The Association of Estonian Cities (ELL) 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 ELL.
The ELL was established on 19 September 1920. At present, all the cities, including the capital Tallinn, and some rural municipalities are members. The local governments belonging to the ELL cover more than two thirds of the population of Estonia and all Estonian regions are represented. The ELL is funded from the membership fees, the amount of which depends on the revenues of a member.
Responsibilities of the ELL 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 ELL 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 ELL.
The ELL is a member of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Baltic Sea States Sub-Regional Cooperation (BSSSC), and the Joint Consultative Committee of the Committee of the Regions (CoR).