work of the assembly, by monitoring:
- Whether services are being provided efficiently and effectively manner
- Whether capital projects are developing according to plan and in due time
- Whether municipal plans and programs are achieving the desired effect
Moreover, members of the assembly can raise public concerns about specific issues, as well as have the opportunity to advise the public on how to solve problems.
Ethical conduct of assembly members
In Kosovo, the municipalities have not yet adopted the Code of Conduct on the conduct of assembly members and political appointees, which consequently means that assembly members and political appointees can not be dismissed from their positions in any of the commissions within the municipality for non-compliance with standards of ethics or conduct. Regardless of the fact that such code does not exist, members of the assembly shall of course be accountable to those who elect them. Moreover, their function should be exercised in good faith, honesty and transparency. Article 38 of the LLSG shall govern the minimum requirements regarding the misuse of official duty due to a conflict of interest.