The Capital City in the Local Self-Government System in Central and Eastern European and Caucasus Countries

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Sulev Mäeltsemees


Capital cities have a special role to play in their national local self-government system. On the one hand, each capital city has a certain symbolic meaning to their state; the whole state is assessed based on its capital city. On the other hand, the capital city generally differs from the rest of the local governments of the state:

- It is usually the largest local government of the state in terms of population;
- The GDP of the capital city and the metropolitan area is considerably higher than the state’s average and, therefore, the capital city is one of the principal innovation and economic centres of the country.

Capital cities must be enabled legally and financially to fulfil long-term global requirements that should be taken into account in the national urban policy and in the distribution of national tax revenue. It is necessary to study the position of the capital city in other countries, especially in the transformation countries. An analysis of the role of the capital city in the local self-government organisation of a country must consider the following four aspects:

1. The capital city in the human habitation system
2. The capital city and the national legal environment
3. Management models of the capital city
4. The economic environment in the capital city; the capital city and the economic environment of the hinterland and the country.

The author is of the opinion that there are practically no interdisciplinary analyses addressing legal, economic, and demographic and management problems of capital cities. The current article is confessedly one of the first attempts to analyse and compare the problems of capital cities in the Central and Eastern European and Caucasus Countries Region. The Central and Eastern European and Caucasus Countries Region for the purpose of the present article is the area covering 23 countries (without Kosovo). The threat in the case of Russia, only the European part ofthe country has been taken into consideration.

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