Ilsur Metshin: “We want the voice of the Russian municipalities to be heard”
Photo by Denis Gordiyko
(KZN.RU, March 7, Alsu Safina). Yesterday Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan, the deputy chairman of the Committee on topical issues of the Congress, met with a delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe at the City Hall. They discussed issues related to the activities of local governments of the capital of the RT.
The delegation included Jacob Wienen, the Mayor of Haarlem (the Netherlands), Stuart Dickson, the deputy of the legislative assembly of Northern Ireland, Nikolaos Komninos, Klepas a member of the group of independent experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Greece), Stephanie Poirel, the secretary of the Monitoring Committee. Evgenia Lodvigova, the first deputy head of the Kazan Municipality, Denis Kalinkin, the head of the Executive Committee, Nikolay Kartsev, the deputy head of the International Relations Office of the Office of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the RF, the secretary of the Russian delegation in the Chamber of Regions of the CLRA, and Oleg Gavrilov, the advisor to the chairman of the State Committee of the RT, also attended the meeting.
During the visit to Kazan, the delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe got acquainted with the activities of republican authorities and urban infrastructure facilities. Opening the meeting, Ilsur Metshin told that despite the thousand-year history, Kazan is a modern technological city with a high pace of life. The head of the city noted that the capital of Tatarstan is attractive to tourists. Last year, more than 3 million tourists visited it, including during the World Cup. Representatives of more than 115 nationalities live in the city.
Ilsur Metshin drew attention to the fact that an exhaustive regulatory basis has been created in Kazan for the municipality to exercise its powers. “We adhere to the following basic principles: the availability of services and information, the convenience of obtaining them, the transparency of decisions made”, said the head of the city. In particular, the most demanded municipal services and services are converted into electronic form for this purpose. In addition, Kazan has formed the first municipal platform in Russia for holding public discussions, adopted by legislation through the Internet. It ensures maximum accessibility and transparency of management decisions for citizens, who can send their proposals in a convenient form. Along with this, the work is underway to increase the level of public security and anti-corruption measures are being implemented as well.
Active work in the development of international and inter-municipal cooperation allows us to successfully interact with local governments at the Russian and world levels, said I. Metshin. According to him, it allows uniting efforts for the joint solution of the tasks urgent for many cities, to express and protect the interests of municipalities, to promote the development of local self-government. Kazan is involved in the organization of World Heritage Cities, in the World Organization “United Cities and Local Governments”, the League of Historical Cities, and it develops and strengthens relations with UNESCO, the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities. The capital of Tatarstan is the headquarters of the Eurasian regional branch of UCLG and the Eurasian regional branch of the International Organization of World Heritage Cities. Kazan also defends the interests of municipalities within the Association of Cities of the Volga Region, which includes 26 cities.
“It is important that the voice of municipalities at various summits gradually, but surely, is becoming more and more significant”, said I. Metshin.
Jacob Wienen, a member of the monitoring committee, the Mayor of Haarlem (the Netherlands), thanked the city authorities for the hospitable welcome. He noted that what they saw during the visit impressed their delegation.
During the meeting, the participants discussed the structure of Kazan city authorities, the activities of the Kazan City Duma, the forming the city budget, the interaction of local governments with the republican government and the federal center, the role of the capital of Tatarstan in the development of the Kazan agglomeration, and other issues. In particular, the guests asked how the interaction with the population of the city was built in Kazan. Ilsur Metshin spoke about such an interaction tool as the Internet reception, where requests are accepted 24 hours a day. The Mayor of the city also receives residents on personal matters. In addition, all socially significant projects for the city are discussed with residents. Thus, Kazan citizens express their opinions in the improvement of parks and squares, the development of a master plan for the city, etc. “This is usual now, 5-10 years ago there was no such practice in Kazan. We are open to dialog”, said I. Metshin. He called the development of charity among the current trends in the development of the city. One of the most significant urban projects is “Good Kazan”.
At the end of the meeting, the Mayor thanked the guests for coming to Kazan and their interest in the city. “We want the voice of municipalities, including Russian, and regional authorities to be heard. We all work for the interests of the residents. We are different, but the service unites us all. And I would like to achieve greater success by exchanging practices”, said Ilsur Metshin. “A side view helps to see ways of growth”.