Latest News (Site updated Tuesday, September 26, 2017 | 11:00)
Tunisia: International Conference on the participation of women and workshop on the draft Local Government Code
[25/09/2017 15:30:00] The Congress is holding two events in Tunis, one on the participation of women in local politics and the other on the draft Local Government Code. An international conference is to be held jointly by the Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family Affairs and Childhood and Ministry of Local Affairs and the Environment and the Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Democracy in Tunis on 26 and 27 September 2017. It will bring together about one hundred participants to discuss the theme “Women and local government”. Inger Linge, the Congress’s Spokesperson on Gender Equality, will present the Council of Europe’s standards in this area. The conference will be followed on 30 September 2017 by a discussion workshop with Tunisian experts and members of parliament on the draft Local Government Code, which is currently being examined in the Tunisian Assembly of the Representatives of the People. On the sidelines of these two events, high-level meetings are also planned between the President of the Congress, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, and the two Ministers, as well as representatives of civil society, and between the Congress’s Spokesperson on the South-Med Partnership, Piero Fassino (Italy, SOC), and various Tunisians involved in the preparation of the draft.
Programme of the Conference Workshop on the draft Local Government Code Webfile
Meeting of the Congress Bureau in Paris
[13/09/2017 15:00:00] The Congress Bureau met in Paris on 15 September 2017 to discuss the situation of local and regional democracy in several countries, in particular Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, and Armenia. It also held an exchange of views with Laima Jureviciene, Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM) of the Council of Europe. The agenda also included the preparation of the next sessions of the Congress, in particular the 33rd session, and an item on co-operation with Morocco and Tunisia. The Bureau also examined the arrangements for observing local elections in the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (15 October 2017) and Georgia (21 October 2017) and considered a draft preliminary resolution on the future of European Local Democracy Week, a pan-European event, which has been co-ordinated by the Congress since 2007.
Monitoring visit by the Congress to Latvia
[12/09/2017 10:00:00] A delegation from the Congress carried out a monitoring visit to Latvia from 12 to 14 September 2017. Co-rapporteurs on local democracy, Mr Xavier CADORET (France, SOC) and Mr Marc COOLS (Belgium, ILDG), examined the situation on local democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 1996.
High level meetings were scheduled, in particular with Mrs Dana REIZNIECE-OZOLA, Minister of Finance, and Mr Janis EGLITS, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. The delegation also met with Mr Sergejs DOLGOPOLOVS, Chairman of the Public Administration and Local Government Parliament’s Committee, Mr Jānis VUCĀNS, Chairman of the Budget and Finance Parliament’s Committee, Mr Juris JANSONS, Ombudsman, as well as the Judge Sanita OSIPKOVA, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court and Mrs Elita KRŪMIŅA, Auditor General for the State Audit Office.
Press release Programme Photos [Flickr]
Sevdia Ugrekhelidze: a stronger local dimension ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit
[14/09/2017 15:00:00] The need to push forward the local dimension in the future efforts within the Eastern Partnership countries was stressed by Sevdia UGREKHELIDZE (Georgia, EPP/CCE), Vice President of the Congress – a permanent observer of CORLEAP - during its 7th Annual meeting, on 12 September 2017 in Brussels. Highlighting the importance in “promoting a partnership culture between local and central authorities”, whilst also “fostering open dialogue for inclusive public administration and local government reform”, Ms Ugrekhelidze demonstrated that enhanced quality of local democracy requires not only legislative support but “endorsement by all stakeholders involved”. Reflecting on the work by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and CORLEAP in recommendations for the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit, in October 2017, Ms UGREKHELIDZE recalled that “local and regional authorities have a vital role to play in many of the priorities set, and thus need to be considered as fully-fledged partners in reaching the set targets”. Her call is based on the Congress’ strong involvement in the EaP region by means of its statutory and co-operation activities, in particular through the Partnership for Good Governance
2015 – 2017.
Full text of the news Sevdia Ugrekhelidze’s speech: (Item 2.) The future of the Eastern Partnership: Going local Sevdia Ugrekhelidze’s speech: (Item 3.) Thematic focus: Good governance
Herwig van Staa: “Fighting corruption needs to remain a long-term priority for local and regional governments and their associations”
[14/09/2017 14:30:00] Herwig van Staa, Congress spokesperson on promoting public ethics and preventing corruption at the local and regional levels, addressed the Committee of ethics of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), in Oslo, Norway, on 14 September 2017. “Corruption poses a major threat to the legitimacy of our democratic institutions and must be dealt with in all member states of the Council of Europe,” he stated, highlighting that the problem is acute at all levels of government, including local and regional levels. “In all its forms, the fight against corruption needs to remain a long-term priority for local and regional governments and their associations”, he added. Herwig van Staa presented the Congress Roadmap of activities for preventing corruption and promoting public ethics at local and regional level, based on three objectives: a better understanding of the risks of corruption through the preparation of thematic reports, the revision and extension of the scope of the European Code of Conduct and the implementation of cooperation activities. Although confident that the Roadmap and its implementation will enable the Congress to take its anti-corruption work to a new level, Herwig van Staa stressed that local and regional authorities as well as their associations have an important role to play and should develop their own anti-corruption action plans.
Speech Congress roadmap Congress texts Booklet on Congress thematic activities (pdf) REGIONEWS Website
Congress President meets Prime Minister of Montenegro: “Self-government is our philosophy”
[28/06/2017 16:30:00] On 27 June 2017, during the session of the parliamentary Assembly, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional authorities Gudrun Mosler-Törnström met the Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković. They discussed the situation of local and regional democracy in the country as well as other issues such as the economic crisis, the problems of corruption and radicalisation and the crisis of refugees and migrants. The Prime Minister underlined that his country was committed to the European Charter of Local self-government and would seek to reach the highest level of decentralisation. Montenegro was also willing to be a partner in all current challenges, he added, stressing that it was a multilevel society which could serve as a role model. The President of the Congress welcomed the spirit of reforms shown by the Prime Minister and accepted the invitation to visit the country to see the changes that have occurred over the last years. She underlined that the Charter was more than a text but rather the expression of a philosophy.