Latest News (Site updated Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 16:00)
Piero Fassino calls for enhanced co-operation between local elected representatives from the two shores of the Mediterranean
[23/02/2017 14:00:00] Addressing the 8th Plenary Session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), in St. Julian’s, Malta, on 23 February 2016, Congress thematic Spokesperson on Mediterranean Partnership Piero Fassino (Italy, SOC) presented the Congress South-Med Partnership programme for Morocco and Tunisia. In the future, these activities intend to extend to other countries in the neighbourhood of the Council of Europe and aim to accompany reforms in the countries concerned. 'The Congress, drawing on the experience of its members, can contribute significantly to the on-going changes,' he explained, referring to the regionalisation reform in Morocco and decentralisation in Tunisia. After recalling the long-standing ties between the Congress and ARLEM, Piero Fassino stressed the importance of exchanges between local and regional elected representatives on both sides of the Mediterranean to address common challenges. The Congress enjoys observer status with ARLEM since its creation in 2010 by the Committee of the Regions.
Meeting of the Congress Monitoring Committee in Athens
[13/02/2017 16:30:00] The members of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe met in Athens on 16 February 2017. Kostas Poulakis, Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior, Georges Patoulis, President of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), and Michalis Angelopoulos, Vice-President of the Congress, Mayor of the Island of Samos and Head of the Greek delegation to the Congress, addressed the participants prior to the opening of the meeting by Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC), Chair of the Monitoring Committee. The meeting agenda included several reports on the situation of local and regional democracy in Finland, Iceland, Estonia, and Malta, and on the observation of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well the outcome of the fact-finding mission in Turkey. The members of the Committee also examined a report on the role of local authorities in dealing with migration, the 2016-2017 working plan on human rights at local and regional levels, the recurring issues concerning the situation of local and regional democracy in Europe, as well as the list of criteria for evaluating compliance with international standards and good practices for preventing the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes at local and regional levels.
Interviews - Youtube Photos [Flickr] More information - Web file Press release
Mayors of Southern Ukraine ready to launch new initiatives on local democracy
[17/02/2017 15:00:00] 28 mayors from four regions in Eastern Ukraine (Odessa, Kherson, Mylokaiv and Zaporizhjya) took part in a two-day workshop “Mayors, Leaders for Change”. They exchanged on recent legislative changes related to the decentralisation reform and the amalgamation process in Ukraine, as well as on issues of transparency and ethics at local level. They shared their experience with peers, members of the Congress from Ireland and Ukraine and mayors from Georgia and Germany, on how to develop projects fostering citizen participation and engagement.
This workshop was organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe within the project “Promoting local democracy in Ukraine”, which is part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2015-2017.
Theme of ELDW 2017: “Citizen participation, consultation and commitment for a thriving local democracy”
[14/02/2017 10:30:00] At its meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 10 February, the Congress Bureau approved the annual theme of European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) 2017: “Citizen participation, consultation and commitment for a thriving local democracy”. From 9 to 15 October 2017 – the official dates of ELDW – but also during the entire month of October, the towns and cities of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe and beyond, and their national associations, are invited to apply this theme by means of activities aimed at stimulating citizen participation at local and regional levels. “Over the past 10 years, ELDW has attracted thousands of people to take part in field activities, both in their municipalities and in local schools. The constant rise in the number of participants shows that citizens are interested in grassroots democracy and wish to get to know their elected representatives better” said Gaye Doganoglu (Turkey, EPP/ECC), ELDW spokesperson. Local and regional authorities and their associations which wish to take part in this initiative are invited to register on the official ELDW website.
Press release ELDW website Registration
Monitoring visit by the Congress to Switzerland
[20/01/2017 19:00:00] A delegation from the Congress carried out a monitoring visit to Switzerland from 23 to 25 January 2017. The delegation examined the situation on local and regional democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 2005. Co-rapporteurs on local democracy M. Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) and M. Dorin Chirtoaca (Republic of Moldova, EPP/CCE), focused on the developments in the field of local democracy occurred since the last Congress monitoring visit in May 2009. High level meetings were scheduled, in particular with the Federal Councillor of Department of Finances, Ueli Maurer and the President of the Council of States of Switzerland, Ivo Bischofberger. The delegation also met representatives of local and regional authorities of the cities of Bern, Zurich and Oetwil an der Limmat as well as representatives of the Canton of Zurich and the Canton of Jura, in particular with M. Alec Von Graffenried, Mayor of Bern, Mrs. Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zurich and vice-chair of the Swiss Union of Cities and Towns, M. Paul Studer, Mayor and Chair of the municipality council of Oetwil an der Limmat and Mrs. Nathalie Barthoulot, President of the Government of the Republic and Canton of Jura and Minister of Interior.
Press release Programme Photo gallery (Flickr)