Realisation of Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in European Countries


Project Report, 2007
13 Pages

Excerpt

Table of Contents:

A. Introduction

B. Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in Germany
I. Monitoring and Control over Municipalities by the People
II. Municipal Monitoring and Control over Municipalities
1. The Authority to Control of the Municipal Council
2. The Procedure of Communal Constitutional Confliction
III. Governmental Monitoring and Control over Municipalities
1. Meaning of Supervision
2. Competent supervisory authorities
3. Types of Supervision
a) Legal Supervision
b) Functional Supervision
c) Special Supervision
4. Instruments of Supervision
a) Instruments of Legal Supervision
b) Instruments of Factual Supervision
5. Limits of Supervision

C. Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in Austria
I. Governmental Monitoring and Control over the Own Sphere of Influence of Municipalities
1. Competent Monitoring and Controlling Authority
2. The Content of Municipal Monitoring and Control
3. The Scope of Municipal Monitoring and Control
II. Governmental Monitoring and Control over the Devolved Sphere of Influence of Municipalities

D. Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in Finland
I. Chapter 1 section 8, paragraph 1 FLGA
II. Chapter 1 section 8, paragraph 2 FLGA
III. Chapter 1 section 8, paragraph 3 FLGA

Literature:

- Becker, Ulrich, Heckmann, Dirk, Kempen, Bernhard, Manssen, Gerrit, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, publishing company: C. H. Beck, 3rd edition, 2005

- Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001

Abbreviations and Acronyms:

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A. Introduction

In many countries within the European Union Municipalities have certain powers and responsibilities to exercise politics on communal level. However, at the same time they are either bound to particular orders and instructions or supervised by equated as well as higher-ranking institutions. It is questionable whether Municipalities can act independently while monitored and controlled by other organs. On the contrary, one can assume that because of this supervision Municipalities at least do not have the possibility to infringe laws and disobey orders which in the end is what is necessary for a State to be functioning.

This elaboration gives examples of three Member States of the European Union which have similar ways to monitor and control the lowest level in the political structure of a State. The focus lies on Germany whose rules concerning supervision and control are set out in a rather detailed way. It follows an overview of the regulations in Austria and a brief glimpse into the situation in Finland.

B. Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in Germany

For checking purposes, the acts of Municipalities are controlled and monitored by other municipal institutions or by institutions of the Federal States.

I. Monitoring and Control over Municipalities by the People

According to Art. 28 section 1 sentence 2 Grundgesetz (Basic Law – Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, in the following GG), Municipalities must have a representation of the people. As a consequence, citizens elect the main organs on municipal level, namely the Municipal Council (“Gemeinderat”) and the first Burgomaster (“1. Bürgermeister”). Thereby, they can indirectly control the particular Municipality or at least have influence over it. After all, municipal organs need the benevolence of their electorate for re-election. By means of local elections, individuals can therefore participate in local politics and by that monitor the respective municipal organs.

II. Municipal Monitoring and Control over Municipalities

Municipalities are already controlled on municipal level. There are different types of municipal monitoring and control over Municipalities.

1. The Authority to Control of the Municipal Council

In accordance with Art. 30 section 3 bayerische Gemeindeordnung (Local Government Code of the Free State of Bavaria, in the following GO)[1], the Municipal Council has an all-embracing competence to monitor the Municipality. However, only the Municipal Council as institution is entitled to these rights. Single members of the Municipal Council are not qualified for executing them.[2]

The Municipal Council, which is directly elected by the citizens, shall in particular control the actions of the first burgomaster. On this account, the Municipal Council has rights for information and access to records. Independent from the part of the administration concerned, these rights must always be aimed against the first burgomaster. If he does not fulfil his obligations or if the authority to control him is controvertible, the Municipal Council can enforce its rights before the courts[3].[4]

It is important to mention that control only means information. That is to say, the Municipal Council is not able to approach the competences of the first burgomaster. Thus, it is neither entitled to issue instructions to an attendant, nor to adjudicate by itself. At most, it can express references.[5]

2. The Procedure of Communal Constitutional Confliction

As mentioned above, municipal authorities can generally enforce their rights before the courts in the way of a special procedure. In doing so, several municipal institutions mutually control themselves.

This procedure about rights and obligations resulting from the corporate relation is called procedure of communal constitutional confliction (“Kommunalverfassungsstreitverfahren”). It is an administrative legal procedure (“verwaltungsgerichtliches Verfahren”) which is concerned with the enforcement of rights of juristic persons of public law (“organschaftliche Rechte”).[6]

It can on the one hand be adapted to clashes between separate juristic persons of public law, for example between the Municipal Council and the first burgomaster. These clashes are then called inter-organ communal conflicts (“interorganschaftliche Streitigkeiten“).[7]

On the other hand, it can be adapted to clashes between different parts within one coherent juristic person of public law, which are termed intra-organ communal conflicts (“intraorganschaftliche Streitigkeiten”). These can for example occur between a single member or a fraction of the Municipal Council and the Municipal Council as an institution.[8]

III. Governmental Monitoring and Control over Municipalities

The overall action of a Commune is under governmental supervision of the particular Federal State.

