President Bashar al-Assad met with the members of the Supreme Council for Local Administration, which holds its meetings on Wednesdays, in Damascus.
During the meeting, Assad stressed that the local administration, with all its entities, is the direct link between the citizen and the state, and it is the most capable of working with data on the ground and finding links, in order to enable the government to make the right decisions, according to the priorities and the needs of the citizens.
On the issue of decentralization, Assad considered that decentralization should begin with practice and actual participation before the [passing of] laws. Practice and participation are done through the role that governors and provincial councils must play in motivating society to participate in developing solution frameworks for problems and crises.
Assad noted that this role is enabled by having constant, transparent, and direct conversations with citizens, making sure they have access to information, and clarifying facts in a way that allows them to participate in proposing possible solutions that are in harmony with the available capabilities.
Assad explained that decentralization must begin with a distinction between the role of the governor and the role of the mayor, and a clear definition of the powers and tasks of each to prevent any interference in them.
He also reminded council members of the importance of studying the laws governing the work of local administration bodies and setting strict controls in order to limit corruption and combat violations, including those that affect the urban system.
Assad pointed out that the partnership between the local administration, municipalities, and popular events and activities should not be limited to searching for solutions to immediate problems, but also to develop perceptions and studies for investment projects, especially in rural areas. This should be carried out in line with the capabilities and resources of those areas, in order to achieve an added value for the citizens there, he continued. He noted that small and medium enterprises are at the heart of the economy, especially in conditions of siege and war, such as what Syria is subjected to.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.