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Local government: How world capitals are being managed?

Author : 112.ua News Agency

It turns out that there are many examples of the application of special rules for managing capitals of states. And Kyiv is not alone in this rank
08:20, 20 August 2019

Open source

The president wants to dismiss Vitali Klitschko from the post of the Kyiv mayor. Klitschko does not want to quit, appealing to the fact that he is the elected the city administration chairman and his dismissal is a threat to the local self-government. Like, in all cities and countries, the elected mayor rules the city.

Is that so? How are the world capitals managed?

It turns out that there are many examples of the application of special rules for managing capitals of states. And Kyiv is not alone in this rank. Of course, now the city government is gaining more and more positions, but not so long ago the capitals did not have the full self-government.

Take a look at the capital cities comparable to Kyiv. Paris received the right to elect its mayor only in 1977. Prior to this, the city was punished for more than a hundred years because of the Paris Commune – it was deprived of the elected mayor.

But even now, the very significant restrictions remain. For example, the municipal police are subordinate to the state police authorities, and not to the mayor of Paris itself.

London has elected mayor since 2000. Prior to this, the city was controlled by each of the many districts separately. Santiago (the capital of Chile) is still not a single city and does not have a single authority, but consists of several dozen cities merged into a single agglomeration.

Washington, DC has its mayor and council. However, the highest authority in the city belongs to Congress, which is authorized to overturn any decisions of the city authorities. And this is spelled out in the US Constitution.

Although it must be said that in practice the Congress does not interfere in the affairs of Washington self-government. Despite the fact that Washington is far from the ideal of urban economy and management.

That is, these examples show that, firstly, the urban self-government in the capitals recently had, and in some places still has various restrictions. And this did not negatively affect the development of cities, the functioning of urban services.

Related: Ukraine's Government not to consider Kyiv Mayor Klitschko dismissal


The dualism of a leadership position in Kyiv (both local and state), let's say, looks somewhat strange even against a background of global diversity. In world practice, as a rule, there is either a designated prefect or an elected mayor.

I must also say that in the world the concept of "local government" is mainly associated not with the election of the mayor (head), but with the election of the Council. It is the Council that has the main levers of management: resolving issues with property and money (budget).

Everything else is derived from these concepts. And even the appointed, even the elected head of the executive branch only spends money in accordance with the articles adopted by the Council. By the way, in many cities, the councils themselves elect a mayor, who becomes the head of the executive branch.

City Councils are also different. Many of us say that 120 MPs for Kyiv are too much. But the world experience is completely different. There are city councils of two or three dozen MPs (Moscow, US cities), and there are more than a hundred – Paris or Kyiv.

But almost everywhere there are lower levels of self-government, areas (in our terminology) with their own councils and even mayors.

There is still a fairly common practice of hiring a “city manager”. In North America they do this - appoint city managers. These are not politicians, but professionals, specialists in urban governance.

They are engaged in all current activities. And both the mayor and the Council are engaged in strategic plans, budget, property, ceremonial (cutting ribbons), external relations.

Related: Kyiv Mayor testifies at Anti-Corruption Bureau on possible bribery to Head of President’s Office

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