Not only to talk about self-government, but also to govern
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Card and technical task for beginners
If you are creative, not indifferent to the development of your region and have the skills to shoot, it is easy to get to the headquarters of the Council of Europe. It was proved by the winners of the DYTIATKO International Children’s Media Festival.
For eight years in a row, children’s studios from all over Ukraine have been sending videos to the nomination of the festival “We are local self-government!”.
The authors of the best works with the support of the Council of Europe go to Strasbourg, where they visit its institutions such as the Committee of Ministers, Parliamentary Assembly, Congress of local and regional authorities, European court of human rights, European youth center.
Why Strasbourg? It is here that the standards, decisions and recommendations of the CE institutions are born for the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. For the sake of a common goal-the coordination of the laws of the participating countries in the observance and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Modern trends of European self-government
During a recent visit to Strasbourg, the winners of the DYTIATKO Festival, in addition to participating in the world forum for democracy, met high-ranking officials of the Council of Europe, each of whom spoke about the standards within their activities and competence.
Thus, the Head of the Department of democratic governance of the Directorate General for democracy Daniel Popescu emphasized that one of the key areas that the Council of Europe supports in Ukraine is decentralization, being the best standard of governance.
The Council of Europe methodologically supports decentralization, including through promotion and animation in Ukraine of the best European practices to improve the quality of services, introducing energy-saving technologies and alternative energy sources, preservation of cultural heritage, tourism, public administration, and transparency of the government.
According to Daniel Popescu, “It is important that the organization of governing structures in Ukraine corresponds to the principle of subsidiarity, and significant decisions for society were made by the local authorities, having the appropriate resources for this.
The Council of Europe, on its part, monitors compliance by member states with the fundamental principles of the European Charter of local self-government and provides the necessary assistance to the states.”
The results of decentralization in Ukraine, taking into account the objective circumstances in which the reform is implemented, are above average, Daniel Popescu notes, describing the current trends of local self-government in Europe.
“However, in many European countries, the situation is significantly different from Ukraine, – says the Head of the Department of democratic governance. – For example, France did what Ukraine is doing now, in the late 80’s of the last century.
Today in Western Europe there are no such powerful reforms as decentralization reform, and reforms to unite communities are still ongoing. In Ukraine communities unite rather in order to get the power, in Western Europe they united for business cooperation”.
The experience and path of France, illustrated by Daniel Popescu is quite interesting:
“In France there was no Association of communities, now there are 36 thousand communities, this is three times more than in Ukraine in 2014 – before the creation of UTC. Therefore, it was simply necessary for the communities to cooperate with each other. Here in Strasbourg, there are 25 local communities that are united in the Strasbourg metropolis. And this Association has its power, its budget, taxes and provides the vast majority of services. This happened, it should be noted, not from the desire of the communities, but through obligations to the law.”
Citizens in court against the State
It happens. And, unfortunately, Ukrainians brought in the European court of human rights against Ukraine a lot of cases, there are thousands of them.
Dmytro Tretiakov, Head of the Ukrainian section of the preliminary consideration of complaints of the European court of human rights in dealing with the winners of the media festival got back to the issue of the European standards and detailed mechanisms of consideration of cases in the European court of human rights.
“The European court of justice is an important link of the Council of Europe in determining the standards of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. And these standards are determined not only by us, but also by PACE, the Congress of local and regional authorities, the Committee of Ministers, the Venice Commission. Each of these bodies summarizes the standards in the relevant issues for themselves”, Dmytro Tretiakov says and again emphasizes that the European court is a powerful mechanism in the protection of rights. A person can not just address it. The case will be considered and a decision will be made binding on the state against which the violations were found.
“Sometimes the positions of the two parties are not enough. Then we attract a third party, as it was in the case of Gongadze. We described four versions of the facts there. The way they were set forth by Myroslava Gongadze; set forth by the government; the facts as set forth by the community of governmental organizations; and the facts of international organizations.
We do not work in a vacuum, but cooperate with other bodies of the Council of Europe, intergovernmental organizations to obtain information, which is then evaluated by us,” Dmytro Tretiakov says.
And not all dilemmas can be solved even by the European court of human rights. For example, in the matter of life. That is, when it begins: from the moment of conception or from birth? Different countries look at it in their own way. There is no consensus, which means that the issue is still open, and there is no single standard for the EC member states. However, there is full consensus on other aspects. For example, any discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation is not acceptable in any case.
