Death of Jean-Claude Frécon, former President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

10 December 2016

Jean-Claude Frécon Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities until October 2016, passed away on Saturday 10 December 2016 following a heart attack. He was 72 years old.

Mr Frécon has been a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe since 1994, a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2008, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe from October 2014 to October 2016, Senator of the Loire department in Rhône-Alpes since 2001, and Councilor of Pouilly-lès-Feurs since 2006.

Biography
 
Gudrun Mosler-Törnstrom, Congress President, praises ''the boundless commitment of a true activist for local democracy''
President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström conveyed the condolences of all the members of the Congress to his family and loved ones. She praised the boundless commitment of a "true activist for local democracy", and added; "we have lost not only a great President of our assembly but also a very dear friend who was loved by all."
 
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Jean-Claude était unanimement apprécié pour ses convictions qu'il défendait avec ardeur, sa gentillesse et sa droiture, tant au sein de l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe, puis en tant que membre et Président du Congrés. Nous garderons de lui le souvenir d’un Européen convaincu, fidèle a ses principes et à ses idées, qui nous manquera beaucoup. Pour moi personnellement, il a grandement contribué à promouvoir les valeurs du Conseil de l'Europe.
 
Gabriella Bagoni-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Je connaissais personnellement Jean-Claude Frécon depuis des années, en tant que membre de l’Assemblée Parlementaire, membre du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux et, plus récemment, en tant que Président du Congrès pour lequel il a tant donné. Nous avions de longue date une relation amicale, marquee de cette chaleur humaine qu'il faisait rayonner autour de lui. Nous nous croisions lors de réunions, lors de nos sessions, lors
d'inauguratons d’expositions et j’étais a chaque fois heureuse de le rencontrer et d’échanger avec lui sur un mode amical et ouvert. Dans ce monde de la politique souvent froid et impersonnel, j’ai toujours eu le sentiment de rencontrer avec lui une personnallté empreinte de simplicité, de chaleur et de générosité. Nous sommes nombreux ici, au Consell de l’Europe, avec le départ de Jean-Claude, à avoir perdu un fidèle compagnon de route et un ami.
 
Jean-Louis Testud: “We have lost a great man who was a credit to local and regional elected representatives”
« As soon as we had learned the sad news of the death of our colleague, Jean-Claude Frécon, we began receiving many tributes from elected representatives of all French and foreign political movements. All underlined Jean-Claude’s commitment to democracy,' stated Jean-Louis Testud, Chair of the French Delegation to the Congress. A tireless advocate of local and regional self-government, a fervent defender of fundamental European values, a local elected representative extremely attached to his own region, in particular the municipality of Pouilly-lès-Feurs, his political career demonstrated the qualities that best defined him: generosity, a true sense of community, passion and fairness. 'We have lost a great man who was a credit to local and regional elected representatives. It is our duty to perpetuate his commitment to working together showing full respect for others. The French Delegation wishes to thank all his elected colleagues in the Congress and all the teams in our institution for their condolences and messages of support for Jean-Claude’s family and friends,” he concluded.
 
Piero Fassino : "Jean-Claude Frécon dedicated his life to the values of justice and solidarity"
"The sudden death of Jean-Claude Frécon has filled us with sadness and pain. He devoted his life to public affairs, in the interest of all citizens, bearing witness to his generosity and passion, which was fuelled above all by the values of justice, solidarity and democracy" declared Piero Fassino, President of the Socialist Group of the Congress, on the death of Jean-Claude Frécon, Past-President of the Congress on Saturday 10 December 2016. "Jean-Claude Frécon was a mayor, a senator, a Congress President, loved, respected and recognised by all. The Socialist Group sends its most fraternal condolences to his family, his comrades and his friends" he concluded.
 
Gunn Marit Helgesen, President of the Chamber of Regions and Head of the Norwegian delegation to the Congress
It is with deep sorrow I learned the news that former President of the Congress, Jean-Claude Frécon,
passed away on Saturday 10 December. As Head of the Norwegian delegation, Vice-President and member of the Bureau and, since October, President of the Regional Chamber, I knew Jean-Claude as an extraordinary and enthusiastic representative of the Congress and a great defender of our common European values of democracy
at local and regional level. Furthermore, Jean-Claude was a person with a great integrity and a
person who it was easy to become friend with. I am proud and honoured to remember Jean-Claude as a true friend.
My thoughts go to his family, friends and colleagues.
 
