Plenary Session of the Congress
27-29 May 2008 - Strasbourg, France

The 15th Plenary Session of the Congress was one of the Congress’ membership renewal. The President of the three Chambers were elected, as well as the Secretary General. The main debates focused on social cohesion, e-democracy, transfrontier cooperation, local and regional democracy and interreligious dialogue as an opportunity for local democracy. Resolutions and recommendations were also adopted on public local and regional action for a new energy culture, and responsible consumption and finance systems. (more...)

The highlights of the session
Manifesto for a new urbanity: the Congress has adopted the European Urban Charter II
Le Congress adopted the European Urban Charter II: Manifesto for a new urbanity. This Manifesto conveys an ambitious and demanding message to local elected representatives, to citizens and to all those involved in urban development. In the Recommendation and Resolution adopted on 29 May 2008, the Congress called upon local authorities and governments to convert the principles underlying the Manifesto into action and public policies in order to build a Europe of sustainable and cohesive towns and cities serving its citizens (more...)
The Congress adopts the draft European Charter of Regional Democracy
The Congress adopted on 28 May, the draft European Charter of Regional Democracy. This new legal instrument for regionalisation draws in particular on recent regional developments in Europe and underlines the added value of greater regionalisation based on the inclusion of the principle of loyalty and respect of territorial integrity of the state, the principles of good governance, participation of citizens and the reaffirmation of respect for local self-government.
Belgium: Congress to continue debating non-appointment of three mayors in October
Michel Guégan, rapporteur on the situation of local democracy in Belgium, addressed the opening session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on 27 May, in Strasbourg, on the conclusions on the Congress’ recent fact-finding mission to Belgium. The Congress' Institutional Committee, which met today, decided to continue the debate and to draw up a draft recommendation at its next meeting to be held on 31 October 2008.  (more...)
Special file
Jean-Paul Willaime: ''The Congress makes a constructive application of secularism''
''Globalisation is not only economic but also religious. On the religious plane, this means greater religious pluralism too,'' Jean-Paul Willaime, Director of the European Institute of Science for Religions, Paris, said today in the debate on intercultural and interreligious dialogue. In his address, he also invited local authorities to apply the principles of “secularity of consciousness and dialogue” upheld by the Congress, namely freedom of conscience and thought embodying the freedom to have or not to have a religion, equal rights and duties, respect for all citizens, and mutual independence of the political and religious spheres. (more...)
The other themes of the session
A new Congress
The Congress elected its new President, Yavuz Mildon (Turkey). Ian Micallef was re-elected President of the Chamber of Local Authorities and Ludmila Sfirloaga was elected President of the Chamber of Regions. The Congress also adopted new rules of procedures and decided, with effect from 2009, to meet in two plenary sessions to be held in the spring and autumn of each year. (more...)

Social cohesion and sustainable development
Child in the city, migrants, cyberdemocracy, a new culture of energy among the debates at the heart of the Congress plenary session. (more...)

All the guests
Political leaders took part in the Congress session, representing Croatia, Ukraine, Federation of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Japan, as well as other institutions such as the Committee of Regions, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. (more...)


Yavuz Mildon is the new Congress President, Ian Micallef was re-elected President of the Chamber of Local Authorities and Ludmila Sfirloaga was elected President of the Chamber of Regions
Election of 3 new Presidents

see also ...

The Congress of the Council of Europe launches the ''Prize of the Regions'' (more ...)
Prize of the Regions of the Congress



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