Latest News (Site updated Friday, May 22, 2015 | 16:30)

Local democracy in Ukraine: signing of a roadmap for implementation of the Congress recommendations

[20/05/2015 16:30:00] On 20 May 2015, the Congress and the Ukrainian national authorities signed a roadmap for implementation of the decentralisation reform in Ukraine. The signing of this roadmap follows the adoption by the Congress of a recommendation on the situation of local democracy in Ukraine and constructive post-monitoring dialogue on the European Charter of Local Self-Government since 2014. In particular, the Congress encourages the Ukrainian authorities to adopt the constitutional amendments relating to local self-government as soon as possible in order be able to hold local elections in October 2015. “With the ambitious reform process it has set in motion, Ukraine is today an illustration of the fact that real political change is possible”, said Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, at the official ceremony.
Press release
Speech by Jean-Claude Frécon
Speech by Marc Cools (French)
Roadmap for Ukraine (English)
Roadmap for Ukraine (Ukrainian)
Programme of the Roadmap's presentation
Photo gallery (Flickr)
File 'Ukraine and the Congress'

Jean-Claude Frécon: 'Our dialogue with the governments paves the way for implementation of our recommendations on local and regional democracy'

[19/05/2015 16:30:00] 'Successive Committee of Ministers Chairmanships provide us with an opportunity to pursue our political dialogue with national governments, a dialogue which is also ongoing within the framework of monitoring and post-monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It is this dialogue that enables us to assist governments in implementing Congress recommendations on local and regional democracy', said Jean-Claude Frécon at the annual ministerial session of the Committee of Ministers held in Brussels on 19 May 2015. He highlighted several areas where the Congress makes a tangible contribution through its activities at local and regional level, in particular combating extremism and radicalisation and promoting human rights. The President of the Congress also presented the concrete results of post-monitoring dialogue with national authorities, exemplified by the preparation of a roadmap for implementing reforms in decentralisation in Ukraine and similar projects currently under discussion with the governments of Georgia, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armenia.
Speech (French)
Speech - Transfer of Chairmanship (French)

Ukraine: Opening of a Local Democracy Agency in Dnipropetrovsk

[19/05/2015 10:00:00] The European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) is expanding its network with the opening of a Local Democracy Agency in Ukraine in co-operation with the regions of Lower Silesia (Poland), Alsace (France) and the region of Dnipropetrovsk. “The opening of the Local Democracy Agency in Dnipropetrovsk is of utmost importance, especially in the context of the local self-government reform and decentralisation process in Ukraine,” underlined Nataliya Romanova, Vice-President of the Congress at the Inaugural Event on 18 May 2015. Ms Romanova is confident that this new LDA would become a pillar for enhancing local democracy in Ukraine at the grassroots operating for all Ukrainian local elected representatives and recalled the importance of promoting participatory citizenship at local level.
Speech (english)
Speech (ukrainian)
More information - ALDA website

Leen Verbeek : “Enhancing security through video surveillance requires safeguards for the respect of human rights”

[12/05/2015 14:00:00] Leen Verbeek, Thematic Rapporteur on combating radicalisation and King’s Commissioner for the province of Flevoland (Netherlands, SOC), represented the Congress at the State of the Union Conference organised by the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence on 9 April 2015. “When we speak of security, we think more and more in terms of technology and video-surveillance,” he said addressing the participants in the Session “Security, Freedom and Technology in an urban context”. “But we must be aware of the risks this involves with regard to human rights abuses. Enhancing security through video surveillance is good, provided safeguards are in place such as consultation of citizens, transparency in the aims, as well as proportionality between aims and means,” he stressed referring to the EFUS Charter for a democratic use of video-surveillance. Mr Verbeek insisted on the specific role of local elected representatives in developing and implementing security measures. “Local and regional authorities can play a crucial role in tackling the dilemma of security versus freedom because of their proximity to citizens,” he concluded.
Conference website

Meeting of the Congress Bureau

[18/05/2015 15:00:00] Members of the Bureau of the Congress will meet in Paris on Friday 22 May 2015. The topics for discussion include the situation in Ukraine, the observation of the elections in the Republic of Moldova on 14 June next and in Albania on 21 June, the preparation of the 29th Session and the priorities and budget of the Council of Europe (2016-2017) and the Congress (2017-2020). They will also be taking stock of the participation of the youth delegates at the 27th and 28th Sessions and discussing perspectives for the future, following the meeting of the ad hoc reflection group on the participation of young people in the work of the Congress, to be held in Paris the day before, 21 May.

Call for participation: 2015 edition of the Dosta!-Congress Prize

[27/04/2015 10:30:00] The 5th edition of the Dosta!-Congress Prize for Municipalities is now open. The Prize is awarded to three municipalities from Council of Europe member States that have implemented innovative and creative initiatives to effectively ensure the long-term integration of the Roma and Traveller communities within their borders. The municipalities which carried such a project, while respecting the diversity of these communities and ensuring their active participation in democratic life, are invited to participate. Applications must be submitted using the application form available online. The deadline for submission of applications is 30th June 2015. The prize will be awarded on the occasion of the Congress’ 29th Session which will take place at the headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in October 2015.
Call for participation
Application Form
Website of the DOSTA! Campaign
Congress' website - Dosta!-Prize's page
More information

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The agenda in brief
26 May - Monitoring visit to France / Paris, FRANCE

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
Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers