Latest News (Site updated Friday, July 3, 2015 | 18:30)
Post-monitoring in the Republic of Moldova: the rapporteurs have faith in the political resolve of the Moldovan authorities
[03/07/2015 17:00:00] In the context of the post-monitoring dialogue that was launched in Chisinau on 2 July in 2015 , the rapporteurs of the Congress in the Republic of Moldova, Philippe Receveur (Switzerland, EPP/CCE), Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress, and Francis Lec (France, SOC), member of the Monitoring Committee, had a wide-ranging exchange of views with the representatives of various Moldovan ministries, in which the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova (CALM) and Dorin Chirtoaca, Mayor of Chisinau, and representative of the Moldovan delegation to the Congress, took part.
The representatives of the government expressed their desire to implement the National Decentralisation Strategy (SND) by the end of the year. 'This is a commitment which we very much welcome and which will have to be put into practice in a difficult political context in the Republic of Moldova' said Philippe Receveur, rapporteur on regional democracy.
Malcolm Byrne: “Efforts must be made, at all governance levels, to promote young people’s autonomy and their social inclusion in society”
[03/07/2015 17:00:00] “Young citizens of our towns and regions are still committed to democracy, but they are not committed to the same expressions of democracy as we are”, stated Malcolm Byrne, Congress Thematic Spokesperson on Youth, on presenting his new report “Bringing down barriers to youth participation”, to the Current Affairs Committee, meeting on 1 July 2015 in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NL). “The Congress has recently been inviting youth delegates to take part in our sessions to let them have their say in our work”, he underlined. He announced that a number of young people – both youth activists and young elected representatives – would take part in the Congress’ 29th Session and outlined the work being done to promote young people’s participation in the Congress’ work. Malcolm Byrne also provided an update on the Enter! Youth Meeting to promote young people’s access to their social rights, held in Strasbourg from 30 June to 3 July and on a draft Committee of Ministers’ recommendation on young people’s access to rights to which the Congress is contributing “as full access to all fundamental rights of young people is also a duty of local and regional authorities”.
Speech Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on the access of young people to social rights More information on the Enter! youth meeting 2015
King’s Commissioner for North Brabant welcomes the work of the Congress' Current Affairs Committee
[01/07/2015 14:30:00] “The Congress' Current Affairs Committee touches the heart of local and regional democracy. You pay particular attention to our role with regard to our society and the challenges we face,” stated Wim van de Donk, King’s Commissioner for North Brabant, Netherlands, adressing the Committee members in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, on 1 July 2015. “You fulfil your mission in line with the Council of Europe’s core values and I salute you for your tireless efforts and work” he added. The King’s Commissioner underlined the commitment of the Dutch delegation to the Congress, in particular, of Johan van den Hout, Provincial Executive of the Province of North-Brabant and Congress Thematic Spokesperson on Children. Wim van de Donk also presented the main structures and priorities of the Province of Brabant which focus on a strong cooperation between the regional government, businesses and civil society, international competitiveness and sustainable development.
Prevention of radicalisation, youth participation and combating poverty on Current Affairs Committee’s agenda
[01/07/2015 14:00:00] At their meeting in ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands on 1 July 2015, members of the Current Affairs Committee discussed several reports concerning the prevention of radicalisation, youth participation and social cohesion. In particular, the relevant reports were on “Guidelines for local and regional authorities on preventing radicalisation and manifestations of hate at grassroots level”, “Bringing down barriers to youth participation”, “Combating the feminisation of poverty” and “Championing children’s rights in times of austerity”. The rapporteurs reported on the state of progress of reports under preparation, in particular concerning the participation of women in politics, the development of a “toolkit” on intercultural and interfaith activities for local elected representatives and the preparation with the Governance Committee of a joint paper on following up the Congress strategy to combat radicalisation at grassroots level. In addition, members discussed their future priorities and proposed continuing their work on integrating young people through politics and employment and on regional or minority languages in Europe.The meeting was chaired by Farid Mukhametshin, Chair of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress.
Photo: Farid Mukhametshin, President of the Current Affairs Committee, and Wim van de Donk, King’s Commissioner for North Brabant Interview with Farid Mukhametshin [Youtube] King’s Commissioner for North Brabant welcomes the work of the Congress' Current Affairs Committee Photo gallery [Flickr]
Cities and regions unanimously recognised as best placed to implement concrete actions against sexual abuse of children
[30/06/2015 17:00:00] Cities and regions are the best placed authorities to implement concrete actions to protect children against sexual abuse. The work done by all stakeholders in the framework of the Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign must be pursued. This was the unanimous message delivered by the participants to the seminar for national associations of local and regional authorities organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, in partnership with North-Brabant province, on 30 June 2015, in ’s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands).
Press release Conclusions Interviews [Youtube] Photo gallery [Flickr] File 'Seminar ONE in FIVE'
Johan van den Hout : “National associations are key players for our cities and regions to implement projects to fight sexual violence against children”
[30/06/2015 11:30:00] “As national associations of local and regional authorities, you play a key role in promoting the Convention of the Council of Europe on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention) with your own national authorities,” stated Johan van den Hout, Provincial Executive of the Province of North-Brabant and Congress Thematic Spokesperson on Children, addressing the participants to the Seminar on the ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children, held in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, on 30 June 2015. “You are also key players for the dissemination of the Pact launched by the Congress by encouraging your own municipalities to implement the initiatives it proposes”, he added. The aim of the Pact is to bring about the adoption of child-friendly local and regional services, to protect children, and help prevent sexual violence within the community. To date, more than 67 partners have already signed up to the Pact: 45 cities and regions and 22 associations including national associations of local and regional authorities.
Speech Johan van den Hout interview The Lanzarote convention Programme Photo gallery (Flickr)
Meeting of the Congress Bureau in Strasbourg
[30/06/2015 11:30:00] At its meeting in Strasbourg on 29 June, the Congress Bureau adopted the timetable for the preparation of its priorities for 2017-2020. In particular, the Bureau will hold two working meetings in December 2015 and December 2016, and national and European associations of local and regional authorities will also be consulted. In addition, the Bureau held an exchange of views with the Chair of the Group of Independent Experts (GIE) on the European Charter of Local Self-Government and discussed the agenda for the Congress’s second session in 2015 (20-22 October), in particular the participation of youth delegates, preliminary information on the observation of recent local elections in the Republic of Moldova and Albania and the contribution by the Congress to the World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 18-20 November 2015).