Latest News (Site updated Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | 16:30)
Meeting of the Congress Governance Committee
[28/03/2017 13:00:00] The members of the Governance Committee of the Congress met in Strasbourg on Tuesday 28 March 2017, on the fringe of the 32nd Congress Session. They elected a 5th vice-chair, Robert Saunders, United Kingdom (L, ECR). The Committee approved a mandate concerning the 'Fair distribution of taxes in transfrontier areas' and debated on the draft report 'A better future for Europe’s rural regions'. In the framework of the Congress’ Roadmap of activities for preventing corruption at local and regional levels, the members looked at draft reports on 'Making public procurement transparent at local and regional level', 'Protecting whistleblowers', 'Nepotism (recruitment of staff)','Revision of the European code of conduct for the political integrity of Local and regional elected representatives' and on the report presented during this Session 'Open data for better public services'.
CV Robert Saunders
32nd Session of the Congress to focus on migration, citizen participation and local and regional democracy in Europe
[26/03/2017 10:00:00] The 32nd session (28 to 30 March) will include several debates focusing on the role of local authorities facing migration, the reception of unaccompanied child migrants and border regions facing migration flows. The Congress will also examine the state of local and regional democracy in Finland, the state of local democracy in Malta, Estonia and Iceland, as well as a report on the observation of local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (October 2016). In addition, following a fact-finding mission to Turkey in October and December 2016, members of the Congress will adopt a report on the situation in that country and, in particular, regarding the detention of elected mayors and their replacement by persons appointed by the Government. Also on the agenda are the adoption of a checklist for preventing the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes at local and regional level, as well as thematic debates on citizen participation, youth autonomy and access to employment, open data, human rights at local and regional level, and on the fight against anti-Gypsyism. Within the framework of the Southern Mediterranean Partnership, the Congress will host two delegations from Morocco and Tunisia. The 32nd Session will also mark the 10th anniversary of European Local Democracy Week (ELDW).
Press release 32nd Session Agenda Live webcast, videos and photos
South-Mediterranean Partnership: the Congress receives delegations from Morocco and Tunisia during the 32nd Session
[24/03/2017 13:00:00] In the context of its 32nd Session, the Congress has invited delegations from the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Tunisia. They will be participating in the context of the Congress’ South-Mediterranean Partnership (Sud-Med), whose activities are designed to accompany local and regional democracy reforms in these countries.
Mohamed BOUDRA, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Councils (AMPCC), and Mokhtar HAMMAMI, Director, Directorate General of Local Communities, Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment, Republic of Tunisia, will address the members of the Congress at the plenary session in the afternoon of Tuesday 28 March 2017. In the morning of Wednesday 29 March, Saloua DEMNATI, President of the Committee on Cooperation, Partnership and Moroccans Worldwide within the Regional Council of Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, will address the Chamber of Regions during the debate on “Border regions facing migration flows”.
Press release Partner for Local Democracy status Photos
Participation of youth delegates in the 32nd Congress session
[24/03/2017 15:00:00] On the occasion of the 32nd Session from 28 to 30 March 2017, the Congress will welcome 44 youth delegates between the ages of 16 and 30, from 44 countries and one observer from the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). The youth delegates will take part in all the debates and meetings alongside Congress members. This is a continuation of an initiative started in 2014 that has proven to be a good practice in directly involving young people in local and regional decision making. The Congress seeks to continue to build on the success of this exercise by exploring how to implement Council of Europe and Congress youth policy on promoting the participation of young people in decision and policy making. To this end, in addition to their participation in the session, for the second year running the youth delegates will develop grassroots projects to be conducted in the period between the two 2017 sessions.
Youth Delegates List File 'Youth Activities' File '32nd Session'
Declaration against anti-Gypsyism: the Congress calls on local and regional authorities to take a stand
[23/03/2017 09:30:00] At the 32nd Congress Session (28-30 March), a “Declaration of Mayors and Elected Local and Regional Representatives of Council of Europe Member States against anti-Gypsyism” will be presented by John Warmisham the Congress Spokesperson for Roma Issues. The Congress calls on elected representatives of local and regional authorities to sign in order to affirm their explicit opposition to anti-Gypsyism. The Declaration was approved on 9 March by the Current Affairs Committee and signed by its Chair Gabriele Neff and by John Warmisham - a call for signature to which the mayor of Bucharest (Sector Five) Daniel Florea immediately responded. This Declaration will be proposed for signature during the 32nd Session and will be disseminated through the network of the European Alliance of Local and Regional Authorities for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers.
Declaration of Mayors and Elected Local and Regional Representatives of Council of Europe Member States against anti-Gypsyism European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion
Monitoring visit by the Congress to Italy
[22/03/2017 19:00:00] A delegation from the Congress carried out a monitoring visit to Italy from 21 to 23 March 2017. The delegation examined the situation on local and regional democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 1990. Co-rapporteurs on local democracy Mr Jakob Wienen (the Netherlands, EPP-CCE) and Mr Stewart Dickson (United-Kingdom, ILDG), focused on the developments in the field of local democracy occurred since the adoption of the last Congress recommendation on local and regional democracy in Italy, on March 2013.
High level meetings were scheduled, in particular with the Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, Mr Enrico Costa, the Undersecretary of Ministry of Interior, Hon. Gianpiero Bocci, as well as the Undersecretary of Economy and Finances, Mr Paolo Baretta.
Photo: Mr Enrico Costa, Italian Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies with Jakob Wienen and Stewart Dickson, the Congress co-rapporteurs on local and regional democracy Press release Programme Photo Galery - Flickr
The World Forum for Democracy returns with a sixth edition! – Call for submissions
[23/02/2017 09:00:00] The 2017 World Forum for Democracy (WFD) will be held in Strasbourg on 8-10 November. This year, the role of political parties and the media in the context of rising populism will be at the centre of discussion, with themes such as “From democracy of parties to democracy of citizens?” and “Media - friend or foe of democracy?”. Debates will focus, among others, on how to counter populism and foster pluralism in online media rather than extremism and polarisation. Public and private organisations, as well as local and regional authorities worldwide are invited to express their interest in presenting their ideas by filling in the Submission of initiative in the Call for submissions document below and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 April 2017.
Call for submissions Concept paper World forum for Democracy - website