The News (Site updated Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 11:30)
Conference on Participatory Democracy at Local Level in Yerevan
[17/06/2013 09:30:00] On June 19 2013 a Conference on Participatory Democracy at Local Level will be held in Yerevan (Institute of Ancient Manuscripts). The conference is organised under the Armenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in close co-operation with the Congress.
It will address the issues related to participatory democracy at local level, in particular the current situation in member states, the role of participatory democracy in improving the efficiency of local authorities and the ways of strengthening participatory democracy at local level. The Conference will also be a good opportunity for an exchange of good practice and the progress achieved in member States of the Council of Europe.
Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress, Vice-Presidents and members of the Congress, as well as Armen Gevorgyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Territorial Administration of Armenia, representatives of other relevant state structures, local self-government bodies, civil society as well as international and local experts will participate in the Conference.
The conference is open for the media.
Press release List of participants Speech H. Van Staa Documents and speeches of the Conference
Congress Bureau meeting in Yerevan, Armenia
[13/06/2013 14:30:00] To mark Armenia’s Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Bureau of the Congress held its meeting in Yerevan, Armenia, on 18 June.
Bureau members exchanged views with high-level Armenian officials and discussed the agenda of the 25th Session of the Congress, activities of the Congress committees, as well as the latest developments in local and regional democracy. Among the other items on the agenda were co-operation activities, the Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion, the observation of elections of the Assembly (Avagani) of Yerevan in Armenia (5 May 2013) and the contribution of the Congress to the priorities of the chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers. In this context, Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress, met with high level representatives of the government and the Parliament including Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and the President of the Armenian National Assembly Hovik Abrahamyan. Herwig van Staa, held a press conference at 11am the same day at the National Library of the Republic of Armenia.
Raymond Svensson: “Bringing together local and regional authorities and civil society is a crucial factor in increasing citizen participation”
[18/06/2013 14:30:00] “Interaction between the institutions of governance and civil society is an effective channel of bringing citizens on board as we speak about their involvement in decision-making and governing processes,” stressed Raymond Svensson(Sweden, GILD-ILDG), Congress Rapporteur on partnership between local and regional authorities and civil society, speaking at the Seminar on good democratic governance at local and regional level, in Strasbourg on 18 June 2013. He presented some good local and regional practices already implemented in Europe – such as participatory budgeting, local referenda or citizen consultations on community development projects – but pointed to a lack of implementation by local and regional authorities of the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process, adopted by the Council of Europe Conference of international NGOs in 2009. His new report, to be prepared in co-operation with NGOs, will address this shortcoming.
Photo: www.scenochsalong.se Speech
Parliamentary Conference in Baku: children’s well-being indicates the well-being of society
[14/06/2013 14:00:00] “We have the tools to fight sexual violence and abuse of children at local and regional levels”, declared Clemens Lammerskitten, Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and member of the regional parliament of Lower Saxony (Germany), during the Parliamentary Conference on the implementation of the ONE in FIVE Campaign held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 1 June 2013. These tools, consisting of the Lanzarote Convention and the Pact of Towns and Regions to Stop Sexual Violence against Children, aim to prevent abuse, protect victims, and prosecute perpetrators while ensuring the full participation of children. “We are still faced with the major challenge of getting towns and regions to sign up for our Pact. I’m very pleased to announce that Dammarie-lès-Lys – town of Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly – has signed up. This is an example we should all follow.” Closing his presentation, Mr Lammerskitten expressed his wish that the joint efforts continue in the Council’s member States to raise awareness of the ONE in FIVE Campaign and the Pact so Europe’s children can live free from the horror of sexual violence. On the occasion of the Conference, Mr Lammerskitten presented the Pact to the Mayor of Baku, Hajibala Abulatybov, who expressed his interest in signing the Pact.
Integration of Roma people in Europe: 4th edition of the ''Congress-Dosta! Prize for municipalities': deadline for applications, 5 August 2013
[13/06/2013 14:30:00] Municipalities wishing to apply to the 4th edition of the Dosta!/Congress Prize for Municipalities are asked to submit their application forms by 5 August 2013. This prize is awarded to on or more municipalities from Council of Europe member states whose creative and innovative initiatives most effectively ensure diversity in community life and the active democratic participation of the Roma. The winning projects will receive the award during a ceremony on the occasion of the Congress’ 25th Session (Strasbourg, France, 19-21 October 2013).
Application form More information on the Prize