|PHASE 1: Initiating cooperation|
|PHASE 2: Establishing cooperation|
|PHASE 3: Implementing IMC|
|PHASE 4: Evaluating IMC|
Municipalities, like any other administrative authority, can decide on legal affairs only as far as there is a legal basis. IMC needs a solid legal basis to ensure the validity of the management decisions (contracts, establishment of legal entities) or the financial decisions (spending, billing or taxation).
Each mayor should designate relevant municipal officials to explore the legal possibility of establishing IMC. If legislation does not allow IMC, then clearly the attempts to cooperate should be abandoned or IMC activities should be constrained to “handshake agreements”, which limit the possible areas of cooperation.
If legislation allows IMC, then there are two options:
If IMC is legally allowed but there is no specific IMC legislation, then it should be implemented under private law. If the option of establishing IMC under a private law organization is chosen (association, commercial company), then there will be no special requirements for the drafting the statutes of the institution (unless the law stipulates that the participation of public entities in private law associations or enterprises is subject to special rules), although the details of the internal rules and procedures should be discussed and agreed upon.
If IMC is legally allowed and regulated through specific legislative provisions, then these should be carefully considered. In some countries, these specific provisions are contained in the law on local self-government, mostly as general guidelines. In others, the law on local self-government is only permissive and it is specific legislation that regulates IMC. Sometimes, this specific legislation goes into considerable detail on the contractual modalities for IMC and the statutes of IMC institutions.
The designated municipal representatives should study the IMC legislative provisions in detail and be in a position to accurately report to top municipal officials, since some of these provisions may not be acceptable to the parties and can actually compromise the IMC initiative. It must be noted that legislative provisions often vary from one service area to another, and good knowledge of the technical rules and the overall regulatory framework for each service area is essential for successful IMC.
Box 14: Examples of areas covered by IMC legislation in Western Europe
| Possible legal conditions for the establishment of IMC
Possible legal conditions related to contracts, legal status and organization
Possible legal conditions related to budget and financial system