This is the second report on local democracy in Liechtenstein since it ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. The rapporteurs conclude that Liechtenstein duly implements the principles and requirements of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and has a good level of local democracy.
The report highlights that the healthy financial situation of local authorities due to the high percentage of local tax revenue and well-balanced local budgets could serve as an example of best practice for other countries. The municipalities in Liechtenstein enjoy a wide range of rights of political participation in national affairs. The forms and practice of direct citizen participation in local matters are well developed in Liechtenstein.
The Congress welcomes a close and effective co-operation between the central and local governments in practice, but recommends formalizing in law the mechanism of consulting local authorities. It is also recommended that the Liechtenstein authorities consider ratifying non-ratified provisions of the Charter which are de facto applied in Liechtenstein.
The Congress however expresses its concern regarding the present system of Government’s approval of municipal budgets as a legal condition for their validity. It also draws the authorities’ attention to the shared competences between central and local government in certain areas and recommends reviewing the division of responsibilities so as to avoid any overlap.
Lastly, Liechtenstein is called on to consider signing and ratifying the Additional Protocol to the Charter on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority.
The principle of local self government shall be recognised in domestic legislation, and where practicable in the constitution.
Article 2 of the Charter requires signatory countries to recognise the principle of local self-government in their domestic legislation. In Liechtenstein, while the Constitution does not contain a definition of local government, the Municipalities Act sets out the fundamental elements of the municipalities' legal status (section 3 of the Municipalities Act of 1996). According to its provisions, they are “public law bodies” (thus legally recognising that they exercise public authority), which regulate and administer local matters (reference to their functions) in an autonomous way (providing self-government for the local communities).
In the rapporteurs’ opinion, Liechtenstein is in compliance with the requirements of Article 2 of the Charter.
Local self-government denotes the right and the ability of local authorities, within the limits of the law, to regulate and manage a substantial share of public affairs under their own responsibility and in the interests of the local population.
Article 3 paragraph 1 requires that local authorities should have “a substantial share of public affairs under their own responsibility”. Although the Charter does not specify which tasks and functions must fall within the remit of local government, it should regulate and administer primarily those public affairs which affect the local community most and which it can carry out more effectively.
Municipalities play a crucial role in local democracy in Liechtenstein and have wide-ranging powers. It is worth recalling that in 2006 Congress Recommendation 196 suggested increasing local government's role in the welfare services, and regional and town planning. During this monitoring visit, no similar problems were raised, except for community-level planning and development.
The democratic character of local authorities, based on their direct legitimacy and the holding of free elections, which are core values of the Charter entrenched in Article 3 paragraph 2, is indirectly guaranteed by the Liechtenstein Constitution. According to Article 110 paragraph 2.a. of the Constitution, the Municipalities Act has to establish the principle of free election of mayors and other officials of the municipalities. Article 111 guarantees that all Liechtenstein citizens who have reached the age of 18 and are not deprived of their voting rights shall be eligible to vote in the municipalities where they reside. Councillors are elected for four years on electoral lists.
As mentioned above, the Municipalities Act permits local citizens to initiate popular votes (referendums) on local matters, while in certain cases (such as changes in municipal boundaries) a local referendum is mandatory.
Consequently, the rapporteurs conclude that the situation in Liechtenstein complies with Article 3 paragraphs 1 and 2.
This right shall be exercised by councils or assemblies composed of members freely elected by secret ballot on the basis of direct, equal, universal suffrage, and which may possess executive organs responsible to them. This provision shall in no way affect recourse to assemblies of citizens, referendums or any other form of direct citizen participation where it is permitted by statute.
Consult reply indicated at article 3.1
The basic powers and responsibilities of local authorities shall be prescribed by the constitution or by statute. However, this provision shall not prevent the attribution to local authorities of powers and responsibilities for specific purposes in accordance with the law.
8. The responsibilities of municipalities are defined by the Municipalities Act of 1996. Local authorities are also in charge of other tasks and functions determined by sectorial laws and delegated powers. Liechtenstein thus fully complies with Article 4 paragraph 1.
Local authorities shall, within the limits of the law, have full discretion to exercise their initiative with regard to any matter which is not excluded from their competence nor assigned to any other authority.
Paragraph 2 of this Article refers to the freedom of local authorities to deal voluntarily with any matter of local interest which does not belong to the exclusive competence of any other public authority. As mentioned above (see paragraph 31), the Liechtenstein municipalities can avail themselves of this freedom, which is largely facilitated by the positive financial situation of most local authorities.
Public responsibilities shall generally be exercised, in preference, by those authorities which are closest to the citizen. Allocation of responsibility to another authority should weigh up the extent and nature of the task and requirements of efficiency and economy.
Having regard to the size of the Principality of Liechtenstein, the principle of subsidiarity almost naturally prevails, since all public authorities are located, and deliver public services, close to the citizens.
Powers given to local authorities shall normally be full and exclusive. They may not be undermined or limited by another, central or regional, authority except as provided for by the law.
As to the requirement of the full and exclusive exercise of local government powers, in general the Municipalities Act explicitly distinguishes between “own” and “delegated powers” (eigene” and übertragener Wirkungskreis). However, the rapporteurs observed that in some areas, the responsibilities of the central government and the municipalities seem overlapping that does not allow for the powers given to local authorities to be full and exclusive.
During the visit the rapporteurs observed that some tasks of local authorities, like the issuing of building permits or community planning and development, require joint action with state administrative bodies. During the consultation procedure the government informed the rapporteurs that according to the existing legal regulations in the area of building permits or community planning and development the central administration monitors compliance with the Building Law and grants building permits while the municipalities monitor compliance of projects with building regulation at municipal level and since structure plans exist both at national and municipal level, the government monitors municipal structure plans with regard to their compliance with the national structure plan and with the legal requirements.
However, during the meetings the rapporteurs heard criticisms in relation to unjustified central government intervention in clearly local matters, such as the designation of local residential areas.
Moreover, the municipalities’ power to prepare and adopt their own annual budget is not full and exclusive, since all municipal budgets must be approved by the central government.
The municipalities and the central government also have some shared functions and tasks in the field of public education. However, here, even if public education can be regarded at a very abstract level as a shared responsibility, in practice various tasks are carefully separated and clarified. While municipalities are responsible for paying teachers and maintaining primary school buildings, the central state carries out a number of professional tasks (e.g., it is responsible for curricula).
Therefore, in the opinion of the rapporteurs, Article 4 paragraph 4 is partially complied with by Liechtenstein.
Where powers are delegated to them by a central or regional authority, local authorities shall, insofar as possible, be allowed discretion in adapting their exercise to local conditions.
As regards social services, the costs of social care and assistance and the maintenance of social institutions (such as retirement homes) are co-financed by the state and the municipalities concerned. However, in the opinion of the rapporteurs, the shared financing of a mandatory function does not necessarily mean shared responsibilities, and, that being the case, this practice cannot be regarded as a breach of the Charter. Municipalities may also contribute to financing the costs of public transport on a voluntary basis, even though this falls under the responsibility of the state. “Partial compliance” can be established only if the decision-making power is divided.
As far as delegated powers are concerned, local autonomy is obviously more limited, since the central government bodies exert stronger supervision over their implementation, as compared with purely legal oversight. However, the rapporteurs noted that local authorities in Liechtenstein have sufficient discretionary powers in performing delegated tasks and therefore consider that the situation complies with paragraph 5 of Article 4.
Local authorities shall be consulted, insofar as possible, in due time and in an appropriate way in the planning and decision-making processes for all matters which concern them directly.
The Charter requirement concerning the right of local authorities to be consulted “in due time and in an appropriate way” in matters which concern them directly is not reflected in the Act either in general, or in specific cases. However, in Liechtenstein municipalities are effectively involved in the decision-making processes regarding matters that affect them, despite a lack of institutionalised consultation mechanisms. In light of the above considerations, the rapporteurs’ consider that Liechtenstein complies with the requirements of paragraph 6 of Article 4 of the Charter.
Consequently, the rapporteurs conclude that Liechtenstein complies with paragraphs 1 to 3 and 5 and 6 of Article 4, and partially complies with paragraph 4.
Changes in local authority boundaries shall not be made without prior consultation of the local communities concerned, possibly by means of a referendum where this is permitted by statute.
The Charter requires that a change in local authority boundaries should give rise to prior consultation with the local communities concerned, possibly by means of a referendum where this is permitted by statute.
