Latest News (Site updated Friday, January 30, 2015 | 10:00)

Meeting of the Congress Bureau

[30/01/2015 09:30:00] The members of the Congress Bureau will meet in Strasbourg on 2 February 2015. They will hold an exchange of views with Ambassador Astrid Emilie Helle, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM) and Permanent Representative of Norway. Among items on the agenda are the Congress strategy to combat radicalisation at grass-roots level, the situation in Ukraine, the dialogue with the Committee of Ministers, as well as the Congress contribution to the World Forum for Democracy. The members of the Bureau will also discuss the agenda of the 28th Session of the Congress (24-26 March 2015) and, in particular, the follow-up to the participation of youth delegates who were invited to take part and to contribute to the debates of the 27th Session.

Call for applications: European Youth Capital 2018

[26/01/2015 11:30:00] The European Youth Forum has launched a call to find its European Youth Capital (EYC) 2018. This title is awarded to a European municipality for a period of one year, during which it is given the opportunity to showcase its youth-related cultural, social, political and economic policies. Since 2014 the Congress has been endorsing partner of the EYC which encourages municipalities to implement innovative projects to promote the active participation of young people in society. Cluj-Napoca (RO) is the 2015 European Capital. In 2016 Ganja (AZ) will take over and then Varna (BG) in 2017. For any queries: Franziska Schwelm, Policy Officer Youth Participation, in the European Youth Forum (
Website 'European Youth Capital'

Armenian Mayors and Congress members discuss how shared values can shape communities

[29/01/2015 09:30:00] The group of Armenian mayors participating in the leadership programme of the Congress met on 21 and 22 January in Yerevan to discuss how the values shared by a community can influence the behaviours of its members, and how these values can be equally instrumental for the development of the community. They learned how the community leader can use his/her influence and leadership to shape these values and promote positive and socially productive behaviours. The leadership programme for Armenian mayors and the “Citizen Participation initiatives” are implemented by the Congress in the framework of the project “Support to consolidating local democracy in Armenia”, financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Cooperation activities in Armenia

Support to Consolidating Local Democracy in Armenia

[29/01/2015 09:30:00] “With its cooperation activities in Armenia, the Congress goes beyond its traditional consultative and monitoring role and commits to give a concrete follow up to its recommendations which will be incorporated in a post-monitoring roadmap. This regards particularly the issues of competences and mandate of local elected representatives as well as the role and functioning of their associations.” stated Tracey Simpson-Laing (United Kingdom, SOC), Chair of the Governance Committee of the Congress, at the Steering Committee of the project “Support to Consolidating Local Democracy in Armenia” on 20 January in Yerevan. The project is financed by the Danish Government, and implemented by the Congress in cooperation with Council of Europe Democracy Directorate. The Steering Committee meets once a year and provides strategic guidance for the purpose of successful achievement of the project goals and objectives. The action plan for the year 2015 was approved. On the same day, Tracey Simpson-Laing met Armen Yeritsyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, who expressed his satisfaction for the good cooperation between Armenia and the Congress, and stressed the high importance of decentralisation in the Armenian Government’s agenda.
Cooperation activities in Armenia

German-speaking Community of Belgium signs the Pact of Towns and Regions to stop sexual violence against children

[28/01/2015 09:00:00] Antonios Antoniadis, Minister for Family Affairs, Health and Social Affairs of the German-speaking Community of Belgium (DSG), signed the Pact of Towns and Regions to stop sexual violence against children on 27 January 2015, in Eupen, Belgium. On this occasion, Josef Neumann, vice-Chair of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress, highlighted that « local and regional authorities are on the frontline of the fight to stop sexual violence against children, and this is why the Congress is encouraging them to develop and implement action plans and strategies to deal with and prevent future cases.” Minister Antoniadis explained that the DSG's strategy had been drawn up following a detailed analysis of the council of Europe convention on the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. The Congress’ Pact has been signed by about 60 towns and regions, including Berlin, Liverpool, Prague, Nicosia, Lausanne, Tirol.
Congress contribution to the ONE in FIVE Campaign
Website of the ONE in FIVE Campaign

Cooperation programmes : Call for expression of interest for the assignment of short-term international experts

[21/01/2015 14:30:00] The Congress implements bilateral and multilateral projects as part of the democracy component of the Council of Europe Action Plans and priority documents for its member states such as Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, as well as Belarus and Kosovo, and the Eastern and Southern neighbourhood (Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Kazakhstan). These projects provide capacity-building and awareness-raising activities on local democracy principles for mayors and municipal councillors as well as for other actors of local democracy. They also support to the institutional development of local government associations and policy advice to reinforce the dialogue with national authorities. The Congress is looking for international experts to contribute to the implementation of current, and forthcoming, co-operation projects under the guidance of its Secretariat both in the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg (France) and in the Council of Europe Offices located in target countries. Candidates must submit their curriculum vitae in English or French possibly in Europass format to with a subject line 'Call for experts'.
Call for interest – more information
Special file Congress Cooperation programmes

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The agenda in brief 
2 February - Bureau of the Congress and of its chambers / Strasbourg, FRANCE

Calendar of events
Calendar of local and regional elections in COE member states
VIDEO CLIP - The Congress in brief YouTube

Drapeau européenPolitical dialogue with governments
Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
Leyla GüvenLeyla Güven, former Congress member