Latest News (Site updated Thursday, April 30, 2015 | 14:30)

Workshop on the financing of electoral campaigns in Southern Mediterranean countries

[28/04/2015 12:00:00] ''The democratic transition cannot be considered as finished until free and fair elections are held,'' said Marie Madeleine Mialot Muller (France, SOC), Vice-President of the Regional council of the Centre region and member of the Congress during a conference following the Lisbon Forum and dedicated to the financing of electoral campaigns in southern Mediterranean countries. During the conference held in Tunis (Tunisia) on 27 and 28 April and organised by the Council of Europe North-South Centre, participants insisted on the necessity of regulating the financing of electoral campaigns in order to avoid potential distortions within the electoral process. In particular, the issue of public financing was raised as critical and several participants suggested that the abusive use of administrative resources should be monitored and sanctioned if needed. Moreover, public and private financing should be balanced in order to ensure pluralism. Local elections are likely to be held in Tunisia in 2016 and will be the first of their kind since the adoption of the new Constitution in 2014.
More information on the project

The partnership Strasbourg - Kairouan (Tunisia) under the patronage of the Congress

[24/04/2015 17:00:00] ''Congress welcomes the signing on 23 April 2015 of a partnership agreement between the cities of Strasbourg (France) and Kairouan (Tunisia) under the patronage of Congress,'' said Andreas Kiefer, Congress Secretary General on behalf of President Jean-Claude Frécon. ''Congress is engaged in fruitful cooperation with the city of Kairouan, which in 2014 organized the Arab week of local democracy, for the third time. We hope that the future status of partner for local democracy adopted by the Congress last October and intended for local elected representatives from the Council of Europe’s neighboring countries will allow us to further expand this cooperation, '' he added. Photo: Lassad Ghdami, Mayor of Kairouan, Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg et Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress
Speech A.Kiefer (French)

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
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Eastern Partnership: Congress participates in annual CORLEAP conference

[24/04/2015 14:30:00] “The CORLEAP and the Congress share a great affinity and we believe that we have great potential for synergies” said Congress Vice-President Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine, ILDG) at the annual meeting of the Conference of Local and Regional Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) held in Brussels on 23 April 2015. Mrs Romanova presented the current important developments, in particular the strengthening of the Congress’s co-operation activities through the signing, last December, of the Council of Europe/European Union Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework 2015-2017. This includes a programme on strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance. “The Congress supports positive change in the member states of the Eastern Partnership region through its work of monitoring local democracy, election observation, post-monitoring dialogue and practical co-operation programmes”, recalled Mrs Romanova.
More information on the website of the Committee of the Regions

Speech by Juliana Hoxha at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Cultural Heritage

[23/04/2015 15:00:00] “The Congress has a key role to play in the preservation of cultural heritage as a means of building more inclusive societies”, said Congress Vice-President Juliana Hoxha (Albania, SOC) at the 6th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Cultural Heritage, entitled “Cultural heritage in the 21st century for living better together. Towards a common strategy for Europe”, held in Namur (Belgium) on 23 April 2015. Among other things, she called on local authorities to implement policies to raise awareness of the importance of cultural heritage for recording our past and building the future, to create a favourable climate by encouraging the active participation of citizens, including migrant communities and minorities, in local political life, to foster intercultural dialogue against hatred, exclusion and xenophobia, and to protect cultural heritage against new threats. She also referred to the resolutions adopted by the Congress at the 28th Session in March 2015 on combating radicalisation and on the responsibility of local authorities for protecting, preserving and managing burial places as part of local history.
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