According to Article 4 paragraph 1 of the Constitution, the borders of state territory may only be changed by means of a law. Changes to boundaries between municipalities, the establishment of new municipalities and the merger of existing municipalities also require a majority decision of the Liechtenstein citizens eligible to vote who reside there.
The Constitution provides that every municipality shall have the right to secede from the Principality within the limits of the law or an international treaty. A local referendum is required for both the initiation of such a procedure and for adoption of the final decision.
In the light of the above considerations, the rapporteurs conclude that Article 5 is complied with in Liechtenstein.
Without prejudice to more general statutory provisions, local authorities shall be able to determine their own internal administrative structures in order to adapt them to local needs and ensure effective management.
According to Article 6 of the Charter, local authorities shall have the right to determine their internal administrative structures and must be able to adapt them to local needs and ensure effective management. The Charter requires that the right conditions should be established for the holding of office by local elected representatives in order to ensure the free exercise of their functions.
The Municipalities Act of 1996 determines the basic features of municipal organisation. It regulates in detail the composition, powers and duties of municipal bodies. Local officials are elected by the Municipal Assembly or the Council and local authorities are free to establish their own structures (such as committees).
As for local government staff, there are no uniform rules governing the civil service in the country. Administrative staff are employed by each municipality on the basis of a specific municipal regulation. The Municipalities Act obliges local authorities to adopt local regulations on the public service and the wages of local administrators (Dienst- und Besoldungsreglement, sections 61-62 of the Municipalities Act). The central government authorities have instituted no limit on the number of staff employed by municipalities.
As a consequence, the rapporteurs consider that paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 6 of the Charter are complied with in Liechtenstein.
The conditions of service of local government employees shall be such as to permit the recruitment of high-quality staff on the basis of merit and competence; to this end adequate training opportunities, remuneration and career prospects shall be provided.
Consult reply indicated at article 6.1
The conditions of office of local elected representatives shall provide for free exercise of their functions.
In relation to paragraph 1 of Article 7, the rapporteurs would underline that the Municipalities Act does not specify the legal status of councillors, but does regulate the status of the entire council as the supreme managing and executive body of a municipality. While the Act includes provisions relating to the rights of local voters as members of the municipal Assembly to initiate referendums, make proposals, address questions to municipal bodies or participate in local elections, it does not specify the rights enjoyed by members of the municipal council.
During the monitoring process, the rapporteurs did not identify any obstacles that would impede local elected representatives in the exercise of their functions.
The rapporteurs observed that, in general, mayors work full-time. Members of municipal councils work part-time within the council (Gemeinderat) and combine their electoral mandate with other professional activities. They are entitled to a fair allowance to cover the costs of performing their official duties and receive appropriate compensation for loss of remuneration.
The Municipalities Act contains strict incompatibility rules for the election of municipal councils. Close relatives of councillors and staff of the municipality, members of the Government, and judges of the Administrative and Constitutional Courts may not be elected as representatives of the council (section 47). The Act lays down conflict of interest rules not only for council membership, but also for the work of the municipal council. For example, section 50 of the Act specifies the matters in which the representatives concerned are to be excluded from the decision-making process. The rapporteurs therefore have sufficient evidence that Article 7 paragraph 3 of the Charter is duly implemented.
Consequently, the rapporteurs conclude that Liechtenstein complies with paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 7.
They shall allow for appropriate financial compensation for expenses incurred in the exercise of the office in question as well as, where appropriate, compensation for loss of earnings or remuneration for work done and corresponding social welfare protection.
Consult reply indicated at article 7.1
Any functions and activities which are deemed incompatible with the holding of local elective office shall be determined by statute or fundamental legal principles.
Consult reply indicated at article 7.1
Any administrative supervision of local authorities may only be exercised according to such procedures and in such cases as are provided for by the constitution or by statute.
Any administrative supervision of the activities of local authorities can only aim at ensuring compliance with the law and constitutional principles. Administrative supervision may, however, be exercised by higher-level authorities with regard to expediency in respect of the tasks delegated to local authorities. Another important requirement which can be inferred from the Charter provisions is that the law should precisely define the administrative authorities empowered to exercise legal supervision over municipalities, thus eliminating the uncertainty inherent in the current legislation.
