By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 8 November 2013:
The current security challenges overshadow the more important task of building effective institutions and local administrations, . . .[restrict]said EU ambassador Nataliya Apostolova on a visit to Tripoli local council yesterday.
“We talk about security concerns, unfortunately a little too much and forget that people have other concerns,” the ambassador told TLC chairman Sadat Elbadri. “Some of our member states are working on capacity building programmes here and sharing expertise on local administration”. Indeed added Apostolova, perhaps thinking of the constitutional issues in her own country Bulgaria, “some of our new members states have gone through the same process Libya is going through and we would like to share our experience with Libya so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.”
Elbadri told the EU diplomat of the “complicated” relationship the TLC had with central government.
“We are close to the people and know their requirements. We don’t to be the government, but if we have a budget we can do a lot to help the government by spending it on the people. Unfortunately, we never get the full budget and we are not able to achieve anything.”
Elbadri went on to explain: “We only got an emergency budget this year that we immediately forwarded to all 13 area councils, to do the little work that can be done with the amount. He added that the prime minister said that he wanted to have municipal elections, but Elbadri maintained that until the legislation for that voting was ready, which could be months, the government should allocate the right level of funding to let the capital’s local administration get on with running the city properly.
Apostolova assured the TLC chairman and fellow council members that the EU was intent upon doing all it could to support Libya’s transition at all levels, from the constitution to municipal administration. [/restrict]