Latest News (Site updated Monday, October 12, 2015 | 19:30)

ELDW 2015: “Living together in multicultural societies: respect, dialogue, interaction”

[12/10/2015 17:30:00] This week (12 - 18 October) more than 130 events and activities are taking place at local level across 23 member States of the Council of Europe to celebrate the 2015 edition of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW). Participating municipalities are organising a wide range of events on this year’s theme ‘Living together in multicultural societies: respect, dialogue, interaction’, such as seminars on solidarity, debates on human rights, exchanges with migrants and visits of refugee camps, bilingual theater performances, interviews with foreigners, exhibitions on recent armed conflicts and multicultural coffee mornings.
Press release

The participants of the initiative “Raid della Fratellanza e della Pace 2015” met the Secretary General of the Congress

[12/10/2015 18:00:00] Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress welcomed the initiative of Trek for Fraternity and Peace (“Raid della Fratellanza e della Pace 2015”) launched by an honorary member of the Congress, Valerio Prignachi and his team of 6 persons, on 12 October 2015 in Strasbourg. The initiative, supported by the Italian Delegation to the Congress and the Province of Brescia, under the aegis of the local and regional authorities of the Alpine areas, aims to promote the concept of an Alpine macro-region (Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, France, Switzerland, Italy). The team will bring back to the EXPO Milano 2015 a symbolic basket of products from rural mountain areas of these seven countries in a message of peace and fraternity. Andreas Kiefer praised the message of fellowship amongst mountain territories and the goals of the initiative that “reaffirm the will of territorial authorities to cooperate across borders and to create good relations between people and between municipalities as a basis for peace in Europe”.

29th Session of the Congress to focus on combating radicalisation, refugees and migrants, youth participation and local and regional democracy in Europe

[12/10/2015 13:30:00] The 29th Session (20th to 22nd of October) will include debates on guidelines for local and regional authorities on preventing radicalisation, on active citizenship by building partnerships with civil society, as well as on the increasing poverty of women and children’s rights in times of austerity. A debate on “Refugee and migrant crisis: what is the role of local and regional authorities?” is to be held on Wednesday 21 October, with the mayors of Gaziantep, Sanliurfa Nihat Ciftci (Turkey), Calais, Natacha Bouchart (France), and Kos, Giorgios Kyritsis (Greece), as well as with the First Vice-President of the Conference of Ministers of the Interior of Germany, Klaus Bouillon. The Congress will be considering the reports on local democracy in Luxembourg, Montenegro as well as reports concerning the observation of elections in Albania and the Republic of Moldova. The Session will also see the participation of youth delegates aged 16 to 30. Several texts will be debated concerning “New forms of local governance”, “Trends in regionalisation in the Council of Europe member States”, “New E-tools: a game changer for politicians” and “Conditions of office of local and regional elected representatives”.
Congress President Jean-Claude Frécon will meet the press on Tuesday 20 October 2015 at 10 am (Room 14, Palais de l’Europe) – French and English interpretation.
Press release
All documents
File ''29th Congress Session''
Live webcast (as from 20 October - 11 am)

The role of local government authorities in the decentralisation reform process in Albania

[07/10/2015 14:30:00] The Congress held a consultation meeting, on 6 October 2015 in Tirana, with Albanian mayors on the role of local government authorities in the decentralisation reform process in Albania. Chaired by Juliana Hoxha, Vice-President of the Congress, the meeting has been organised in co-operation with Albanian Local Government Associations (AAM and ALAA). On the basis of a series of reports from Congress’ local and international experts (on the draft law on functions and finances, the establishment and role of the Consultative Council and the role and representation of LGAs), it provided mayors with the opportunity to exchange their views on these topics of direct interest for Local Government Units. The result of their discussions, and of previous consultations, will be included in the preparations of the National Conference on 30 October, which will bring together all 61 recently elected Albanian mayors, to celebrate the anniversary of the opening for signature of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The meeting was organised in the framework of its project ' Strengthening Local Government Structures and Cooperation of Local Elected Representatives in Albania – Phase II ' and more specifically its line of Action II 'Building a sustainable, pluralistic and unified platform of Dialogue for Local Government in Albania' and as a follow-up of its Recommendation 349(2013) on Local and Regional Democracy in Albania.
Cooperation activities in Albania
Photos [Flickr]

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ratifies the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government

[05/10/2015 10:30:00] On 30 September 2015, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ratified the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority. “This ratification complies with one of the points raised in Recommendation 329 adopted by the Congress in October 2012. We welcome this concrete implementation, which consolidates local democracy and citizens’ rights,” said Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress. The additional protocol on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority was opened for signature by the Council of Europe’s 47 member states on 16 November 2009, supplementing the text of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It entered into force on 1 June 2012 and has been ratified by 13 countries and signed by six, for which the ratification process is under way. In the context of its monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the Congress consistently calls on states that have not done so to ratify the Protocol.
Additional Protocol

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The agenda in brief

29th Session

29eme Session

13 October - Plenary session of the Committee of the Regions / Brussels, BELGIUM

Calendar of events
Calendar of local and regional elections in COE member states
Drapeau européenYouth activities
Drapeau européenFocus on Ukraine
VIDEO CLIP - The Congress in brief YouTube

Drapeau européenPolitical dialogue with governments
Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers