Latest News (Site updated Tuesday, May 5, 2015 | 17:00)
Workshop on the financing of electoral campaigns in Southern Mediterranean countries
[28/04/2015 12:00:00] ''The democratic transition cannot be considered as finished until free and fair elections are held,'' said Marie Madeleine Mialot Muller (France, SOC), Vice-President of the Regional council of the Centre region and member of the Congress during a conference following the Lisbon Forum and dedicated to the financing of electoral campaigns in southern Mediterranean countries. During the conference held in Tunis (Tunisia) on 27 and 28 April and organised by the Council of Europe North-South Centre, participants insisted on the necessity of regulating the financing of electoral campaigns in order to avoid potential distortions within the electoral process. In particular, the issue of public financing was raised as critical and several participants suggested that the abusive use of administrative resources should be monitored and sanctioned if needed. Moreover, public and private financing should be balanced in order to ensure pluralism. Local elections are likely to be held in Tunisia in 2016 and will be the first of their kind since the adoption of the new Constitution in 2014.
More information on the project
Gudrun Mosler-Törnström : “Regionalisation means more than just decentralising government departments”
[05/05/2015 15:30:00] “The key challenges for the regions in the future will be their democratic structure, their competences and own resources, their place within the state, their relations with other authorities, and above all their relations with the citizens,” stated Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), President of the Congress Chamber of Regions addressing the European Congress of Local Governments on 5 May 2015 in Kraków (Poland). “No matter how the geographical and institutional architecture of a state is conceived, three objectives should be clear: strengthening democracy; bringing political and administrative structures closer to the citizens; respecting cultural and ethnical diversity and heritage”, she added. Organised by the Institute for Eastern Studies, the Conference is a platform for local governments’ leaders and regional elites to exchange views, knowledge and experience with the representatives of state administration, NGOs and business.
Speech by Gudrun Mosler-Törnström Conference website
General Assembly and ALDA’s 15th Anniversary, in Podgorica
[05/05/2015 10:30:00] Barbara Toce, Vice-President of the Congress (Italy, SOC) and Mayor of Pedaso, will represent the Congress at the General Assembly of the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) and at its conference “Capitalisation and relaunch”, in Podgorica (Montenegro), on 9 May 2015. The same day, the association will celebrate its 15th Anniversary. Mrs Toce will also attend events to be held in parallel, from 6 to 9 May, such as the ALDA Governing Board Meeting or the LADDER project Working group – local authorities as drivers for development education and raising awareness – in which the Congress is an associate member.
ALDA website More information on LADDER project
The partnership Strasbourg - Kairouan (Tunisia) under the patronage of the Congress
[24/04/2015 17:00:00] ''Congress welcomes the signing on 23 April 2015 of a partnership agreement between the cities of Strasbourg (France) and Kairouan (Tunisia) under the patronage of Congress,'' said Andreas Kiefer, Congress Secretary General on behalf of President Jean-Claude Frécon. ''Congress is engaged in fruitful cooperation with the city of Kairouan, which in 2014 organized the Arab week of local democracy, for the third time. We hope that the future status of partner for local democracy adopted by the Congress last October and intended for local elected representatives from the Council of Europe’s neighboring countries will allow us to further expand this cooperation, '' he added.
Photo: Lassad Ghdami, Mayor of Kairouan, Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg et Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress Speech A.Kiefer (French)
Jean-Claude Frécon meets the King and Queen of the Belgians
[21/04/2015 16:00:00] Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, today met the King and Queen of the Belgians, who were on an official visit to coincide with the Spring Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The President gave the Belgian royal couple an overview of the Congress’ activities, in particular monitoring local and regional democracy, fighting radicalisation and promoting intercultural dialogue and youth participation. The King and Queen showed particular interest in the Congress’ work on deradicalisation (a subject that had been discussed at the 28th Session in March with the participation of the Mayor of the Belgian town of Vilvorde, which is particularly active in this field) and in the Pact of Towns and Regions to stop sexual violence against children, which is the equivalent at local level of the activities carried out at national level by governments and the Parliamentary Assembly in the context of its ONE in FIVE campaign. The President also attended the speech which the King made before the members of the Parliamentary Assembly and took part in the inauguration of the exhibition by the Belgian cartoonist, Philippe Geluck, on the theme “Le Chat aime les droits de l’homme” –the Cat likes human rights”. The cartoonist was also present.
Call for participation: 2015 edition of the Dosta!-Congress Prize
[27/04/2015 10:30:00] The 5th edition of the Dosta!-Congress Prize for Municipalities is now open. The Prize is awarded to three municipalities from Council of Europe member States that have implemented innovative and creative initiatives to effectively ensure the long-term integration of the Roma and Traveller communities within their borders. The municipalities which carried such a project, while respecting the diversity of these communities and ensuring their active participation in democratic life, are invited to participate. Applications must be submitted using the application form available online. The deadline for submission of applications is 30th June 2015. The prize will be awarded on the occasion of the Congress’ 29th Session which will take place at the headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in October 2015.
Call for participation Application Form Website of the DOSTA! Campaign Congress' website - Dosta!-Prize's page More information