The Association of Estonian Cities and Rural Municipalities (AECM) is a voluntary union established for representing the common interests and arranging co-operation of cities and rural municipalities. Ensuring development of local governments through joint activities is the main goal of the AECM.
The AECM was established on 19 September 1920 as the Association of Estonian Cities. On February 27, 2018, the Association Status has been changed and it became the Association of Estonian Cities and Rural Municipalities. At present, 74 municipalities out of 79 are the members of the association. The local governments belonging to the association cover 99% of the population of Estonia and all Estonian regions are represented. The AECM is funded from the membership fees, the amount of which depends on the revenues of a member.
Responsibilities of the AECM are:
• Representing the interests and protecting the rights of its members in the governmental and other institutions, including negotiations with the central government;
• Working out the position of the AECM in the issues of local government policy;
• Arranging co-operation between local governments, their associations and unions;
• Enhancing co-operation and twinning with local governments and their associations abroad as well as with international organisations;
• Dissemination of information to local governments and counselling local government officials;
• Providing training for politicians and officials of local governments,
• Informing the public about the activities of the AECM.
The General Assembly, which convenes at least once per election period, is the highest directing body of the Association. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government. The General Assembly, which convenes at least once per election period, is the highest directing body of the Association. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government.
The Council convenes at least once per 3-month period. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government.
At the time period between the two General Assemblies, the Council of the AECM shall perform the functions of the General Assembly. The Council convenes at least once per 3-month period. The members are represented by delegates whose number depends on the population in the territory of the local government.
The Board consisting of 13 members is the directing body of the AECM.
Chairman of the Board is Mr. Taavi Aas (Mayor of Tallinn).
Vice-chairmen of the Board are
– Mr. Mihkel Juhkami (Chairman of Rakvere City Council),
– Ms. Pipi-Liis Siemann (Mayor of Türi Municipality).
Other members of the Board are
– Mr. Anti Allas (Mayor of Võru City)
– Mr. Urmas Klaas (Mayor of Tartu City)
– Mr. Margus Lepik (Mayor Valga Rural Municipality)
– Mr. Priit Lomp (Mayor of Kastre Rural Municipality)
– Mr. Kurmet Müürsepp (Vice-Mayor of Antsla Rural Municipality)
– Ms. Anneli Ott (member of Võru City Council)
– Mr. Georg Pelisaar (Mayor of Põlva Rural Municipality)
– Mr. Siim Suursild (Vice Mayor of Pärnu City)
– Mr. Tarmo Tammiste (Mayor of Narva City)
– Mr. Mart Võrklaev (Mayor of Rae Rural Municipality)
The AECM is a member of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA, 1925), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR, 1995), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE), the Baltic Sea States Sub-Regional Cooperation (BSSSC), and the Joint Consultative Committee of the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
The Association co-operates with many international organisations, networks and movements such as the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Baltic Local Agenda 21 Forum (BLA21F), and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Healthy Cities Project.
The AECM prioritises close co-operation with national associations of local authorities in other countries: there are cooperation projects with the national organisations of the local authorities of the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium (Flanders), Finland, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, and a twinning project with the State of Maryland in the USA.
With regard to the EU integration, contacts have been established and maintained with the Committee of Regions of the European Union. The AEC provides information about the EU programs and is actively involved in the Local Governments Network of Central and Eastern European Countries for EU Enlargement (LOGON).
The bureau of the AECM, the executive director of which must be approved by the Board, manages the administrative work of AECM. Today the Bureau employs 11 persons. The main tasks of the Bureau are:
• To implement the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Governing Board;
• To provide assistance to local authorities, co-ordination and arrangement of co-activities;
• To arrange Assembly sessions, Board meetings and other meetings, to prepare necessary documentation and other materials;
• To collect, analyse and distribute the opinions of local authorities on draft legal acts of the central government;
• To arrange training programmes for self-government officers;
• To develop contacts and collaboration with the associations and organisations of local authorities abroad.
Today the Bureau employs 11 people and they are:
Mr. Jüri Võigemast, Director of the Bureau
…, Deputy Director of development
Ms. Inga Köster, Secretary
Mr. Toivo Riimaa, Deputy Director, International Relations
Ms. Hille Ilves, Advisor, Public Policies, Legislation, Education, Culture, Youth
…, Advisor, Public Policies, Legislation, Financial Issues
Ms. Anne Läns, Advisor, Public Policies, Legislation
Ms. Irja Alakivi, Consultant, Environment, Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, International relations
Mr. Kaimo Käärmann-Liive, Consultant, Public Policies, Legislation, CLRAE, CoR
Mrs. Marliis Rettau, Press Officer
Ms. Aigi Sander, Chief Accountant
Ms. Tiiu Madal – Permanent Representative of the Association of Estonian Cities and the Association of Rural Municipalities of Estonia
Square de Meeûs 1
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Roosikrantsi 12, B korpus
10119 Tallinn, ESTONIA
Phone: +372 60 43 001