Andreas Kiefer: "Jean-Claude Frécon drew all his energy for his work at national and European level from his involvement at local level"
Speaking on behalf of Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, at the funeral of Jean-Claude Frécon which took place on 13 December in the Church of Pouilly-Les-Feurs, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, said "I last saw Jean-Claude Frécon in Strasbourg on 2 December. He was just leaving the meeting of the Congress Bureau and was running to get to the meeting of the Municipal Council in Pouilly les Feurs. Jean-Claude's engagement in both local and European affairs is summed up in this departure from one of the capitals of Europe to the village de Pouilly where he had his roots. This active European, who remained firmly anchored in rural France, always had two balls in the air, and spent his whole life juggling between his European, national and local commitments. I believe I can claim that Jean-Claude drew all his energy for his work at national and European level from his involvement at local level. His passing is a great loss for all of us who knew him not only as a kind and warm-hearted colleague but also as a faithful and enthusiastic friend." Andreas Kiefer was accompanied by Jean-Philippe Bozouls, Director of the Congress, and Sabine Zimmer, Head of Private Office. (more ...)
 
Marc Cools, Head of the Belgian delegation to the Congress

I still had the occasion beginning of this month during the meeting of our Bureau of the Congress to converse with Jean-Claude Frécon. I am , as all our colleagues , very driven by his death. He was indeed a large militant of the local democracy and a friend whom we all lose.

 
Message of the Dutch delegation to the Congress

It is with great sorrow that the Dutch delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has learned of the death of our colleague and friend Jean-Claude Frécon. We have known him as a motivated and enthusiastic man. A just and fair society and solidarity with the most vulnerable were causes he stood for. Jean-Claude had many roles and functions in the Congress, we remember him especially in his remarkable role as president of the Congress. It is difficult to realize that he is no longer among us. It was an honor to have known such a great person and we will truly miss him. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.
Leen Verbeek, Head of Delegation, Jos Wienen, Deputy Head of Delegation, Luzette Wagenaar-Kroon, Johan van den Hout, Harald Bergmann, Josan Meijers, Leontien Kompier, Jaap Lodders, Bert Bouwmeester, Marianne Luyer, Fleur Gräper-van Koolwijk, Tjisse Stelpstra, Jetty Eugster, Rik de Lange

 
Carla Rey, AICCRE Secretary general, Secretary of the Italian delegation to the Congress and
Remo Grenga, Head of the Italian delegation to the Congress
On behalf of all members of the Italian Delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, we express our deepest condolences to the family of our friend Jean-Claude Frécon passed away on Saturday 10 December.As convinced European, we thank him for his efforts, excellent work to date and boundless commitment. The memory of his leadership will, however, remain a source of inspiration and encouragement to all of us.
 
Gaye Doganoglu, Deputy Head of the Turkish delegation to the Congress

It is unbelievable.  On behalf of the Turkish delegation I convey my condolences to the French delegation and to the family of the Congress.

 
Svetlana Orlova, Vice-President of the Congress, Head of the Russian delegation to the Congress
Please accept my sincere condolences on the premature death of the former President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Jean-Claude Frécon. We will always appreciate the years of our common work in Strasbourg. His name is firmly established in the history of Congress due to his outstanding personal qualities of a profoundly decent man, a wise leader and a long-sighted politician.
 
Liam Kenny, Secretary of the Irish Delegation to the Congress
The Irish delegation had great respect for Mr  Frecon's commitment to the Congress and to making it the voice for local government throughout Europe. We also admired his chairmanship when, like the conductor in an orchestra, he deftly guided the very big meetings in the Hemicycle to a productive conclusion. His name will be honored for many years to come when ever local representatives gather to renew their commitment to a peaceful and inclusive Europe.
 
Liudmila Tyzhnenko, ukrainian delegation to the Congress

La délégation ukrainienne auprès du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux présente ses plus sincères condoléances aux parents et aux proches de Jean-Claude Fréсon. Il était un homme dont la contribution au développement de la démocratie locale et régionale en Europe est considérable. Et son travail au Congrès en est la preuve. La mort prématurée de Jean-Claude Fréсon est une perte irréparable pour sa famille, ses parents, ses amis, ses collègues et pour toute la société européenne. Le souvenir d'un vrai patriote de l'Europe restera dans nos âmes à jamais. Ces jours de désolation nous adressons toutes nos condoléances à sa famille, ses proches et ses collègues.

