Will the changes in the laws on municipalities change anything?

On April 5th, a significant legislative shift took place in Azerbaijan as amendments to the laws governing municipalities were adopted in the Milli Majlis, the country's parliament. The amendments, passed in the third reading, entail a reduction in the number of municipalities, with a specific focus on merging smaller municipalities. According to the changes, municipalities with fewer than 3,000 residents or fewer than 1,000 households will be subject to consolidation.

This move signals a potential restructuring of local governance, prompting questions about its implications for grassroots democracy and administrative efficiency. With 1,606 municipalities currently operating in the country, the proposed changes aim to streamline governance structures and optimize resource allocation. It is anticipated that over 700 municipalities will continue to function post-implementation of these amendments.

Chairman of the public association "Law and Development" Hafiz Hasanov in the program "A difficult question" spoke about the possible consequences of the merger of municipalities.He posited that the decision might be driven by a desire to centralize local government, citing the challenges associated with managing a large number of diverse municipalities. Hasanov's perspective raises concerns about the potential implications for local autonomy and decision-making processes.

Contrary to optimistic projections, Hasanov expressed skepticism regarding the impact of the merger on municipal financing. He argued that instead of enhancing financial support, the amalgamation might result in reduced subsidies, reflecting a broader trend of limited resources allocated to municipalities. This perspective underscores the broader systemic issues surrounding resource allocation and fiscal decentralization in Azerbaijan's governance framework.

Furthermore, Hasanov contended that the merger might not catalyze meaningful transformation within municipalities. He cautioned against viewing the consolidation as a panacea for improving governance effectiveness or enhancing local self-government. Instead, he emphasized the need for comprehensive reform to address systemic challenges and empower municipalities as genuine self-governing entities.

The expert's assessment underscores the complexity of governance reform in Azerbaijan and highlights the need for a holistic approach to address structural deficiencies. As the country grapples with evolving socio-economic challenges and strives to modernize its governance structures, the fate of municipalities remains a critical component of the broader reform agenda.


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Difficult question

İran Prezidentinin həlak olduğu hadisə Azərbaycan- İran münasibətlərinə təsir edə bilərmi? – Nəsimi Məmmədli Çətin sualda

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