Austrian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers and grassroots democracy
Armenia has handed over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Austria during a meeting held on 14 November 2013 in Strasbourg. ''The Congress is pleased to see that the quality of democracy and governance at the grassroots level continues to figure on the agenda of the Austrian Chairmanship, after those of Andorra and Armenia,' said Jean- Claude Frécon, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress. The priorities presented by Austria emphasize the role of the Congress as a “political assembly which promotes and strengthens local and regional democracy, inter-territorial and cross-border co-operation, as well as active citizenship and social inclusion in towns and regions. The commitment of elected representatives to ethical conduct and the fight against corruption at local and regional level are of topical interest in this respect.''
8-9 May 2014, Congress Center, Innsbruck, Austria Conference on fighting corruption
Committee of Ministers in Vienna: ''Local and regional democracy has become THE landmark of European democratic development, says Herwig van Staa'' [06/05/2014]
''Today, we are commemorating the foundation of the Council of Europe 65 years ago and we think of the creation of the Congress by the Committee of Ministers 20 years ago. Local and regional democracy through decentralisation and greater autonomy for local authorities and regions has become the landmark of European democratic development. But, this process of decentralisation is at a crossroads today, challenged by multiple crises,'' stated Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress, at the 124th Session of the Committee of Ministers, in Vienna, Austria. ''Local and regional authorities play a crucial role in responding to today’s challenges, and have become fully-fledged political partners of national governments. The Congress is at the forefront of this action, as the only political assembly in Europe that regularly monitors the development of local and regional democracy and works for its improvement. Today, the situation in Ukraine is our major concern, and the Congress will be observing the partial local elections in this country later this month,'' he concluded stressing that the Congress remains a committed partner of the Committee of Ministers.
The Austrian delegation to the Congress comprises 6 representatives and 6 substitutes. The head of the delegation is Mrs Gudrun Mosler-Törnström. Austrian delegation
"Question/answers" brochure provides information on the political priorities, issues and events related to Austria's chairmanship, in particular of interest for th Congress. Brochure
Media booklet accompanying the DVD "Council of Europe - European integration" produced on the occasion of the Austrian Chairmanship Booklet (German) Video
"Council of Europe" (German)