1. Meaning of Supervision

As far as local authorities and their self dependent exercise of functions are concerned, communal supervision makes sure that law and order are preserved (Art. 20 section 3 GG). At the same time it secures the influence of governmental authorities which themselves are legitimated by the common nation. In this respect it protects the rule of law principle and the principle of democracy (Art. 20 section 2 and 3, Art. 28 section 1 sentence 1 GG). Moreover, it arranges for the entity of the administration in terms of considering prevailing legal basic principles.[9]

2. Competent Supervisory Authorities

In respect of the Free State of Bavaria, the responsibility of supervisory authorities is regulated in Art. 110 and 115 GO. As for Communes which belong to a Rural District (“kreisangehörige Gemeinde”), the competent supervisory authority is normally the respective Rural District (“Landkreis”), or in Southern Germany the Rural District Office (“Landratsamt”), Art. 110 sentence 1 in conjunction with 115 section 1 sentence 2 GO. In most territorial states the communal supervision of Municipalities which do not belong to a Rural District (“kreisfreie Gemeinde”), of County Seats (“Kreisstädte”) or of Rural Districts respectively is exercised by District Governments (“Regierungspräsidium”) or Regional Administrative Authorities (“Bezirksregierung”).[10]

3. Types of Supervision

There are three different types of supervision: Legal supervision (“Rechtsaufsicht”), functional supervision (“Fachaufsicht”) and special supervision (“Sonderaufsicht”).[11]

a) Legal Supervision

The legal supervision refers to the dispatch of concerns of the own sphere of influence (“eigener Wirkungskreis”), Art. 109 section 1 GO.

Legal supervision is confined to a legal surveillance in order to maintain communal self-administration which is guaranteed by the German Constitution. Control of the convenience of a decision made is therefore inadmissible. Hence, the supervisory authority only monitors the compliance of competences of associations (“Verbandskompetenzen”), competences of organs (“Organkompetenzen”), procedural law (“Verfahrensrecht”) and material law (“materielles Recht”).[12]

b) Functional Supervision

The functional supervision refers to the dispatch of concerns of the devolved sphere of influence (“übertragener Wirkungskreis), Art. 109 section 2 GO. By that, it delegates the last responsibility to the State.[13] Functional supervision transcends the scope of legal supervision and basically comprises a surveillance of convenience. The severer control is justified, as the communes execute governmental tasks in the devolved sphere of influence. However, it is important to consider that theses tasks are carried out by self-contained entities and not by authorities which are integrated in the structure of the civil service.[14]

c) Special Supervision

Special supervision regularly does not only refer to legality (“Gesetzmäßigkeit”), but also to convenience (“Zweckmäßigkeit”) of the actions. Preventive powers of supervision of the State (“präventive Aufsichtsbefugnisse des Staates”), which are provided in general laws, fall in this category[15].[16]

4. Instruments of Supervision

Legal and functional supervision can be administrated preventively and repressively.[17]

a) Instruments of Legal Supervision

Parts of preventive legal supervision are consulting of Municipalities and permission of communal actions which are subject to prior approval.[18]

In the category of repressive legal supervision fall the right to information (“Informationsrecht”), the right to complaint (“Beanstandungsrecht”), the right to adjudication (“Anordnungsrecht”), execution by substitution (“Ersatzvornahme”), to order a representative (“Bestellung eines Beauftragten”), termination of the Municipal Council (“Auflösung des Gemeinderats”) and termination of the burgomaster’s term of office ahead of time (“vorzeitige Beendigung der Amtszeit des Bürgermeisters”).

According to the principle of an intervention as small as possible (“Prinzip des geringstmöglichen Eingriffs”), these instruments shall be administered hierarchised. That means the supervisory authority must start with the weakest instrument.[19]

[...]


[1] There are different Local Government Codes in the particular Federal States. In the present case it is only referred to the Local Government Code of the Federal State of Bavaria.

[2] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 123.

[3] In the way of the so-called procedure of communal constitutional confliction (“Kommunalverfassungsstreit-verfahren”), see below B. I. 2.

[4] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 123.

[5] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 123.

[6] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 148.

[7] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 148.

[8] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 148.

[9] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 209.

[10] Cp. Art. 110 sentence 2 in conjunction with 115 section 1, sentence 2 GO in respect of Municipalities which do not belong to a Rural District and Art. 115 section 2 in conjunction with Art. 110 sentence 2 GO in respect of County Seats.

[11] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter I, 3.

[12] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter II., 2.

[13] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter III.

[14] Becker/Heckmann/Kempen/Manssen, Öffentliches Recht in Bayern, 3rd edition, 2005, p. 211.

[15] E. g. to scrutinise whether a legally binding land-use plan, which is subject to authorisation according to § 10 section 2 Baugesetzbuch (German Statutory Code on Construction and Building, in the following BauGB), can be approved.

[16] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter IV.

[17] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter I., 3.

[18] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter I., 3.

[19] Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Arbeitsgruppe Kommunalpolitik, Wegbeschreibung für die kommunale Praxis, Arten staatlicher Aufsicht über die Gemeinden, 2001, chapter II., 5.

Excerpt out of 13 pages

Details

Title
Realisation of Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in European Countries
Author
Year
2007
Pages
13
Catalog Number
V169720
ISBN (eBook)
9783640881062
ISBN (Book)
9783640881246
File size
453 KB
Language
English
Tags
realisation, monitoring, control, municipalities, european, countries
Quote paper
Wolfgang Tiede (Author), 2007, Realisation of Monitoring and Control over Municipalities in European Countries, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/169720

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