Latest News (Site updated Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 16:30)

EU Conference: Andreas Kiefer presents Congress activities in promoting human rights at the grassroots

[18/12/2014 16:00:00] On Wednesday 17 December 2014, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová opened the first ever stocktaking conference on the application of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Director General Philippe Boillat (CoE DG on Human Rights and Rule of Law) presented the Council of Europe instruments and the relations of the Courts in Strasbourg and Luxembourg. On the second day of the Conference Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer discussed the training and awareness raising needs for human rights among politicians and staff in municipalities, cities and regions and presented the respective Congress reports.
Presentation of Congress activities to promote human rights
Congress reference texts [Compendium - Human ]
Conference website

Communication of the Congress Secretary General to Committee of Ministers

[10/12/2014 17:30:00] In his communication to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 December 2014, the Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer presented an overview of the activities of the Congress in recent months, particularly the work of monitoring the local and regional democracy and the observation of local elections as well as the political dialogue with Member States and cooperation activities developed in recent years in close collaboration with its partners in the Council of Europe and outside. He recalled that a Congress delegation is currently in Ukraine in the framework of the post-monitoring dialogue to support the authorities to implement the decentralization reform in this country.“Now that all 47 member states have ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government and that an increasing number of them have accepted to apply additional articles of the Charter, one of the key priorities in 2015 and beyond will be to establish a common European space of local democracy,” the Secretary General stated.
Activity report CG(27)19

Regional seminar in Odessa : promoting local democracy with Ukrainian youth

[10/12/2014 11:30:00] The Congress is organising a regional training seminar for young local leaders in Odessa (Ukraine) from 9 to 11 December 2014. 22 young local leaders of NGOs, youth wings of political parties as well as local elected representatives will discuss and share their perceptions on local democracy, in particular the key provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, and how these principles should be applied in Ukraine. Members of the Congress Liisa Ansala, Finland (L, ILDG), Mairi Evans, United Kingdom (L, NI-NR), Dariusz Wrobel, Poland (L, CRE-ECR), and Volodymyr Udovychenko, Ukraine (L, ILDG) will participate in the seminar to exchange on their experience as local representatives. They will discuss the situation of Ukraine and issues related to citizen participation and planning action together, electoral campaigns as well as fighting corruption and unethical behaviour.
Press Release

Declaration by the President of the Congress on the treaty signed between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia

[03/12/2014 11:30:00] Reacting to the signature, on 24 November 2014, of a treaty on alliance and strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia, a separatist region of Georgia, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Frécon, declared that “Abkhazia is a region of Georgia, and we cannot recognise the validity of a so-called treaty adopted in violation of the territorial integrity of a member state of the Council of Europe”. The President of the Congress condemned the treaty as “one more factor in the destabilisation of this part of Europe”.
Press release

Congress’ Secretary General invites Lord Ahmad to address the March 2015 Session

[08/12/2014 17:30:00] On the fringe of the meeting of the CDDG (European Committee on Democracy and Governance), Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer exchanged views with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Minister for Communities and European Programmes, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, on local governance and priority areas of co-operation between the Congress and the United Kingdom. Kiefer, in particular, acknowledged the way in which the current reform of devolution of powers in the United Kingdom was co-ordinated by Westminster, in consequence of the Scottish referendum held on 18 September, as exemplary, and invited Lord Ahmad to take part in the next Congress’ Session in March 2015. The Under Secretary of State, on his side, underlined the importance of empowerment of people at local level which involved measures to increase transparency and accountability. In this respect, the anti-fraud campaign launched by the government was described as an area of common interest and deeper co-operation between the Congress and the authorities of the United Kingdom.

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Drapeau européenPolitical dialogue with governments
Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
Leyla GüvenLeyla Güven, former Congress member