 
Erdoğan İşcan, Ambassadeur, représentation permanente de la Turquie auprès du Conseil de l'Europe 
I am deeply saddened to have learned of the passing away of Mr Jean-Claude Frecon,former President of the Congress, on 10 December2016. I convey my sincere condolences through you to his family and the members of the Congress.
Rena Dourou (Greece), Governor of the Attica Region and member of the Congress Chamber of Regions

Nous venons d’apprendre la douloureuse nouvelle du décès soudain de Jean–Claude Frécon, d'une personnalité exceptionnelle que j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer et avec qui j'ai partagé la même passion pour la démocratie locale et ses enjeux complexes et exigeants. Au cours de sa récente visite en Attique, nous avons eu l’occasion de discuter en profondeur la question des migrants et des réfugiés et de mettre en valeur le besoin pour plus de solidarité, plus de justice, plus d’efforts communs pour l’avenir de l’Europe. Sa passion, son courage, ses analyses perspicaces vont nous manquer au cours d’une période cruciale pour notre continent. J’adresse mes condoléances les plus sincères à sa famille, à ses camarades, à ses amis et à ses proches.

 
Alexandra Marina Sotiriadou, Mayor of the Municipality of Paranesti and member of the Greek delegation

The news of Jean Claude Frecon death, a man who served with dedication and consistency the local authorities,
 with respect for human rights and a vision for the position of local government between the democratic institutions of our modern societies, caused deep regret of all of us. Please allow me express to you and through you to his family my sincere condolences.

 
Anna Magyar, vice-president of the Hungarian delegation to the Congress

This is so sad, all of us become so sad, reading this. Mr. Frécon was a committed person to the local and regional democracy, and he was so active in the recent weeks too, that nobody could imagine receiving such a shocking message. Thank you, Gudrun that you have sent the most-felt condoleances of the bureau members to his family and loved ones.

 

Herwig van Staa, President of the EPP/CCE group of the Congress

The sudden and unexpected death of Jean-Claude Frecon has deeply affected all of us. Jean-Claude was always a big advocate of local authorities, their rights and their legal position in Europe. His great commitment for the basic values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights shaped not only his long standing membership in the Bureau of the Congress, but in particular his two presidencies of the Chamber of Local Authorities and his presidency of the entire Congress. We will always remember his many highly appreciated and well-founded - sometimes also critical - reports, which always attracted high attention. What characterized Jean-Claude most, were his collegiality, his friendliness and his helpfulness towards all of us. Working with him was working with a real friend.  
 
Davit Lokyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia
C’est avec un grand chagrin que j’ai appris le décès soudain de l’ancien Président du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe, sénateur français  Monsieur Jean-Claude Frécon. J’exprime mes plus sincères condoléances à vous, ainsi qu’à la famille, aux amis et aux proches de M. Jean-Claude Frécon en me joignant au deuil de celles et ceux qui ont connu en la personne de M. Frécon, un partisan dévoué de la démocratie locale et des valeurs du Conseil de l’Europe dans son ensemble. Avec toutes mes pensées de sympathie et d’affection. [traduction non officielle]
Georges Marsan, Mayor of Monaco, Head of the Monegasque delegation to the Congress
C’est avec une vive émotion que nous venons d'apprendre la disparition de M. Jean-Claude Frécon, ancien Président du Congrés. Au nom des membres de notre délégation, je tiens vous exprimer nos sentiments de profonde sympathie.
Davit Jikia, President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG)
We, at the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), are very saddened to know about the death of Mr. Jane-Claude Frecon, the former president of the Congress. We had honor and pleasure to cooperate with Mr. Frecon in many projects. He was involved in establishment of the National association of local authorities in Georgia and remained close friend and great supporter to our organization for a long period of time. We all lost a good colleague and distinguished promoter of local democracy in the Greater Europe. Please convey our condolences to his family and loved ones.
 
Hande Özsan Bozatli, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER)
It is with great sadness that I was informed of the sudden death of Senator Jean-Claude Frécon, late President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Local and regional authorities have lost a talented defender of subsidiarity and the Assembly of European Regions a trusted friend. I present, on behalf of all AER members, our sincerest condolences to his wife Ginette and his three children.
 
