Latest News (Site updated Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | 11:30)
Ukrainian young local leaders to discuss local political governance
[30/09/2014 09:00:00] The Congress is organising a regional training seminar for young local leaders in Chernihiv (Ukraine) on 30 September – 2 October 2014. The seminar will bring together 25 young local leaders of NGOs, youth wings of political parties, local media as well as local elected representatives. Nataliya Romanova, President of the Congress Chamber of the Regions, will open the seminar. Other members of the Congress including : Liisa Ansala (Finland), Mairi Evans (United Kingdom), Volodymyr Udovychenko (Ukraine) will also participate and discuss the the practical implementation of European standards for enhanced local political governance, in particular, the European Charter of Local Self-Government. A press briefing will take place on 1st October 2014 at 11:30 am in the Conference room (8th floor) of the Park-Hotel Chernihiv.Photo: View of the City of Tchernihiv, Ukraine Press release Programme
Nataliya Romanova: ''The projects conducted in the Eastern Partnership countries help consolidate local and regional democracy''
[29/09/2014 09:30:00] Nataliya Romanova, President of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress, addressed the members of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership in Tbilisi on 29 September 2014. She stressed the need to strengthen local and regional democracy through concrete actions, and explained, ''That is why the Congress has decided to launch field activities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, funded by our member states and the European Union, in the framework of the Council of Europe action plans.'' These projects deal with various concerns such as leadership capacity building for local elected representatives, promotion of political dialogue and citizens’ participation, young people in particular. Ms Romanova also emphasised the determination of the Congress to carry on its exchanges with CORLEAP which constitutes an ideal co-operation platform.
Photo: First on left: Nataliya Romanova, President of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress Speech Programme More information and documents
Meeting of the Congress Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government
[24/09/2014 17:00:00] The Congress Group of Independent Experts on the European Charter of Local Self-Government (GIE) came together for its annual meeting on 25 and 26 September 2014 in Strasbourg. It was the first meeting under the new Chair, Prof. Angel Moreno (Spain). The participants discussed draft reports on “electoral rights of voters residing de facto abroad” and “criteria for standing for local and regional elections” . It also examined trends in regionalisation in Council of Europe member states and the situation of constitutional reform in Ukraine. Among the other items on the agenda were issues resulting from Congress’ monitoring activities and the missions to observe local and regional elections.
Synergies and complementary action of Congress and EU Committee of the Regions
[25/09/2014 09:30:00] “The Congress, and the Committee of the Regions (COR), are both working to strengthen the role of the local and regional authorities in policy-making at national and European level. Our two institutions have a key responsibility in helping these authorities to be real political European actors,” stated Andreas Kiefer in his address at the CIVEX Commission’s seminar on “The role of local and regional authorities in the future of Europe” organised by the EU COR on 23 September in Brindisi (Italy). Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, presented the specific mandate of the Congress in monitoring local and regional democracy in all 47 member states of the Council of Europe. He proposed a strengthened co-operation with the Committee of the Regions to better involve the local and regional level in the drafting and implementation of EU-policies by local and regional authorities under the political accountability of citizens.
Andreas Kiefer invited CIVEX members to deepen this discussion at the up-coming joint meeting with the Congress’ Governance Committee (17 November 2014), which will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions. Earlier in the seminar, the Italian Minister of Regional Affairs, Maria Carmela Lanzetta, endorsed the important role of municipalities and regions and explained the motivation of the territorial reform undertaken by the Italian government.
EU COR website Website of the Italian Government 20 years promoting local and regional democracy
Georgia: Congress contributes to post-electoral conference in Tbilisi
[16/09/2014 16:30:00] The Congress’ evaluation of the local elections observed on 15 June 2014 was among the contributions presented at a post-electoral conference ('The 2014 Local Elections: Lessons Learned and Steps Ahead') organised on 16 September 2014 by the Council of Europe in co-operation with USAID, the Swiss government and IFES. Congress member Pearl Pedergnana (Switzerland, SOC) summarised major findings and recommendations resulting from the observation mission and which will be debated and adopted at the 27th Congress Plenary Session on 15 October.
More information and Congress report Statement by Pearl Pedergnana Conference website
Congress expresses full support to new strategic vision of Council of Europe Secretary General
[16/09/2014 16:00:00] Congress President Herwig van Staa addressed the Minister’s Deputies on 16 September 2014 after the presentation of the Statutory Declaration of the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland – who was re-elected in June 2014 - and the presentation of his strategic vision for the next five years term. ‘’The Congress will continue to focus its activities on the common priorities of the Council of Europe: high-quality monitoring of local and regional democracy and election observation as well as support to member States in the follow up of recommendations through post-monitoring dialogue” he stated. M. van Staa also underlined that ‘’The Congress is, and will remain, a strong partner in contributing to the coherence and relevance of the activities of the Council of Europe and supporting the work of its Secretary General’’.
Speech by Herwig van Staa Committee of Ministers website Photos [Flickr]