Latest News (Site updated Monday, June 29, 2015 | 15:00)

ONE in FIVE campaign: seminar for national associations of local and regional authorities

[29/06/2015 14:30:00] The Congress, in partnership with North-Brabant province, is holding a seminar for national associations of local and regional authorities on 30 June 2015 in ’s-Hertogenbosch, (Netherlands). This seminar will conclude the Congress’ contribution to the ONE in FIVE Campaign which is ending this year. Its objective is to present this campaign, in particular its legal basis, the Convention of the Council of Europe on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention), together with the Pact of Towns and Regions to Stop Sexual Violence against Children drawn up by the Congress. Representatives of more than 20 European countries will gather to share good practices and to explore new ways of co-operating on raising awareness of the ONE in FIVE Campaign, in order to encourage European towns and regions to sign the Pact. Johan van den Hout, member of the Provincial Executive of North-Brabant and Congress Thematic Spokesperson on Children will represent the Congress.
Press release (English version available soon)

Bureau meeting in Strasbourg

[26/06/2015 15:30:00] The members of the Bureau of the Congress will meet on Monday 29 June 2015 in Strasbourg. They will have an exchange of views with the Chairman of the Group of Independent Experts (GIE) on the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The matters on the agenda include the situation of Ukraine, preparation of the 2017-2020 priorities of the Congress, candidatures for the North-South Centre, the composition of the national delegations, the agenda of the 29th session (22-24 October 2015) and dialogue with the Committee of Ministers. The members of the Bureau will also discuss the recent activities of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion and the assessment of the observation of the elections in the Republic of Moldova (on 14 June).

President of the Congress meets Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

[24/06/2015 14:30:00] Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, and Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, met the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mladen Ivanic, before his address to the Parliamentary Assembly on 24 June 2015. “The work of the Congress is highly visible in our country thanks to the commitment of our delegation to the Congress and the strong involvement of our municipalities,” Mladen Ivanic said, inviting the Congress to take a hand in implementing the programme of the Bosnian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Jean-Claude Frécon confirmed that the Congress would participate in the Conference on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue to be held on 8 and 9 September 2015 in Sarajevo, where it would present its work in the field of deradicalisation. “Interfaith dialogue as we practice it in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the foundation of our country’s stability. Bosnia and Herzegovina is ready to share this experience with its international partners,” Chairman Ivanic emphasised.
Photo gallery (Flickr)

CEMR Policy Committee in Munich

[26/06/2015 10:00:00] Anders Knape, CEMR Executive President and President of the Chamber of Local authorities of the Congress participated in the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) Policy Committee on 25 June in Munich. During the policy debate on “From migration to integration – the local and regional path towards an inclusive continent”, he confirmed the strong commitment of the Congress to the ideal of building bridges to enable cohesive communities to develop, He mentioned also that the Congress is developing an action to building an inclusive society, based on four pillars: intercultural and interreligious dialogue, migrants in the local economy, social cohesion and citizen participation. He pointed out that the Congress is drawing up guidelines on preventing radicalisation and manifestations of hate at grassroots level and is creating a pedagogical toolkit for use by local elected representatives when organising intercultural and inter-faith activities.

Jean-Claude Frécon welcomes strengthening of Turkey’s role in Council of Europe and Congress

[25/06/2015 18:00:00] On the occasion of the Parliamentary Assembly session Congress President Jean-Claude Frécon met the Turkish Ambassador, Erdoðan Iþcan, on 25 June 2015. The Congress President welcomed Turkey’s political commitment within the Council of Europe. “By deciding to become a ‘major contributor’ to the Council of Europe’s budget, Turkey has reasserted its desire to strengthen its role in the work of the Council of Europe and its bodies. Furthermore, with a reinforced delegation which now comprises 18 representatives and 18 substitutes, your country is a key player in our Congress’s activities,” said the Congress President, adding that Turkey had been one of the first countries to join the Council of Europe in 1949. The Congress delegations now total 324 representatives and 324 substitutes.

Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “Inclusion mechanisms can be put in place more efficiently at the local level'

[23/06/2015 17:30:00] Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, First Vice-President and President of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress, participated in the Final Conference on “Building inclusive societies' on 23 June, at the Committee of Regions in Brussels. The ”Building Inclusive Societies” initiative, carried out by the Council of Europe with the support of the European Integration Fund, builds upon the collaborative experience of partnerships involving 21 European cities in efforts to promote intercultural integration and democratic governance. Gudrun Mosler-Törnström underlined that “Local and regional authorities have a major role to play in building bridges to enable cohesive communities to develop”. She presented the Congress action in the fields of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, migrants in the local economy, social cohesion and citizen participation. “I believe that our main challenge to build an inclusive society is based on the clear affirmation of one value, which is unfortunately missing in many activities: I am referring to solidarity”, she concluded.

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As of 16 June 2015 the Congress has 324 full members and 324 substitutes. The different pages of our website are currently being updated accordingly.
The agenda in brief

29th Session

30 June - Ad hoc reflection group on the participation of young people in the Congress’ work / Strasbourg, FRANCE
30 June - Seminar for national associations of local and regional authorities on the Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign and the Congress’s Pact for Towns and Regions / ’s-Hertogenbosch, NETHERLANDS
1 July - Current Affairs Committee meeting / ’s-Hertogenbosch, NETHERLANDS
2 July - Post-monitoring visit to the Republic of Moldova / Chisinau, REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

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
Bosnian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers