Government institutions are just one of the actors in the governance. Other actors include groups of citizens, civil society organizations, media, businesses, research institutes, trade unions, various associations, political parties, religious leaders. As we can see, each of us is part of the governance. Being active and understanding your role provides what we call good governance.
A municipality with good governance and good decisions does not govern alone.
For a municipality to have common development and as beter decisions as possible, according to the Council of Europe, there are a numerous of principles to be followed:
Free and fair elections
Local elections should be free and fair, according to international standards and national legislation, free from any fraud. Citizens are at the center of public activity and should be involved in public life at the local level in clearly defined ways.
Broad participation for good governance
Participation by both, men and women, the elderly and the youth is a key requirement of good governance. Everyone who wants to contribute to making of the decisions should be able to do so through direct means, being actually part of the decision-making process or through giving opinions to their representatives or recommendations to other local government institutions.
Effective and efficient local government
Local government should implement promised objectives and make the best possible use of human capacities, resources and time available to ensure the best possible outcomes for the community, and the whole process should be evaluated at regular intervals through performance management systems.
Local government should always strive to serve to the needs of the entire community, while public services should be timely provided, while requests and complaints should be answered as soon as possible.
All individual or collective decision-makers shall take responsibility for their actions. Their responsibility is implemented through effective measures against mismanagement and against actions of local government bodies that violate the rights.
Ethical Conduct and Respect for the Rule of Law
When there is a good governance law is enforced, local authorities respect court and legal decisions, and rules are adopted in accordance with procedures provided by law. Public interest always stands ahead of individual interest.
Competent local government
Public officials are equipped with professional skills, and when neccessary to improve them, they will strengthens them in order to provide best possible results that are expected. In a municipality where there is good governance, there is always motivation to improve performance.
Sound financial management
The annual budget plans are developed in consultation with the public. Procurement procedures are done with discretion, assessing the needs, requirements and revenues. Public services should be affordable and the fees for them should not exceed the cost of the service provided. Expenditures should be properly calculated and evaluated.
Human Rights and Diversity
Within the sphere of influence of local institutions, human rights are respected, protected and enforced while combating discrimination is done for whatever reason. Public officials respect the rights and freedoms of all, regardless of their differences. Cultural diversity is treated as an asset and local government makes efforts to identify with it. The underdeveloped areas are constantly integrated.
Where there is good governance, there is access to all public documents, only if classified that is an exception, but the reasons are always provided by law. Information on decisions, policy implementation and results of municipal activities are made available to public in such a way as to enable a citizen to follow and contribute effectively to the work of local institutions.
Innovative and open to change
A favorable climate is created to achieve the best results, while new ideas are welcome to be put into reality. New and efficient technologies and solutions are always required.
Decisions are taken in order to seek long-term improvements, while the needs of future generations are taken into account in current policies. Costs, problems and tensions of today's decisions should not be a burden that is transferred to future generations.