George Patoulis (Greece), President of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), Vice-President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
It is with deep sadness that I have been informed of the death of Jean-Claude Frecon, who had been a real friend of Greece. Just a few months ago, in the framework of his visit in our country I had the opportunity to discuss with him over the refugees crisis and our common vision on the upgrading of the institution of Local Self-Governance in European level. He was a distinguished personality, a person who dedicated himself to self governance, having the deep belief that local communities can and should give an added value to every country’s development. We will all miss his sound judgment, his sensibility in every issue related to self-governance but also his visionary view. The work he is leaving behind is very important on the field of empowerment of the European alliance to the profit of local communities and their citizens. On behalf of the Local Self-Government of Greece and the Central Union of Greek Municipalities, let me express my deepest and heart-felt condolences to his family and friends.
 
Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
C’est avec une profonde tristesse que j’ai appris le décés de M. Jean-Claude Frécon, ancien Président du Congrés des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux, survenu brutalement samedi dernier. Je retiendrai de cet européen convaincu et travailleur acharné le dévouement et la competence avec lesquels il a oeuvré en faveur de la démocratie locale.
En cette douloureuse circonstance, je tiens a vous exprimer mes trés sincéres condoléances, et celles du Conseil des Communes et Régions d’Europe, ainsi que l'expression de ma profonde sympathie.
 
Oriano Otocan, President of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA)
Je lis avec grande tristesse l'annonce de la mort de M. Jean Claude Frécon. Je le connaissais bien et nous étions vieux amis. Il était venu me rendre visite - au nom du Congrès - encore en Croatie, à Sisak, lors de mon travail de Déléguée de l’ADL dans les années ’90. Il était plein d’enthousiasme et de volonté de soutenir le processus de paix dans la région sur la base de la démocratie locale, pour le bien de toutes les communautés. Je l’ai aussi bien sur récemment très apprécié comme Président du Congrès et nous sommes heureux de l’avoir eu avec nous pendant l’Assemblée Générale du mois de mai à Paris. Je suis sûr que pour tous il restera un symbole de l’engagement citoyen et de la force de la participation. Il nous manquera.
 
Jean-Pierre Klein, Head of the Luxembourg delegation to the Congress

C’est avec une grande tristesse que la delegation luxembourgeoise a appris le décès de Jean-Claude Frécon, ancien President du Congrès des Pouvoirs locaux et régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe. Membre de longue date du Congrès, collègue respecté et apprécié, Jean-Claude Frécon nous restera en mémoire pour le dévouement avec lequel il defendit la cause des collectivités locales et régionales.

 
Davit Lokyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of the Republic of Armenia
C’est avec un grand chagrin que j’ai appris le décès soudain de l’ancien Président du Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe, sénateur français Monsieur Jean-Claude Frécon. J’exprime mes plus sincères condoléances à la famille, aux amis et aux proches de M. Jean-Claude Frécon en me joignant au deuil de celles et ceux qui ont connu en la personne de M. Frécon, un partisan dévoué de la démocratie locale et des valeurs du Conseil de l’Europe dans son ensemble.
 
Fikrat Mammadov, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan
The sudden death of Mr. Jean-Claude Frecon, former President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, a prominent and authoritative political and public figure who was admired by everyone, has filled us with deep sadness. With deep sorrow, I express my condolences for this grievous loss. Mr. Frécon was one of the most active members of the Congress for over 20 years and exceptionally served to the development of local democracy in Europe through his vast knowledge and professional experience. At the same time, Mr. Frécon while visiting Azerbaijan repeatedly provided his valuable contribution to the reforms on strengthening local democracy in our country and shared his experience. Once more, on my own behalf and on behalf of the large staff of the Ministry of Justice, let me extend our deepest condolences to the Congress members and to Mr. Frécon’s family.
 
Zurab Alavidze, Ministry of regional development and infrastructure of Georgia
It is with great sorrow that I have learnt about passing away of Mr. Jean-Claude Frécon, the former President of the Congress of Regional and Local Authorities. This is the great loss for Georgia and the Council of Europe. On behalf of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia and on my own behalf, allow me to extend to You, the Congress and the Council of Europe my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy.
Mr. Jean-Claude Frécon was an outstanding person who played an important role to promote local and regional democracy in the Council of Europe member states. Georgian people have also lost a great friend, who significantly contributed to the enhancement of cooperation between the Council of Europe and Georgia.