''Successive Committee of Ministers Chairmanships provide us with an opportunity to pursue our political dialogue with national governments, a dialogue which is also ongoing within the framework of monitoring and post-monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It is this dialogue that enables us to assist governments in implementing Congress recommendations on local and regional democracy'', said Jean-Claude Frécon at the annual ministerial session of the Committee of Ministers held in Brussels on 19 May 2015. He highlighted several areas where the Congress makes a tangible contribution through its activities at local and regional level, in particular combating extremism and radicalisation and promoting human rights. The President of the Congress also presented the concrete results of post-monitoring dialogue with national authorities, exemplified by the preparation of a roadmap for implementing reforms in decentralisation in Ukraine and similar projects currently under discussion with the governments of Georgia, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armenia.
Speech - Transfer of Chairmanship (French)
In a communication to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 15 April 2015, Andreas Kiefer, Congress Secretary General, who was elected for a second 5-year mandate during the 28th session of the Congress, presented developments at the Congress over the past five years. In particular, he underlined the Congress's enhanced role as a political assembly, monitoring and election observation body and provider of operational projects. He stressed the importance of the Committee of Ministers' political support in these developments. In presenting the recent activities of the Congress, he gave details of the practical results achieved a year and a half after the introduction of the new post-monitoring policy. "We are engaged in a fruitful dialogue with several member states (Ukraine, Portugal, Georgia and Armenia). The preparation of 'roadmaps' is an effective element in the implementation of our recommendations," he said. In this connection, he pointed out that, on 23 March, the Congress Bureau had approved guidelines for the implementation of co-operation activities in Council of Europe member states. The Secretary General also reported on the 28th session of the Congress, which was held from 24 to 26 March 2015 under the general theme of "local responses to human rights challenges".
Activity report CG/2015(28)21