Synthesis from pre-interviews questions

The pre-interviews were meant to be short preparatory interviews to orient and facilitate the next step of Co-creation workshop. The first objective was to invite the respondent to the story-telling exercise.

Main lessons learn from the introductory and concluding questions could be summarized as such:

Questions focusing the MLG Charter were mostly answered in a broader sense of multilevel governance in general. MLG experts and non-experts emerging vision/description of MLG insists on:

  • Dialogue and integration
    “integration of government process”,
    fostering “a conversation and negotiation going on between levels”; “a stronger dialogue between regional and national level”;
  • MLG as reference and background for this dialogue
    “setting basic rules concerning the form of cooperation”
    , “defining roles and the way in which each of the levels of government cooperate”;
  • Empowerment of local stakeholders
    “encourage local indigenous authorities”, “make governance effective at local and regional levels”, “empower citizens and cities to take action” and “ensure decisions are taken by those who are most affected by the decisions”;
  • National level adhesion as key issue for effective MLG
    “too much national level decision making power” and the necessity to “decentralize public services” and “reduce the level of control on issues that do not need centralized control”;
  • Involvement of all actor beyond public authorities
    MLG is compared to “Tripe Helix […] where there is multi-layered communication between players in the government as well as business and academia”;
  • MLG is a political framework and new political culture
    MLG represents “an administrative reform” that “should be instilled in the governance culture”.

The visions focusing more specifically the MLG Charter itself insists on:

  • the adhesion to the Charter as a transposition of MLG into the local context. The Charter being a “step-by-step plan of action for regional and local authorities”; national and European politics being through the Charter “translated into down to earth, day-to-day operations”;
  • the Charter as a collection of good examples as “a demonstration […] to create policy efficiency and effectiveness” and use “scarce public resources without duplication”;
  • a training to MLG as part of the Charter services, the need to “train politicians on the MLG approach”;
  • the necessity of a broad and general adoption by all actors: “It will be useless for Committee of Regions to have a Charter that is not agreed on by all levels of government: local, regional and national”. European level must show it’s involvement and the “Commission must sign it too”;
  • the possibility of considering the good MLG practices recognition mark for the local authorities either as a ‘MLG label’ given at the adoption of the Charter or as a ‘MLG Award’ given after the entity demonstrates effective changes toward MLG in its governance.
  • setting a monitoring process and “maintain the Subsidiary Monitoring Network”;
  • the adoption of the Charter engaging effectively the parties, being “a legally binding document”. “If a country is accepting a charter it has to be a force of law. It can’t just slide”;
  • the Charter as the first step of a process ensuring “there is a follow-up when the formal document is signed”. The “charter is a ‘wish’ once a charter is effective people have to respect it. (They) are a part of ‘a club’”.

It is to be noted that the general confusion between the roles/objectives of the MLG Charter with roles/objectives of the Multilevel Governance must be considered carefully: on the one hand, the MLG Charter seems to be very well perceived as integrated as part of the challenges raised by Multilevel Governance and, on the other hand, it reveals that the MLG Charter in itself is not very well identified as a specific instrument with clear identity and goals.

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