Latest News (Site updated Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | 17:30)
Iceland ratifies the Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority
[24/05/2017 14:30:00] The Congress welcomes Iceland’s 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, on 22 May 2017. This is a positive and prompt response of the Icelandic authorities to Recommendation 402, which the Congress adopted during its 32nd session on 30 March 2017, following a monitoring visit to Iceland, from 21 to 23 June 2016.
This ratification is important to ensuring citizen participation and the proper functioning of the participatory instruments recently introduced in Iceland with the new Local Government Act 138/2011. “With the ratification, Iceland sets a strong example for promoting local self-government and confirms its practical commitment to improving participatory democracy at local level,” stated Congress President, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström.
CORLEAP: A collaborative approach to address current challenges
[24/05/2017 17:00:00] The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities has contributed to the 11th CORLEAP Bureau meeting in Minsk, on 22 May 2017, and in particular to the discussions centred on the recommendations for the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit, which is to be held in October 2017. Addressing the Bureau members, Congress member Andris Jaunsleinis (Latvia, ILDG) called for a coherent, dynamic and multi-country approach towards the building of “a more effective, stronger, transparent and accountable local public administration, empowered local leaders, and for enhanced and meaningful participation of citizens and civil society in the local decision-making”. His 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, and its work on preventing corruption and promoting public ethics at local and regional levels, as part of the Congress priorities for 2017-2020.
Post-electoral dialogue with Bosnia and Herzegovina: Congress’ high-level mission to Sarajevo and Mostar
[24/05/2017 10:00:00] A high-level delegation from the Congress will carry out a mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on 25 and 26 May which takes place in the framework of the post-electoral dialogue, further to the local elections held in the country last October, and the implementation of Congress’ mechanisms to assess the situation of local and regional democracy in member States. The delegation includes Congress’ Vice-President Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP-CCE), the Chair of the Monitoring Committee Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC) and the Rapporteur on the 2 October 2016 local elections in BiH, Stewart Dickson (United Kingdom, ILDG). On 25 May, meetings are scheduled in Sarajevo with Mr Marinko Čavara, President of Federation of BiH, representatives of the Government of Republika Srpska, and Mr Bruce Berton, Principal Deputy of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The delegation will also follow-up on Congress’ Recommendation 399 (2017)2, adopted at the 32nd Plenary Session in Strasbourg, with Ms Irena Hadziabdic, President of the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with Mr Šefik Džaferović, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly.
Press release Programme
127th Session of the Committee of Ministers: “To face the crises in Europe, we must mobilise all forces at all levels of governance”, says Congress President
[19/05/2017 12:00:00] “Today Europe is facing great difficulties: the economic crisis, mistrust in politics and politicians, the lack of solidarity towards refugees and migrants. At the same time, the rise of extremism, nationalism and terrorism is threatening our societies. In this context, more than ever, the contribution of local and regional elected representatives to the work of central governments is indispensable,” highlighted Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström at the 127th Session of the Committee of Ministers in Cyprus, on 19 May 2017. Congress President presented an overview of the Congress, which is the second Council of Europe Assembly, and underlined the role of local and regional authorities in tackling these issues as they are at the closest level to the citizens. “In order to fulfil their tasks, local and regional authorities must have the necessary means and they must be involved in the drawing up and implementation of national and European policies and legislation,” she stated. “We are convinced that the mobilisation of all forces at all levels of governance will enable us to overcome the major threats to our values and to our societies,” concluded Congress President.
Breda Pecan opens the XII General Assembly of NALAS
[19/05/2017 10:30:00] “Local and regional authorities, and their respective associations, are key partners who must play a vital role in the dialogue to strengthen local democracy and to coordinate integration efforts, with a view to ensuring stability in the region” affirmed Breda Pecan (Slovenia, SOC), Vice-President of the Congress, at the General Assembly Meeting of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS) in Vienna (Austria), 19 May 2017. Ms Pecan took the opportunity to outline the importance of the NALAS Position paper on “Western Balkans in the loop, Local Governments and their associations as key stakeholders in the EU integration process” in this regard. Reiterating the Congress’ support to NALAS, Ms Pecan highlighted the achievements of NALAS as an inspirational platform recognised for the quality of its work, for its networking capacity, and for the spirit of co-operation it maintains in the region and with its partners. She underlined the synergies between the work of NALAS and the Congress’ priorities which, for 2017-2020, focus on two main lines of action: “Enhancing the quality of local and regional democracy” and “Building safe and inclusive societies that respect diversity”.
Speech NALAS website
Marc Cools: “Local good governance and active citizenship are the best guarantors for change in Ukraine”
[18/05/2017 16:30:00] Outlining the principles enshrined in the European Charter for local self-government to 30 local councillors from the Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk regions, Marc Cools, Rapporteur on local and regional democracy in Ukraine (Belgium), stressed the need to further strengthen the implementation of the principle of subsidiarity in Ukraine. This was underlined by Yuliya Svitlychna, Vice-President of the Congress (Ukraine), having added that: 'Decentralisation ensures the transfer of financial resources and powers to the local level, therefore enhancing the responsibility of local councils. It is one of the successful reforms currently implemented in Ukraine'.