In line with the requirements of the Charter, the rules governing central control over local authorities in Liechtenstein, and the powers of the central authorities concerned, are determined by the Municipalities Act (sections 116-118).
Regarding local government responsibilities, oversight is generally confined to a review of the lawfulness of municipal acts. As far as delegated powers are concerned, the review also extends to the appropriateness and effectiveness of local measures. The Government may lodge a complaint with the municipal council against a decision on local matters (Verwaltungsbeschwerde).
However, the rapporteurs wish to raise a particular concern about the system of central government approval of local budgets. The delegation was told that when approving local budgets the government only checks whether the particular municipal budget is well–balanced (i.e., there is no deficit). During the consultation procedure, the government informed the rapporteurs that the municipalities are urged to maintain a balanced budget in the medium term according to Article 3 of the Act on the Financial Budget of the Municipalities (Gesetz über den Finanzhaushalt der Gemeinden) of 2015. The government further argued that it does not check the content and the volume of the local budgets but only their form and legality according to Article 10 of that Act.
It is worth noting, however, that the adoption of a municipal budget is not a delegated power, but a so-called “own responsibility”, the core function and entitlement of local government, which gives municipalities greater autonomy. The Government’s power of approval is not necessary for the conduct of a legal review. The rapporteurs are of the opinion that the existence of such a system of local budget approval permits state intervention in local economic management and opens up the possibility for the Government to keep local government budgets under control, even though this possibility is only theoretical since no such intervention has been reported as taking place in practice.
The rapporteurs also consider that the extent of financial oversight made possible by central government approval of local budgets constitutes disproportionate interference in local self-government. Moreover, with regard to the well-balanced financial situation of the municipalities, the Government’s approval based on checking whether municipalities have planned a budget deficit does not appear necessary.
The rapporteurs therefore conclude that paragraph 1 of Article 8 is complied with in Liechtenstein, while paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 8 are not complied with.
Any administrative supervision of the activities of the local authorities shall normally aim only at ensuring compliance with the law and with constitutional principles. Administrative supervision may however be exercised with regard to expediency by higher-level authorities in respect of tasks the execution of which is delegated to local authorities.
Consult reply indicated at article 8.1
Administrative supervision of local authorities shall be exercised in such a way as to ensure that the intervention of the controlling authority is kept in proportion to the importance of the interests which it is intended to protect.
Consult reply indicated at article 8.1
Local authorities' financial resources shall be commensurate with the responsibilities provided for by the constitution and the law.
Consult reply indicated at article 9.1
For the purpose of borrowing for capital investment, local authorities shall have access to the national capital market within the limits of the law.
The rapporteurs noted that the municipalities in Liechtenstein currently have no need to borrow. At the same time, they are not prohibited from accessing the national financial market.
In the light of the above considerations, the rapporteurs conclude that the situation in Liechtenstein complies with all paragraphs of Article 9.
As far as possible, grants to local authorities shall not be earmarked for the financing of specific projects. The provision of grants shall not remove the basic freedom of local authorities to exercise policy discretion within their own jurisdiction.
According to paragraph 7 of Article 9, central government subsidies transferred to local authorities in the form of general or block grants are preferred to earmarked grants, since the former enable local governments to enjoy greater autonomy and freedom to spend their resources. As central government subsidies in Liechtenstein are allocated to local authorities in the form of lump-sum payments through the financial equalisation system, the rapporteurs consider that this requirement is also met.
Local authorities shall be consulted, in an appropriate manner, on the way in which redistributed resources are to be allocated to them.
With regard to Article 9 paragraph 6, despite the absence of a formal institutionalised system of consultation between central and local governments, either in general or on financial matters, the Conference of Mayors provides an effective consultation mechanism for local authorities. Since the Charter does not specify what forms consultation should take, the rapporteurs consider that the consultation practice in Liechtenstein generally meets the requirements of the Charter, since the Government consults municipalities regularly and effectively on draft budgets and other draft decisions which could affect the financial management of local authorities.
The protection of financially weaker local authorities calls for the institution of financial equalisation procedures or equivalent measures which are designed to correct the effects of the unequal distribution of potential sources of finance and of the financial burden they must support. Such procedures or measures shall not diminish the discretion local authorities may exercise within their own sphere of responsibility.
