Latest News (Site updated Monday, November 23, 2015 | 14:30)

Leen Verbeek: “We need balanced responses and inclusive policies to face the challenge of extremism”

[20/11/2015 15:30:00] “We are facing a major crisis situation today. It is with balanced policies that go beyond repression and take into account both safety and human rights issues that we can face these challenges together” stated Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC), Vice-President of the Congress, addressing the participants of the Lab “Countering radicalisation”, as part of the fourth World Forum for Democracy on 19 November 2015. This Lab focused on new strategies to prevent radicalisation and to improve outcomes for all residents by more successfully integrating migrants into society. “Local and regional authorities are the main vectors for inclusive policies and can contribute to sustainable solutions in response to radicalisation” the vice-president said. Talking about the ‘’Strategy to combat radicalisation at grassroots level’’, he reminded the participants not to fall into the trap of equating refugees with terrorism. “As local authorities we have to stand together in this fight. It is essential that we work together and profit from the experience of each other”, Leen Verbeek concluded.
Forum website

Jean-Claude Frécon: “The millions of European local elected representatives form a great network which we must mobilise to prevent radicalisation”

[19/11/2015 10:00:00] “The attacks in Paris targeted young people, the generation who go to concert halls, in mixed neighbourhoods where cultures meet, intermingle and intermarry. We will continue to promote this ‘living together’, while respecting differences and respecting religions,” said Congress President Jean-Claude Frécon at the opening of the Conference on the Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violent Extremism in Aarhus, Denmark, on 18 November 2015. “As local elected representatives, we have our part to play in the months and years ahead in contributing to the efforts to combat radicalisation and terrorism. In the some 200 000 local and regional authorities in the Council of Europe’s 47 member countries, there are several million local elected representatives who are in direct contact with residents and have detailed knowledge of their areas and neighbourhoods. These elected representatives form a great network looking after our communities,” he said.
Speech (French)
Aarhus Conference website
Congress File

Mayors, councillors and local representatives from 22 European countries call for the creation of an alliance of European cities to prevent radicalisation

[18/11/2015 18:00:00] Attending the International Conference on the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism, in Aarhus, a hundred or so mayors, councillors and local representatives from 22 European countries adopted a joint declaration. They call for concerted action by local authorities, in close consultation with national governments, as part of an alliance of European cities to counter the increase in radicalisation and the acts of extreme violence to which it gives rise. The declaration highlights the exceptional nature of the network constituted by the millions of mayors and local councillors throughout Europe. “This unique network of elected representatives can contribute, through its members’ knowledge of their area and population, to an early warning system for any drift towards radicalisation. We ask national authorities to systematically include local decision-makers in the drawing up and implementation of strategies that are being developed at European and national levels”, declared the conference participants.
Press release
Aarhus declaration
Conference website
Congress File

Congress Vice President at the opening of the World Forum for Democracy: “It is essential, to protect our citizens without jeopardising their freedom granted by democratic values”.

[19/11/2015 11:30:00] “The terrorist attacks we have witnessed this year in European cities are examples of the terrible devastation that a refusal to understand and accept others can cause”, said Clemens Lammerskitten (Germany, EPP/CCE), Member of the Niedersachsen Parliament and Vice-President of the Congress, during the opening of the fourth World Forum for Democracy on 18 November 2015 which focuses on the theme ‘Freedom vs control: For a democratic response’. “The Congress has been working over the last two decades on the development of inclusive and resilient communities that can serve as a protective shield to prevent radicalisation at local and regional level” he pointed out. In this context, the Congress adopted at its March 2015 Session a ‘Strategy to combat radicalisation at grassroots level’. The Congress is the official sponsor of three labs this year, focusing on ‘Intercultural responses’, ‘Freedom games’, and ‘Countering radicalisation’.
Forum Website

Congress organises a workshop “Mayors – Leaders for change” in Tbilisi

[20/11/2015 10:00:00] The Congress will organise, in close co-operation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), a workshop “Mayors – Leaders for change” in Tbilisi on 24 – 26 November 2015. This workshop is aimed to provide a platform for exchange on local democracy. By involving members of the Congress, mayors will share best practices and increase their knowledge on standards of local self-governance. They will be invited to reflect on how to lead change, how to enhance trust in local authorities and increase citizen participation in an ethical decision-making process. This workshop is the second country-based event organised within the thematic programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance”. This programme is funded jointly by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe, through the Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF) for 2015-2017 for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. Targeted co-operation activities aim at reinforcing the capacity of Eastern Partnership countries to put domestic reforms into effect in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Press release
Website - Programmatic Co-operation Framework 2015-2017

From radicalisation to resilience: the Congress takes part in an international conference organised by the City of Aarhus and the Jutland police

[18/11/2015 16:30:00] A Congress delegation took part on 19 and 20 November 2015 in an international conference organised by the City of Aarhus (Denmark) on “Building resilience to radicalisation and violent extremism”. “The role of local authorities, the guarantee of individual freedoms through a human rights-based approach and the added value which networks of cities can provide are key factors for an effective fight against radicalisation”, said Jean-Philippe Bozouls, Director a.i. of the Congress, speaking at the opening of the conference on behalf of the Congress. He outlined the results of the previous day’s work at the political conference on the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism, jointly organised by the Congress and the European Forum for Urban Security, in Aarhus. “The declaration adopted yesterday by elected representatives from 22 countries specifically calls for the launch of an alliance of cities against radicalisation to capitalise on the unique network constituted by millions of mayors and local councillors throughout Europe. As a result of its members’ detailed knowledge of their area and population, this network of elected representatives can contribute to an early warning system for any drift towards radicalisation”, he concluded.

Grassroots democracy discussed between Ukrainian young local leaders and representatives of Strasbourg Eurometropole and Alsace region

[16/11/2015 18:00:00] The Congress is organising a study visit with the aim to empower young local leaders to foster grassroots democracy in Ukraine, in Strasbourg, from 16 to 21 November 2015. This study visit aims to provide participants with insight on inter-municipal and transfrontier cooperation and enable them to identify best practices of local and regional democracy. In particular, they will get acquainted with different modalities and structures of co-operation and discover the opportunities and challenges regarding policy-making, through interactive exchanges with local elected representatives. In this regard, the participants will meet representatives from the Eurometropole (Strasbourg), Alsace Region (France), Eurodistrict, the Agency for Economic Development of the Lower-Rhine (ADIRA), as well as to take part in the fourth World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 18 - 20 November 2015).
Full text of the News

  All the news   Subscribe to our RSS Feeds RSS
All the news            Search the news
Drapeau européenYouth activities
Drapeau européenFocus on Ukraine
VIDEO CLIP - The Congress in brief YouTube

Drapeau européenPolitical dialogue with governments
Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers