The existence of numerous small and weak municipalities is one of the several problems of Armenian local self – government system. Consolidation of the municipalities is one of the solutions of the mentioned problem.
The consolidation issue is included now in both the Government Plan of the Republic of Armenia (adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on 26 June 2007) and Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan (approved by the Government of the Republic of Armenia on 8 August 2003), as well as in the draft of the reviewed variant of the Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan (PRSP – 2). Particularly, “…practical actions will be taken towards consolidation of municipalities” is mentioned in the Government Plan of the Republic of Armenia (paragraph 4.2.2). In the Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan one can find “Within frames of poverty reduction activities consolidation of municipalities and reduction of their number is considered to be important in the sphere of local self – government…” (paragraph 220.127.116.11). “…consolidation of municipalities is important…” is mentioned in the draft of the reviewed variant of the Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan (paragraph 8.1.1).
According to the Law on Administrative-Territorial Division of the Republic of Armenia 930 municipalities were created in Armenia in 1995, consisting of 47 urban, 871 rural and 12 Yerevan district municipalities (currently there are 926 municipalities, from which 48 are urban municipalities). It should be mentioned that there are significant differences among both urban and rural municipalities related to the number of population, as well as the existence of land areas, social and economic infrastructures within municipalities’ administrative boundaries.
The municipalities of Armenia differ from each other by thousand times by the number of population, as well as by their financial and human resources. Despite these differences all municipalities functioning according to the requirements of the same law. All municipalities are obliged to provide the whole list of services stipulated by the law. Each citizen should be
provided by the same minimum “bouquet” of services by local self-government bodies irrespective in which municipality they live.