Brief history

  The roots of the Union stretch back to October 1907, when the First Congress of Czech Towns of the Czech Kingdom took place in Kolín. A written record, namely, the "Stenographic Record of the Congress Proceedings", is preserved in the District Archive Library in Kolín. The congress was attended by 210 delegates drawn from a hundred Czech towns. The congress participants expressed their interest in “bringing a more essential, organic grouping of all Czech towns into being that would result in an influential counterbalance to organisations of other corporations, estates and classes of state society...“ Hence, the Union of Czech Towns in the Czech Kingdom was established. After World War I, in 1920, to be precise, the Union of Czech Town’s operation was extended to take in Moravia and Silesia, later on Slovakia, too. The Union of Czechoslovak Towns was duly created. 


  Since that time, owing to both external and internal circumstances, the development of the organisation associating self-governing municipalities was interrupted on several occasions. One of the main tasks of social transformation after November 1989 was the restoration of municipalities’ democratic autonomy in compliance with the principles of a state governed by law. Restitution of a Union defending the interests of towns and municipalities was then a question of a mere few weeks. The constituent congress of the modern Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic took place on January 16, 1990 in Brno. In the beginning, the Union primarily placed emphasis on support and consultancy activities, but over the course of time the centre of attention increasingly became the necessity to assert the interests of self-government in relation to central bodies of executive and legislative power. The focus of the Union’s activity continuously changed in conceptual terms. The first distinctive successes started to manifest themselves in 1992, when the Union started to be perceived by the Government and other state administration bodies as their partner. Following the accession to the European Union, the SMO ČR also became a partner to European institutions.