Il Regno Unito e la proposta di riforma del Congresso dei Poteri Locali e Regionali del Consiglio d’Europa

Nel quadro della Presidenza di turno britannica del Comitato dei Ministri del Consiglio d’Europa (7 novembre 2011 – 14 maggio 2012), il governo del Regno Unito ha lavorato senza successo al raggiungimento di un accordo tra gli Stati membri per una riforma esauriente delle istituzioni consiliari. Agli onori delle cronache è balzata più che altro la proposta di riforma della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo, contenuta nella cd. Dichiarazione di Brighton. In realtà, l’esecutivo britannico ha presentato un progetto di riforma anche con riguardo all’attività del meno conosciuto Congresso dei Poteri Locali e Regionali (CPLRE), assise che riunisce i rappresentanti politici degli enti locali e regionali dei quarantasette Stati membri.

A questo proposito, il Regno Unito ha sottolineato la necessità di improntare ad una maggiore efficienza le attività del Congresso, tra le quali rientrano il monitoraggio sull’applicazione della Carta europea dell’autonomia locale (CEAL) e il procedimento di osservazione delle elezioni locali e regionali negli Stati membri. In particolare, nel corso della 22esima sessione del Congresso, tenutasi tra il 20 e il 22 marzo a Strasburgo, il Ministro britannico per le comunità e il governo Locale, Eric Pickles, ha denunciato «a lack of coordination and collaboration» tra le diverse istituzioni consiliari in materia di democrazia locale e regionale e la mancanza di «enough value for money» nelle attività del Congresso, che si estendono sempre più a materie non direttamente attinenti al mandato dell’organo (si pensi alla tutela dei diritti umani e alla protezione dei diritti economici e sociali).

Il Regno Unito ha così presentato un piano per concentrare le attività del Congresso «on what really matters», per usare sempre le parole del Ministro Pickles. In particolare, al fine di evitare una duplicazione delle attività all’interno del Consiglio, il Regno Unito ha proposto di introdurre una cd. “agenda in comune” (Agenda in Common) tra Assemblea Parlamentare, Comitato dei Ministri e Congresso, in grado di fissare le priorità di intervento ogni due anni. Deliberazione e implementazione dell’agenda comune diverrebbero così di competenza di un nuovo “gruppo di alto livello” (High Level Group), composto dal Presidente dell’Assemblea Parlamentare, dal Presidente del Congresso, dal Presidente di turno del Comitato dei Ministri.

La Gran Bretagna avrebbe cioè voluto rompere con la prassi consolidata di «mechanistically building up report after report which just sits on the shelf», concentrando le attività di monitoraggio del Congresso nei paesi in cui la democrazia locale e regionale è davvero a rischio. Una proposta che pare coniugare il problema delle ristrettezze di bilancio degli Stati membri in tempi di crisi economica con lo scetticismo diffuso anche in dottrina nei confronti delle attività di monitoraggio internazionale. La previsione di un monitoraggio circoscritto ai soli casi in cui in passato si siano verificate violazioni palmari della democrazia locale e regionale tradisce lo spirito del procedimento monitoraggio così come disciplinato dalle organizzazioni internazionali. A differenza delle procedure che regolano l’attività degli ombudsman negli ordinamenti interni, l’attività di monitoraggio internazionale non prende infatti le mosse da singoli casi critici verificatisi nel passato, ma ha carattere generale, si svolge ad intervalli regolari ed è orientata al futuro (Cfr. C. Gusy, Grundrechtsmonitoring. Chancen und Grenzen außergerichtlichen Menschenrechtsschutzes, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2011, pp. 13-14)

Nei suoi commenti ufficiali alle proposte britanniche, il Congresso ha per ora nicchiato, limitandosi formalmente a ribadire che un piccolo direttorio come quello proposto non avrebbe il potere di prendere alcuna decisione, senza il benestare formale del Comitato dei Ministri ex art. 16 dello Statuto CdE. A ciò si aggiunga che la creazione di un nuovo organo rischierebbe di duplicare le competenze delle istituzioni consiliari, se è vero che un ruolo di indirizzo simile a quello del proposto “gruppo di alto livello” lo svolge attualmente la Conferenza dei Ministri responsabili degli enti locali e regionali.

Ad oggi un compromesso per rendere più efficace ed efficiente l’azione del Congresso destinando le risorse ad un monitoraggio mirato negli Stati membri nei quali la democrazia locale e regionale è maggiormente a rischio non sembra raggiungibile. D’altra parte, il Congresso ha concluso nell’autunno del 2010 il processo di auto-riforma delle proprie attività e considera prematuro pensare ad una nuova modifica dei meccanismi decisionali e ad un ridimensionamento delle aree di intervento, senza una previa indagine di valutazione su quali attività abbiano prodotto risultati benefici per la democrazia locale e regionale e quali no.

ABSTRACT

During the U.K. Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the British Government drove forward new reform proposals for Council institutions. In particular, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, asked for more “value for money” for Congress activities and envisaged the establishment of a new “High Level Group” composed of the Presidents of the main Council institutions, deciding every two years upon a common agenda for local and regional democracy. Albeit inspired by reasonable budget constraints, the U.K. proposals might even worsen the current situation by duplicating functions and by wholly undermining the monitoring procedure of local and regional democracy in the member states.

Giovanni Boggero

(Università del Piemonte Orientale “A. Avogadro”)

Foto | Flickr.it

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