Latest News (Site updated Monday, January 16, 2017 | 15:30)
Congress President pays official visit to the Republic of Serbia
[16/01/2017 14:00:00] At the invitation of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, paid an official visit to Belgrade, Novi Sad and Indija in the Republic of Serbia from 11 to 14 January 2017, accompanied by the Secretary General of the Congress Andreas Kiefer. They held high-level meetings with First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Daèiæ, with Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Ana Brnabiæ and with the Mayor of Belgrade Siniša Mali. The discussions focused on the on-going reforms of local self-government and the decentralisation strategy, both projects implemented with the support of the Council of Europe and the Congress. The Congress President also met the Serbian delegation to the Congress and had a discussion at the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade. The President of the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Igor Miroviæ, presented the policies implemented in the field of protection of minorities, gender equality and citizen's participation in this autonomous Northern Serbian territory. Discussions in Novi Sad and Inðija with mayors Milos Vuèeviæ and Vladimir Gak and members of the respective city councils completed the picture of an innovative, modern and citizen-oriented region. The official visit ended on 14 January with an exchange with members of the board and the management of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) about innovation of local administration and governance in Serbia and the Balkans.
Photo: Gudrun Mosler-Törnström with First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Daèiæ More information Photos [Flickr]
Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “The Congress, 60 years at the service of local and regional democracy in Europe”
[11/01/2017 15:30:00] Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, President of the Congress, addressed the Ministers’ Deputies of the Council of Europe on 11 January 2017. She reminded that the Conference of Local Authorities of the Council of Europe – predecessor of the Congress – held its first session in Strasbourg on 12 January 1957. “Local democracy in the Council of Europe will thus be 60 years old tomorrow.The Congress has increased in political maturity and operational capacity and has become a reliable partner and a valuable support for national governments and public policies.” she added, recalling that 1957 was also the signature of the Rome treaties and the creation of the European Community.
“The main current challenges in Europe are the integration of migrants and refugees and the fight against radicalisation leading to terrorism, both having led to a lasting systemic crisis in all our member States” she underlined. “Our message to national authorities is that local authorities should be made full partners in addressing these challenges. This means that they can be part of the solution if they are consulted and involved when governments draft their policies.” she stressed.
More information Speech Committee of Ministers website
Council of Europe Congress rapporteurs complete fact-finding mission to Turkey
[22/12/2016 10:00:00] From 18 to 20 December 2016, the rapporteurs on Turkey of the Congress Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE) and Leen VERBEEK (Netherlands, SOC) carried out the second part of their fact-finding mission to Turkey, to investigate the recent detentions of elected mayors and their replacement by government appointees in over 40 municipalities [46 municipalities]. They held a series of meetings in Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakýr, including meetings with Vice Minister of the Interior Mr Sebahattin OZTURK, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Mr Selahaddin MENTES, local elected representatives, a government-appointed mayor, lawyers, associations of municipalities and NGOs. The rapporteurs will present the report of their mission to the Congress Monitoring Committee at its meeting in Athens on 16 February 2017 and report to the Congress 32nd plenary session (28-30 March 2017).
TRIBUTE TO JEAN-CLAUDE FRECON (1944-2016)
Jean-Claude Frécon, former Congress President, passed away on Saturday 10 December 2016
[11/12/2016 10:00:00] Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities until October 2016, member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and French Senator, passed away on Saturday 10 December 2016 following a heart attack. He was 72 years old. Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström conveyed the condolences of all the members of the Congress to his family and loved ones. She praised the boundless commitment of a ''true activist for local democracy'', and added; ''we have lost not only a great President of our assembly but also a very dear friend who was loved by all.'' A tribute will be paid to him at the Parliamentary Assembly Session in January 2017 and at the Congress Session in March 2017.
Tributes to Jean-Claude Frécon - Condolence messages
Jean-Louis Testud: “We have lost a great man who was a credit to local and regional elected representatives”
[16/12/2016 15:00:00] « As soon as we had learned the sad news of the death of our colleague, Jean-Claude Frécon, we began receiving many tributes from elected representatives of all French and foreign political movements. All underlined Jean-Claude’s commitment to democracy,' stated Jean-Louis Testud, Chair of the French Delegation to the Congress. A tireless advocate of local and regional self-government, a fervent defender of fundamental European values, a local elected representative extremely attached to his own region, in particular the municipality of Pouilly-lès-Feurs, his political career demonstrated the qualities that best defined him: generosity, a true sense of community, passion and fairness. 'We have lost a great man who was a credit to local and regional elected representatives. It is our duty to perpetuate his commitment to working together showing full respect for others. The French Delegation wishes to thank all his elected colleagues in the Congress and all the teams in our institution for their condolences and messages of support for Jean-Claude’s family and friends,” he concluded.
Andreas Kiefer: 'Jean-Claude Frécon drew all his energy for his work at national and European level from his involvement at local level'
[16/12/2016 15:00:00] Speaking on behalf of Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, at the funeral of Jean-Claude Frécon which took place on 13 December in the Church of Pouilly-Les-Feurs, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, said 'I last saw Jean-Claude Frécon in Strasbourg on 2 December. He was just leaving the meeting of the Congress Bureau and was running to get to the meeting of the Municipal Council in Pouilly les Feurs. Jean-Claude's engagement in both local and European affairs is summed up in this departure from one of the capitals of Europe to the village de Pouilly where he had his roots. This active European, who remained firmly anchored in rural France, always had two balls in the air, and spent his whole life juggling between his European, national and local commitments. I believe I can claim that Jean-Claude drew all his energy for his work at national and European level from his involvement at local level. His passing is a great loss for all of us who knew him not only as a kind and warm-hearted colleague but also as a faithful and enthusiastic friend.' Andreas Kiefer was accompanied by Jean-Philippe Bozouls, Director of the Congress, and Sabine Zimmer, Head of Private Office.
Local councillors in Ukraine advocate changes in favor of modern democratic behaviour at local level
[09/12/2016 09:30:00] 25 Ukrainian local councillors, mostly in their first electoral mandate, met in Kyiv to discuss the implementation of the principles of the European Charter on Local Self-Government in Ukraine, to improve their understanding of the local democracy tools and mechanisms. They strongly expressed their will promote modern democratic behaviour at a local level. This expectation for change was supported by Congress Member Andrew Boff (United Kingdom, ECR): “You have the power to change. You are not alone. It is in the power of councillors to ask questions to executive authorities”. This expectation for change was supported by Congress Member Andrew Boff (United Kingdom, ECR): “You have the power to change. You are not alone. It is in the power of councillors to ask questions to executive authorities”. The seminar also welcomed the participation of Volodymyr Prokopiv (Ukraine, EPP) Head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Congress of local and regional authorities and Congress Member Pikria Avaliani (Georgia, SOC). Participants exchanged on good practices to promote citizens’ participation, ethical decision-making, their roles and responsibilities within the current trend of decentralisation reforms in the country with experts and peers from Georgia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Ukraine.
Congress Greeting cards 2017
[01/12/2016 10:00:00] The Congress Season's Greetings 2017 e-card is available online. You can add a personal message and send it to your contacts by e-mail.
Download the greeting card 2017