Latest News (Site updated Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 11:00)
Congress visit to monitor local and regional democracy in Greece
[16/09/2014 10:30:00] A delegation of the Congress, composed of Arthur Torres Pereira (Portugal EPP/CCE) and Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), will carry out a monitoring visit in Greece from 16 to 17 September. High-level meetings are foreseen in Athens, notably with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Administrative Reform and E-governance Minister, Gikas Hardouvelis, Finance Minister, as well as Argyris Dinopoulos, Minister of the Interior. The delegation will also meet with Evangelos - Vasileios Meimarakis, President of the Greek Parliament, Sotirios Al. Rizos, President of the Council of State, N. Aggelaras, President of the Hellenic Court of Audit, Vasilis Sotiropoulos, Ombudsman of the City of Athens, as well as John Sayas, Deputy Ombudsman of Greece.
Ukraine ratifies the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government
[09/09/2014 09:00:00] On 2 September 2014, the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) adopted the law on the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority by a majority of 260 votes. This is a positive step forward in the implementation of Recommendation 348, which the Congress adopted in 2013 following two monitoring visits to Ukraine, in May 2012 and April 2013. ''The Congress has been keeping a close track on the development of local and regional democracy in Ukraine and will continue to offer its expertise to the Ukrainian authorities as part of a post-monitoring programme'', said Congress President, Herwig van Staa.
Press release File ''Ukraine and the Congress''
Exchange of views between the Congress and a Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group
[12/09/2014 17:30:00] On 9 September 2014, Karl-Heinz Lambertz (Belgium, SOC), Congress thematic spokesperson on co-operation with the intergovernmental sector of the Council of Europe and President of the Congress Governance Committee, held an exchange of views with the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM). In particular, they discussed the document Recurring problems identified during monitoring missions, submitted to the Committee of Ministers in December 2013, which analyses the issues encountered in member states in the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. The discussions also focused on the contribution by the Congress regarding the situation in Ukraine, problems of local finance and the Committee of Ministers’ replies to Congress recommendations. The exchange of views was part of the enhanced political dialogue between the Congress and the Committee of Ministers. The President of GR-DEM, Ambassador Helle, agreed to meet in the near future with the Congress Bureau, which previously held exchanges of views with the two former chairs of the GR-DEM, Ambassadors Gacek and Berends, the permanent representatives of Poland and the Netherlands respectively.
Statement by Karl-Heinz Lambertz Intervention of Andreas Kiefer Document ''Recurring issues based on assessments resulting from Congress monitoring and election observation missions''
Call for expression of interest: grants for multi-ethnic municipalities in South-East Europe
[09/09/2014 17:00:00] The Joint European Union / Council of Europe Regional Project “Promoting Human Rights and Minority Protection in South East Europe” has issued a call for expression of interest for small grants for multi-ethnic municipalities in South East Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Kosovo1). The main aim is to support communities and municipalities in developing concrete responses to barriers to minority rights implementation at local level, with regular on-site Council of Europe expertise. Thirty-six municipalities will be selected.
The joint project is based upon Council of Europe standards, in particular on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML). The deadline for applications is 15 September 2014 (24h00 CET). The joint project is based upon Council of Europe standards, in particular on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML). The deadline for submission of applications is 15 September 2014 (24h00 CET).
Call for interest Project website
Seminar on Transfrontier Co-operation in Strasbourg : online registration
[09/09/2014 12:00:00] On 16 and 17 September, the Congress, the Euro-Institute and the European Public Administration Pole (EPAP), will be holding a seminar in Strasbourg on “Prospects for effective transfrontier co-operation in Europe” as a follow-up to Congress Resolution 363 on transfrontier co-operation, which identifies three fundamental aspects in this area: the legal instruments, data collection and training. The purpose of the seminar is to establish an action plan and a network of experts to promote these priorities. Anyone interested in this work is invited to register by 12 September 2014 at the latest. Registration form Programme Programme (German)
ONE in FIVE: The Mayor of Plsen to sign the Pact of Cities and Regions
[09/09/2014 16:00:00] On the occasion of a meeting on 8 September 2014, Jiri Kuthan, member of the Municipal Council of Plsen, Czech Republic, informed Johan van den Hout (Netherlands, SOC), Congress Thematic Spokesperson on Children, that the Mayor of Plsen was expected to sign imminently the Pact of Cities and Regions to stop sexual violence against children. Johan van den Hout said he was impressed by the level of services already set up to deal with cases of sexual abuse and the efforts to raise awareness of children and the general public. The Pact comprises a list of initiatives proposed by the Congress to local and regional authorities as part of the Council of Europe’s ONE in FIVE campaign.
Congres contribution to the ONE in FIVE Campaign European Pact of Cities and Regions to stop sexual violence against children