Latest News (Site updated Wednesday, December 10, 2014 | 18:00)
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.
Speech 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.
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”.
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.
Josef Neumann (Germany, SOC) participates in the Conference on Including People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness and Response
[08/12/2014 17:30:00] “Human rights have a home, it is where people reside, live, work, grow old; it is in their regions, municipalities and neighbourhoods. It is also in their home that people experience disasters. Empowering people with disabilities to actively participate in disaster management needs to be regarded as an approach of protecting human rights. In order to achieve this, it requires above all the will to establish and strengthen an inclusive structure of society, ” stated Josef Neumann (Germany, SOC), Congress member addressing the Conference on Including People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness and Response in Brussels (Belgium) on 5 December 2014. “People with disabilities need to be actively involved in planning, shaping and implementation phases of disaster management, and the people in charge of disaster management (such as specialised experts in this area) need to be appropriately trained and educated”, he explained”.
Speech Speech (German)
Joint Meeting of the Congress Governance Committee and the EU Committee of the Regions CIVEX Commission
[12/11/2014 12:00:00] On the occasion of the 20th anniversaries of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions, the Congress Governance Committee held a joint meeting with its counterpart in the Committee of the Regions, the CIVEX Commission on 17 November in Brussels. This was the first time the two committees held a joint meeting. Among the items on the agenda were : the protection of the rule of law and human rights at the local level, the regionalisation and decentralisation trends in Europe and the new forms of local governance. The participants also reviewed the recent Congress election observation missions in Georgia and Ukraine, to which CIVEX members had contributed.
Andreas Kiefer meets with representatives of European Associations of Local Authorities
[08/12/2014 14:00:00] On 2 December 2014, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress met with his counterparts from European Association of Local Authorities to assess their common priorities and identify areas of future co-operation. The meeting was dedicated in particular to the presentation of the current activities of these organisations as well as the major issues of mutual interest with a view to identifying opportunities for synergies and possible joint actions. The meeting brought together Secretary Generals Frederic Vallier, (Council of European Municipalities and Regions – CEMR), accompanied by Boris Tonhauser, Mathieu Mori (Association of European Regions –AER), Martín Guillermo Ramírez (Association of European Border Regions - AEBR), as well as Eleni Marianou, (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions - CPRM) and Anna Lisa Boni (Eurocities).
Giuseppe de Vita, from the Office of the Lombardia Region in Brussels represented CALRE.