In Liechtenstein, regional and economic differences between various municipalities are smoothed out by the equalisation system in accordance with the Financial Equalisation Act (Finanzausgleichsgesetz) of 2007. The financial equalisation system is based on a standard mechanism of financial transfers, which takes into account the financial needs of each municipality and its ability to raise tax revenues. As a result, municipalities receive grants of varying amounts, depending on their economic situation. In the rapporteurs’ opinion, this system complies with the relevant provision of the Charter (Article 9 paragraph 5).
Part at least of the financial resources of local authorities shall derive from local taxes and charges of which, within the limits of statute, they have the power to determine the rate.
As far as specific local resources are concerned, in line with the requirements of paragraphs 3 and 4 the rapporteurs noted that: local taxes account for a high share in the revenue structure of municipal budgets; local authorities are entitled to raise revenues from duties and charges for local public services and use of their assets (municipal property).
The rapporteurs consider that local resources are sufficiently diversified to enable local authorities to obtain the financial resources necessary for carrying out their mandatory tasks and duties, as well as to exercise their statutory powers.
Local authorities shall be entitled, within national economic policy, to adequate financial resources of their own, of which they may dispose freely within the framework of their powers.
According to Article 9 paragraph 1 of the Charter local authorities should have adequate financial resources of their own, of which they may dispose freely within the framework of their powers. Financial autonomy is an essential component of the principle of local self-government and an important condition for the exercise of a wide range of responsibilities in the field of local public affairs. These elements are cumulative and not alternative, which means that all the conditions laid down in Article 9 of the Charter are mandatory. Another basic principle requires that local authorities should have sufficient financial resources in proportion to the responsibilities assigned to them by law.
The financial situation of local authorities in Liechtenstein is such that their share of public expenditure is one of the highest in Europe. This means that a considerable proportion of public spending is carried out by local authorities.
Compared to other European countries, the municipalities of Liechtenstein have continued to enjoy a good financial situation despite the world economic and financial crisis. While state revenues significantly decreased during the crisis, municipal revenues remained more or less stable. In fact, the municipalities’ share in total government revenues increased from 24.2% in 2011 to 30.4% in 2015. It is worth noting that this proportion has been steadily increasing since 2012. As a consequence, some of the persons to whom the Congress delegation spoke claimed that the Liechtenstein municipalities are generally in a better financial situation than the central government, which might be a unique situation in Europe.
Local authorities have revenues from central grants, local and shared taxes and other own resources.
Based on the data available to the rapporteurs, less than a quarter of local government revenues is derived from central grants. There are no precise data about either their percentage or structure (block versus specific grants). The method of allocation of block grants is determined by the Financial Equalisation Act of 2007, whereby municipalities whose taxation capacity and financial resources do not enable them to fulfil their mandatory tasks and functions are entitled to a state subsidy. In other words, general or block grants are allocated only to those municipalities whose financial needs exceed their resources. Financial needs are calculated on the basis of the per capita costs of mandatory functions, taking the average of the previous four years, while taxation capacity is based on the tax revenue per inhabitant. The fact that fewer municipalities receive financial equalisation grants today than was the case some years ago demonstrates the favourable financial situation of local authorities.
It is important to note, however, that the ratio between local revenues and central grants varies according to the municipality. In Triesenberg, for example, almost half of total revenue comes from the financial equalisation system, and the proportion of tax revenues is much lower than the national average.
In addition, some earmarked grants can be allocated to local authorities for specific goals (e.g. for projects with nationwide interest or for environmental remediation). During the consultation procedure the government informed the rapporteurs that many earmarked grants were compensated with the Financial Equalisation Act (Finanzausgleichsgesetz) of 2007.
Nevertheless, it is certain that the bulk of local government revenues (more than 60%) comes from taxes. Municipalities receive a share of business tax, as the Tax Act of 2010 states that a municipality in which a company is domiciled is entitled to 35% of the respective tax on profits. Furthermore, each municipality is entitled to levy a surcharge tax on the state tax on personal assets and income.
Local authorities may also obtain revenues from charges and fees paid for local public services delivered by the municipalities, such as waste disposal. Municipalities may use their assets as financial resources by selling municipal real estate and other property.
Owing to the significant proportion of local revenues in total financial resources, local authorities can freely dispose of their funds provided that their budgets have been approved by the central government.
The well-balanced local government budgets show that the financial resources available to the municipalities are adequate and proportionate to their mandatory tasks and functions. The high proportion of tax revenues in local resources and the budgetary surpluses that are frequent in most local budgets provide sufficient evidence for the rapporteurs to conclude that the relevant requirements of the Charter (i.e., paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9) are fully implemented in Liechtenstein.
The financial systems on which resources available to local authorities are based shall be of a sufficiently diversified and buoyant nature to enable them to keep pace as far as practically possible with the real evolution of the cost of carrying out their tasks.
Consult reply indicated at article 9.3
Local authorities shall be entitled, in exercising their powers, to co-operate and, within the framework of the law, to form consortia with other local authorities in order to carry out tasks of common interest.
The Charter requires signatory countries to provide for the right of local governments to cooperate and, within the framework of the law, to form consortia with other local authorities in order to carry out tasks of common interest. Each member state is required to recognise the entitlement of local authorities to belong to an association for the protection and promotion of their common interests and to belong to an international association of local authorities. Furthermore, local governments must be consulted, as far as possible, in due time and in an appropriate way, in the planning and decision-making processes for all matters that concern them directly.
In Liechtenstein, municipalities are free to establish consortia to jointly perform their mandatory tasks. Therefore, the requirements of Article 10 paragraph 1 are fulfilled. The rapporteurs were also informed that some local authorities actively co-operate with their counterparts abroad. The 11 Liechtenstein municipalities have not formed an association, but the rapporteurs did not find any legal prohibition or political obstacle which would prevent local authorities from establishing an association. It seems that the Conference of Mayors plays the same role as local government associations in other countries.
In the rapporteurs’ opinion, the situation in Liechtenstein complies with all paragraphs of Article 10.
The entitlement of local authorities to belong to an association for the protection and promotion of their common interests and to belong to an international association of local authorities shall be recognised in each State.
Consult reply indicated at article 10.1
Local authorities shall be entitled, under such conditions as may be provided for by the law, to co-operate with their counterparts in other States.
Consult reply indicated at article 10.1
Local authorities shall have the right of recourse to a judicial remedy in order to secure free exercise of their powers and respect for such principles of local self-government as are enshrined in the constitution or domestic legislation.
As far as the legal protection of local authorities is concerned, municipal councils can appeal to the Administrative Court against a supervisory act of the Government if they consider that it is unlawful and restricts local self-government.
Municipalities also have the right, within the limits of the law, to petition state authorities and initiate referendums in order to defend their rights.
Although local authorities are not legally entitled to submit constitutional complaints to the Constitutional Court (Staatsgerichtshof) for legal protection in a case involving a violation of their rights, the Congress delegation was informed that judicial practice has developed this right. However, this remains purely theoretical, since no such complaint has been submitted to the Court in the last ten years. Given that the Constitutional Court can also rule on jurisdictional conflicts between public authorities, in theory at least, municipalities can appeal to it in the event of an abuse of power by a state authority.
The rapporteurs were informed that there are wide-ranging possibilities and good instruments for the legal protection of municipalities, and these mechanisms and procedures are laid down in the Municipalities Act. However, they were told that in practice “there is no need for them” since municipalities can usually solve all problematic issues through direct contact with the Government.
In the light of the above, the rapporteurs consider that Liechtenstein municipalities have various legal instruments to protect their rights and interests, ranging from the judicial review of actions taken by the state to the right to initiate local referendums. They therefore conclude that Article 11 is duly implemented in Liechtenstein.
Each Party undertakes to consider itself bound by at least twenty paragraphs of Part I of the Charter, at least ten of which shall be selected from among the following paragraphs:
– Article 2,
– Article 3, paragraphs 1 and 2,
– Article 4, paragraphs 1, 2 and 4,
– Article 5,
– Article 7, paragraph 1,
– Article 8, paragraph 2,
– Article 9, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3,
– Article 10, paragraph 1,
– Article 11.
Each Contracting State, when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, shall notify to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the paragraphs selected in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article.
Any Party may, at any later time, notify the Secretary General that it considers itself bound by any paragraphs of this Charter which it has not already accepted under the terms of paragraph 1 of this article. Such undertakings subsequently given shall be deemed to be an integral part of the ratification, acceptance or approval of the Party so notifying, and shall have the same effect as from the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of the receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.