Latest News (Site updated Friday, February 17, 2017 | 17:00)

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.
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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.
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Brussels: the Congress and the European Committee of the Regions organise a joint conference on the prevention of corruption

[16/02/2017 12:00:00] In the framework of its anti-corruption Roadmap adopted at its 31st session, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will host a conference on 'the role of local and regional authorities in preventing corruption and promoting good governance' on 28 February 2017, in Brussels. The joint conference will address the strategies and showcase good practice as well as the benefits of cooperation at local and regional levels. Participants will examine the issue of public ethics at local and regional levels, in the context of the Congress’ work to revise the European Code of Conduct on the political integrity of local and regional representatives, adopted in 1999. This event will provide the opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach to corruption prevention, and will include interventions from local elected representatives, academics and civil society representatives. This conference is open to the public and the media.
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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

President of the Congress holds political meetings before the Congress Bureau meeting in Nicosia

[13/02/2017 17:30:00] In Nicosia on 9 and 10 February 2017, President Mosler-Törnström held political meetings with Demetris Syllouris, President of the House of representatives, Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Constantinos Yiorkadjis, Mayor of Nicosia and Ionas Nicolaou, Deputy Minister of the Interior as well as Andreas Kitromilides, President of the Union of Cypriot Communities and Alexis Galanos, President of the Union of Cypriot municipalities. They mainly discussed the situation of local democracy in Cyprus and its reform. The Congress President emphasized the readiness of the Congress to help the Cyprus authorities in this process in order to strengthen local democracy in the country. The President was informed that the draft law on administrative reforms that is currently before the Parliament intends to reduce the number of municipalities and amalgamate communities, municipalities and services, to make economies of scale, increase the autonomy of local authorities in the country, improve their financing and reinforce the services they provide to citizens. The report on the situation of local democracy in Cyprus adopted in October 2016 was considered in the process of preparing the draft law.
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23 partners from 11 countries represented at the annual co-ordination meeting of the European Local Democracy Week

[31/01/2017 17:00:00] The 2017 co-ordination meeting of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW), held in Strasbourg (France) on 30 January, brought together mayors and local councilors of the cities participating in the 2016 edition, as well as project co-ordinators, national ELDW co-ordinators and partner organisations. “The ELDW is a tool for making local democracy more accessible and understandable for all citizens, facilitating their direct implication in the decision-making process of matters that concern them. This is why local elected authorities and national associations of local and regional authorities are the main partners of the Week”, underlined Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer. Participants presented the activities they organised in 2016, many of which were directly related to last year’s theme of “living together in culturally diverse societies”. They exchanged experience and good practices, and discussed the theme for 2017 which will celebrate the 10th anniversary, as well as possible developments for future editions. ELDW Spokesperson Gaye Doganoglu (Turkey, EPP/CCE) presented certificates to the representatives of the “12-Star” partners to reward them for their outstanding commitment to the ELDW.
Introduction by Andreas Kiefer
Photos [Flickr]
Agenda
List of participants

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)

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Organiser des activités interculturelles et interreligieuses
Organiser des activités interculturelles et interreligieuses



The agenda in brief

22 February - 18th Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) bureau meeting / La Valette, MALTA

Calendar of events

Calendar of local and regional elections

2015
2016
2017


Organiser des activités interculturelles et interreligieuses
Organising intercultural and interreligious activities - File

Organising intercultural and interreligious activities
Alliance of European Cities against violent extremism - File

Organising intercultural and interreligious activities
Drapeau européenCo-operation activities
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Drapeau européenYouth activities
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Drapeau européenFocus on Ukraine
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VIDEO CLIP - The Congress in brief YouTube



Drapeau européenPolitical dialogue with governments
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Cyprus Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
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