'The Committee of Ministers chairmanships provide an opportunity to pursue the political dialogue we initiate with the member state governments in the course of monitoring the European Charter of local self-government', said Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, on 13 November 2014, as the chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers was handed over from Azerbaijan to Belgium. 'Belgium's federal make-up and tradition of decentralisation makes it an example for Europe. There might sometimes be difficulties, but the spirit of constant dialogue between the different levels of governance prevailing in your country is the same driving force that is central to the mission of the Congress'.
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