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Congress President condemns attacks on Ukrainian mayors

[29/07/2014 09:30:00] Congress President Herwig van Staa condemned the recent attacks against two Ukrainian mayors which led to the death of one of them, Oleg Babayev from Kremenchuk. Another attack was carried out against the Mayor of Lviv, Andry Sadovy, whose house was struck by an anti-tank missile. Having met with several Mayors of Ukrainian cities in Odessa several days ago during a high level visit Mr van Staa paid tribute to the firm position several of them had taken against the ultimatums from separatist forces calling upon them to resign and to support the self-proclaimed separatist leaders. He called for investigations to identify those responsible for the attacks and to bring them to justice.
More Information about the Congress mission to Ukraine
Special file on “Congress and Ukraine”

The Congress delegation’s high-level meeting to Ukraine comes to its conclusion.

[18/07/2014 15:30:00] During its high-level meeting to Ukraine on 17 and 18 July, the Congress’ delegation, headed by its President Herwig van Staa and comprising Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC) and Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine, ILDG), respectively Presidents of the Chamber of Local Authorities and of the Chamber of Regions, as well as the Presidents of the Congress political groups and the Rapporteur on Ukraine, held a large number of interviews in Kyiv and Odessa. “We have been able to get a complete picture of the current situation in Ukraine and of the major difficulties this country is going through”, declared President van Staa. “The delegation understands that the reforms in Ukraine will not be able to be fully implemented until the problem of territorial integrity and its dramatic consequences are solved.” He particularly underlined the situation of municipalities which have to deal with a massive influx of displaced persons and often, tragically, the arrival of dead bodies, as well as having to organise and finance housing, schooling, and employment”. President van Staa concluded: “Our delegation has appreciated the willingness the government has shown to reform; we particularly welcome the fact that first steps have been taken, such as the election of mayors - despite these difficult circumstances - which are fully in line with Congress recommendations and clearly illustrate the government’s commitment in this respect.
Conclusions - Communiqué de presse
Press release to announce the visit
Ukrainian version
Spécial File
Press review

Congress President at the opening of the exhibition “La Grande Guerra sul Grande Schermo” in Trento

[30/07/2014 15:30:00] On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War an exhibition dealing with “The First World War on the screen“ and telling the story of a conflict through the art of film is taking place from 28 July 2014 to 14 June 2015 at the Foundation Museo Storico del Trentino, in Italy. “The knowledge of our History is a way to overcome fatal nationalist developments in the future. In this sense the importance of the Europe of the Regions and the strengthening of cross-border cooperation have to be seen as key elements of a future-oriented European policy,' stressed Congress President Herwig van Staa at the opening.
More information
Exhibition website

European Local Democracy Week: ALDA Summer School on “Europe, Participation, Remembrance”

[31/07/2014 09:00:00] The European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) launches its Summer School on “Europe, Participation, Remembrance”, which will take place in Asiago (VI), Italy, from 1 to 6 September 2014. It aims at deepening the knowledge about Europe and its milestones in 2014, in particular: the new European era after the elections to the European Parliament in May 2014, the new programming period 2014-2020, and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War. This event is organised in the framework of the European Local Democracy Week and is addressed to people working for NGOs, representatives of local authorities, students, and all those who are interested in active European remembrance and citizenship.
Registration and information
European Local Democracy Week

Regional training seminar for young local leaders on local and regional democracy in Ukraine

[10/07/2014 17:00:00] “Ukraine has a unique window of opportunity to carry out an effective decentralisation process. There is a real political will to carry out such a reform today” underlined Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine, ILDG), President of the Congress Chamber of Regions on 17 July, during a Congress Seminar for young local leader in Truskavets (Lviv Oblast, Ukraine). “We need to develop a new political elite”, she added, encouraging the participants to use this opportunity and the support offered by the Council of Europe and most of the European countries. The Seminar is part of a series of regional workshops aimed at spreading a culture of democracy by raising awareness on local and regional democracy principles and developing the participants’ capacity to engage in local elections in an active and qualified manner. Members of the Congress including Svitlana Bohatyrchuk - Kryvko, (Ukraine, ECR), Mairi Evans (United Kingdom, NR) and Sabine Van Dooren (Belgium, ILDG) also exchanged their experience.
Full text of the news
News (ukrainian version)
Special File Ukraine

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