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Jean-Claude Frécon, the new President of the Congress, addresses the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

[22/10/2014 15:30:00] “The Congress, an assembly of elected local and regional representatives, has become for both European governments and the other Council of Europe entities a loyal, operational and effective political partner. Within an intergovernmental organisation it has managed to find its rightful place, and it is with your support that this development has been possible”, said Jean-Claude Frécon, the newly elected President of the Congress, during his exchange of views with the Ministers’ Deputies of the Council of Europe on 22 October 2014. “We shall continue to consolidate our activities of monitoring the European Charter of Local Self-Government and observing local elections, while further increasing implementation of our recommendations through political dialogue with governments”, he explained.
Speech (French)
Committee of Ministers website

Think Global – Act Local: Education for Democracy

[22/10/2014 15:30:00] “The European Local Democracy Week is a pertinent tool for local and regional authorities, who are placed the closest to citizens, to educate inhabitants on their democratic and human rights, teach them how to give effect to their rights as citizens and inform them about the work of international organisations who stand out for the protection and promotion of those rights”, stated Gaye Doganoglu (Turkey, PPE/CCE), Congress Vice president and spokesperson of the ELDW addressing the Joint Meeting of the Council of Europe Network of Coordinators for Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and of the Pedagogical Club of European Capitals held in Strasbourg on 21-22 October in the framework of the ELDW. The meeting explored the current challenges in the area of citizenship and human rights education, and in particular the role and contribution of local authorities in this area. The participants will also discuss possible avenues for future action and for strengthening cooperation and networking at different levels. Andrée Buchmann (France, SOC), Congress member presented the role of local and regional authorities in the Education for democracy during the meeting plenary session on 21st October.
Speech G. Doganoglu
Conference website

Jean-Claude Frécon pays tribute to Herwig van Staa’s commitment to local and regional democracy

[21/10/2014 17:00:00] ''Herwig van Staa’s 25 years of political commitment in the service of local and regional democracy add up to an outstanding contribution at both national level in Austria and European level'' according to Jean-Claude Frécon, speaking on the occasion of the publication by the University of Innsbruck of a book about Mr van Staa’s political career. Mr Frécon paid tribute to the work done by Mr van Staa, particularly within the Congress, of which he has been a member since 1996. He has (twice) held the post of President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, and has also been President of the Chamber of Regions and a member of the Bureau. In addition, he has twice held the office of President of the Congress, from 2002 to 2004 and again from 2012 to October 2014. He is currently President of the Regional Parliament of Tyrol, Austria. Photo: Herwig van Staa and Pr. Kurt Ebert during the ceremony in Innsbruck

Youth Delegates participate in the Congress for the first time

[17/10/2014 16:00:00] 'Empowering youth: a shared responsibility for cities and regions”: was the theme of the 27th Session of the Congress held from 14 to 16 October in Strasbourg. For the first time young delegates, aged 16 to 30 years, from 34 different countries, took part in the Congress’ session and spoke at all the debates, sitting together with the members of the Congress in the hemicycle. They also participated in the meetings of the three Congress committees. On 15 October a special youth debate was on the agenda of the Session. The Youth Delegates decided on the two topics of the debate, namely “Youth (Un)employment” and “Co-management and the setting up of joint decision-making bodies”. Both topics were introduced by the Youth Delegates and debated together with members of the Congress. To ensure everyone’s voice was heard, including those who were not able to be there, comments on Twitter were screened live in the hemicycle with the hashtag #youthsession2014. On 16 October the Youth Delegates issued their recommendations to the elected representatives of the Congress, aimed at empowering young people in Europe to participate in the public debate and decision-making process.
Press release
Declaration of youth delegates
Video of the debate
Media Box Interviews of young delegates

Council of Europe Congress issues declaration on separatist tensions in Ukraine and neighbouring countries

[17/10/2014 10:30:00] The Congress adopted a declaration on separatist tensions in Ukraine and neighbouring countries on 16 October, at its 27th session held in Strasbourg (France). The Congress had already condemned the annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation in a declaration made at its previous session in March 2014. In the latest declaration 'condemns Russia’s military intervention in the east of Ukraine, and condemns all forms of pressure by Russia on its neighbours'. 'The security of this continent is seriously threatened by the Russian Federation’s repeated failure to comply with international rules and the principles and values of the Council of Europe that it signed up to when it joined the Organisation', states the text presented by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) on behalf of the Congress Bureau. The declaration was adopted following a debate lasting some three hours, in which the speakers included: Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development of Ukraine, Valeriu Chiveri, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Mayor, Chairman of Kyiv City Council, Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, and Fikrat Mammadov, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Session
Press release
Text of the Declaration
Video of the debate

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