The key role of the Council of Europe in the creation of Public broadcasting in Ukraine
The Head of the Council of Europe project “Strengthening of media freedom and creation of Public broadcasting system in Ukraine” Shain Abasov emphasizes this in the round table discussion:
“Since 2011, we have been continuously implementing media projects in Ukraine. The Council of Europe has played a key role in the creation of Public broadcasting in Ukraine, starting with the adoption of the law, the creation of the Supervisory Board, documentary support and continuing with consistent training staffs. Now the ratings of the channel are not the best, but the reorganization of branches continues. During the election campaign the coverage was carried out at a very professional level, with no signs of propaganda.”
Shain Abasov also paid attention to the standards of the Council of Europe:
“Our activity is to develop recommendations of the Cabinet of Ministers of European Council or resolutions of PACE for 47 countries. These documents are developed by the Secretariat.
For example, our Department is preparing a large number of recommendations on the safety and social protection of journalists, public broadcasting, personal data protection.
Another area of our work is monitoring, that is, how member countries implement common standards; the third is cooperation, assistance to countries in implementing projects on the ground to implement standards at the implementation level.”
The largest Office of the European Council is located in Kiev, says Shain Abasov: “This means that a large number of projects are being implemented, there are good results, donor interest in Ukraine and a high level of cooperation. In particular, in the sphere of media”.
Fifty TV-makers – the Strasbourg DYTIATKO family
Encouraging children’s video creativity within the limits of the DYTIATKO Festival, the Council of Europe tries to update the issue of responsibility for the fate of the country as widely as possible in the Ukrainian society. And this, in fact, means we speak about local self-government – the ability of the community to unite around an important issue and act together in the interests of the development of the village, the region, the state.
Since 2012, many children’s TV studios from different parts of Ukraine have created videos about the achievements, problems and reforms of local self-government with an interesting author’s vision and visited France, the headquarters of the Council of Europe.
These contestants included “School of young journalists”, Studio “SHGT TV” from Kherson, film school “Superstar” and Studio of author’s programs “Mayak” from Dnipro, Children’s Studio of TV presenters “Veselka TV” from Luhansk region, team “Radodrive” from Rivne region, Studio “Veselka” from Zhytomyr region, Lviv production Studio “Rozhevi okuliary”, Studio “Obovsemka”, cinema school “Krok” and school of filmmakers “Novyi kadr” from Kharkiv region, some authors from Lutsk and Kharkiv region.
About fifty young people were able to expand their vision of what principles European governance are based on, given that local governments are one of the main foundations of any democratic system; how human rights are protected in the European court of justice; how European youth are motivated to act independently for the benefit of communities.
Not only to talk about self-government, but also to govern
Sergii Chernov, President of the DYTIATKO International Children’s Media Festival, Chairman of Kharkiv Regional Council, on whose initiative a special nomination was established, believes that attention to the development of local self-government from the school bench will help to educate people who are ready to take responsibility, and be the architects of their future.
“In fact, the nomination “We are local self-government!” allows you to perform a branched, even complex task. Children’s studios, preparing videos about the development of their communities, first of all, learn what it is. That is, they learn. Winning and traveling to Strasbourg, they get full of self-confidence and eager for new achievements. Communicating with top officials of the Congress of the Council of Europe, the European court of human rights, the European youth center, the winners of the festival borrow truly effective and already proven practices of the democratic system.
In my opinion, the following example is the most eloquent. Returning from a trip to Strasbourg, one of the studios of Kharkiv region again shot a video for the competition. And the second time won. It could not be otherwise in this case. The children organized themselves, planted flowers in the park, took care of the territory, painted the benches, made the center of their settlement look exactly the way they wanted. This, as for me, is the real management. I am happy that the impetus was the DYTIATKO Festival and participation in the World Forum for Democracy”, Sergii Chernov said.
Instead of a PostScript: you have six months to create a video
In the era of rapid development of technology, it is easy to remove and mount even in a smartphone a video about the life of communities, school or student government, recipes for the development of territories. We can give you a hint: the main highlight of a particularly successful video is not only to talk about self-government, but also to govern.
Send your works till May 31, 2020 to the Organizing Committee of the DYTIATKO Festival: firstname.lastname@example.org