Latest News (Site updated Thursday, October 8, 2015 | 9:00)

The role of local government authorities in the decentralisation reform process in Albania

[07/10/2015 14:30:00] The Congress held a consultation meeting, on 6 October 2015 in Tirana, with Albanian mayors on the role of local government authorities in the decentralisation reform process in Albania. Chaired by Juliana Hoxha, Vice-President of the Congress, the meeting has been organised in co-operation with Albanian Local Government Associations (AAM and ALAA). On the basis of a series of reports from Congress’ local and international experts (on the draft law on functions and finances, the establishment and role of the Consultative Council and the role and representation of LGAs), it provided mayors with the opportunity to exchange their views on these topics of direct interest for Local Government Units. The result of their discussions, and of previous consultations, will be included in the preparations of the National Conference on 30 October, which will bring together all 61 recently elected Albanian mayors, to celebrate the anniversary of the opening for signature of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The meeting was organised in the framework of its project ' Strengthening Local Government Structures and Cooperation of Local Elected Representatives in Albania – Phase II ' and more specifically its line of Action II 'Building a sustainable, pluralistic and unified platform of Dialogue for Local Government in Albania' and as a follow-up of its Recommendation 349(2013) on Local and Regional Democracy in Albania.
Cooperation activities in Albania
Photos [Flickr]

A post-monitoring of local and regional democracy was initiated in Armenia

[05/10/2015 17:00:00] A Congress delegation comprising Nigel Mermagen (United Kingdom, ILDG), Congress Rapporteur on local democracy, and Gunn-Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP/CCE), Congress Rapporteur on regional democracy, made a post-monitoring visit to Armenia on 1 October 2015. The delegation held talks with Vache Terteryan, First Deputy Minister for Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, on the key points in the Recommendation 351 on the situation of local and regional democracy in Armenia adopted by the Congress in 2014. It is in particular concerning subsidiarity (territorial governance, consultation and administrative supervision) and local finances (financial equalisation, tax mechanism and own financial resources). The delegation underlined the many steps taken by Armenia concerning most of the recommendations made to the authorities. The revision of the constitution currently in progress is also a fundamental element underpinning all developments in local democracy in Armenia.
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Congress delegation completed a pre-electoral mission to Kyiv

[05/10/2015 10:00:00] A delegation of the Congress, headed by Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, Congress Vice-President (Austria, SOC), made a pre-electoral visit to Ukraine, on 1 October 2015, in view of the upcoming local elections scheduled for 25 October. The main issues discussed with Congress’ interlocutors included: the new electoral law recently adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament and challenges related to the electoral system, notably the equality of chances of candidates; the situation of media and the electoral campaign as well as implications of the ongoing decentralisation in Ukraine and the territorial-administrative reform. The findings of the Pre-Election Delegation will be the basis for the preparation of the main Congress mission, to be carried out from 22 to 26 October.

Congress highlights residence requirements at post-electoral conference in Chisinau

[05/10/2015 17:00:00] The importance of voters' lists for fair electoral processes was at the center of a post-electoral conference organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Moldovan authorities on 5-6 October 2015 in Chisinau. Amy Koopmanschap (Netherlands, SOC), headed a delegation to observe the local vote on 14 June 2015 and was invited to present relevant recommendations from the Congress' perspective further to the electoral monitoring. In this context, she recognized the use of the State Automated Information System 'Elections' (SAISE) which contributed, in principle, to improvements. However, the fact that citizens living de facto abroad are allowed to vote in local elections, if in the county on E-Day, was among the issues to be addressed.
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Workshop “Mayors – Leaders for change” in Chisinau

[05/10/2015 11:30:00] The Congress is organising a workshop “Mayors – Leaders for change” in Chisinau (Moldova) on 5-7 October 2015. It will bring together around 25 selected mayors from different parts of Moldova. Organised within the thematic programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance”, it aims to provide the participants with the opportunity to exchange experience with Moldovan and other European peers on local governments’ challenges and in particular on ways to define and lead successful and ethical policies, inspire and involve citizens and stakeholders in a positive and effective manner. They will be invited to reflect on how to lead change, how to enhance trust in local authorities and citizen participation in an ethical decision-making process.
Presse release
Photos (Flickr)
File ‘Co-operation activities’
Eastern Partnership website

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ratifies the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government

[05/10/2015 10:30:00] On 30 September 2015, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ratified the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority. “This ratification complies with one of the points raised in Recommendation 329 adopted by the Congress in October 2012. We welcome this concrete implementation, which consolidates local democracy and citizens’ rights,” said Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress. The additional protocol on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority was opened for signature by the Council of Europe’s 47 member states on 16 November 2009, supplementing the text of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It entered into force on 1 June 2012 and has been ratified by 13 countries and signed by six, for which the ratification process is under way. In the context of its monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the Congress consistently calls on states that have not done so to ratify the Protocol.
Additional Protocol

29th Session of the Congress: “Local responses to human rights challenges – migration, discrimination, social inclusion”

[29/07/2015 15:00:00] The 29th Session (20th to 22nd of October) will include debates on guidelines for local and regional authorities on preventing radicalisation, on active citizenship by building partnerships with civil society, as well as on the increasing poverty of women and children’s rights in times of austerity. In addition, the Congress will be considering the reports on local democracy in Luxembourg, Montenegro as well as reports concerning the observation of elections in Albania and the Republic of Moldova. The Session will also see the participation of youth delegates aged 16 to 30 who will be invited to sit alongside Congress members. Youth participation will be the focus of several debates. Several texts will also be debated for adoption, concerning “New forms of local governance”, “Trends in regionalisation in the Council of Europe member States”, “New E-tools: a game changer for politicians” and “Conditions of office of local and regional elected representatives”. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe will address the members of the Congress during the Session.
Draft agenda
File '29th Congress Session'

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