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Frontpage News 2009 Hungarian Mayors' Academy up and running

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Hungarian Mayors' Academy up and running

On 30 October, 60 Hungarian mayors attended the very first weekend training session of the "Mayors' Academy", an EEA Grants supported capacity building project focused on good governance and increasing transparency in local government.

Decisions and policies made at local level have a direct effect on people's everyday lives, yet the majority of elected representatives do not have any specialised training in public administration, finance or management. Until now, there has not been any centralised training scheme for elected representatives in Hungary.

Thanks to €424,371 in support from the EEA Grants, the Mayors' Academy will provide tailored training in public administration, law, environmental protection and other policy areas to Hungarian mayors through 10 weekend sessions. Key priorities of the training programme are facilitating the exchange of know-how and strengthening inter-municipal cooperation. At the end of the programme, the Hungarian mayors will go on a study trip to Norway to exchange best practices with Norwegian mayors.

The Mayors' Academy project is carried out by the Hungarian National Association of Local Governments (TÖOSZ) in cooperation with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS). The lessons learnt from this project will be used to develop a comprehensive national training programme for local government representatives.

At the opening session Norway's Ambassador to Hungary Siri Ellen Sletner emphasised that supporting local and regional development is a key priority of the EEA and Norway Grants. "Through local government people gain a voice, and thereby get the opportunity to influence the political agenda. A good, strong and competent local government is therefore of utmost importance," said the ambassador.

Photo credit: Peter Kolin/ÖNkorNET.