Latest News (Site updated Tuesday, February 9, 2016 | 11:30)
First Congress/Committee of the Regions High-Level meeting
[05/02/2016 14:00:00] The Congress/Committee of the Regions High-Level Group will hold its first meeting in Brussels on 9 February 2016. The aim of the Group, which comprises the President of the Congress and the Presidents of its two Chambers and the President of the Committee of the Regions, the first Vice-President and the Chair of the CIVEX Commission, is to maintain contacts between the two institutions and agree the thematic priorities for co-operation. The agenda will include a current affairs debate on the integration of refugees and the fight against radicalisation and extremism. The priority areas for co-operation will also be discussed with a view to increasing synergy between the activities carried out by the Congress and the Committee of the Regions, in particular good governance and efforts to combat corruption at local and regional level, the 2016 local election observation timetable and the prospects for enhanced co-operation between the two institutions concerning decentralisation in Ukraine.
2016 European Local Democracy Week to focus on promoting intercultural dialogue
[08/02/2016 17:00:00] “Living together in culturally diverse societies: respect, dialogue, interaction” will be the theme for the 2016 European Local Democracy Week (ELDW), as approved by the Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities at its meeting in Paris on 8 February 2016 on a proposal from the ELDW national co-ordinators.
The 2016 theme follows on from that in 2015, with a stronger focus on education for democratic citizenship and human rights. “It is important to educate citizens at local level concerning their fundamental rights and freedoms and also to enable them to acquire the skills for promoting respect and diversity,” said Gaye Doganoglu (EPP/CCE, Turkey), Congress Vice-President and ELDW political co-ordinator.
Press release ELDW website
Congress Bureau: exchange of views with the Team Leader of the Migrant and Refugee Fund of the Development Bank
[05/02/2016 12:00:00] Members of the Bureau of the Congress and its two chambers will meet in Paris on Friday 8 February 2016. They will exchange views with the Deputy Director General for Loans and Social Development and Team Leader of the Migrant and Refugee Fund of the Council of Europe Development Bank, Stephan Sellen, on the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) launched by the Bank. The agenda will also include the 2017-2020 priorities as well as the preparation of the 30th Session (22-24 March 2016), the outcome of the 2015 Edition of the European Local Democracy Week (12-18 October 2015), the Emperor Maximilian Prize 2016 awarded by the Land of Tyrol and the City of Innsbruck, and the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2016, awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly.
Letter of the Council of Europe Development Bank Website of the Council of Europe Development Bank
The Secretary General of the Congress and the Director of Agency for Fundamental Rights of the UE discussed cooperation between their institutions
[04/02/2016 10:30:00] The Secretary General of the Congress, Andreas Kiefer, met the new director of the Vienna based Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) of the European Union, Michael O'Flaherty, in Strasbourg on 3 February. During this meeting, they discussed co-operation between their respective institutions, notably in the framework of the 'Congress Human Rights Action Plan 2016-2017' which will be presented to the Monitoring Committee at its meeting in Paris on Friday 12 February 2016. The Action Plan is based on Congress work since 2008 and the declaration adopted at the international Forum : 'Focusing on Human Rights' in Graz in May 2015 which calls on local and regional authorities to put in place a human rights culture. The action Plan aims at strengthening the awareness raising of local and regional authorities on the implementation of human rights at local level. “We are looking forward to a fruitful and concrete co-operation, in particular, in view of the current situation, in the prospect of reception and integration of refugees and migrants which represents a particular challenge for local and regional elected representatives” stated Andreas Kiefer.
Compendium of Texts - Promoting Human Rights at Local and Regional Level Graz Declaration
Moldovan Mayors together to build ethical governance
[05/02/2016 10:00:00] Moldovan Mayors exchanged views on their day to day challenges and their roles and responsibilities, during a Workshop “Mayors, leaders for change”, in Chisinau from 2 to 4 February 2016. This workshop is part of a peer-to-peer programme which aims to provide mayors with a platform for exchange on local democracy, whose first part was held in October 2015. “We are mayors 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and we as mayors, should lead our communities by example. Ethical values like responsibility, honesty, respect, correctness, professionalism are the key to our success. The better we inform our citizens about the work we are doing, the better the chance that change will be accepted and moreover, that the introduced changes succeed” stated the participants, who have committed to implement concrete initiatives at local level, in the area of ethics. They will share experience on the work that has been developed in April 2016 in Kiev, Ukraine, with peers from the Eastern Partnership countries during a regional seminar on Public ethics: “from vision to implementation at local level”.
Andreas Kiefer in seminar on immigration and integration: local elected representatives are best-placed to promote awareness raising, prevention and education in this field
[04/02/2016 10:30:00] The Secretary General of the Congress participated in a conference on 'Fundamental values, immigration and integration: a shared responsibility' organised by the Dutch Presidency of the European Union in Strasbourg on 2 February. The Dutch foreign minister, the Council of Europe Secretary General and the Human Rights Commissioner as well as the new FRA Director addressed the need for concrete action at European and national level. During a workshop on diversity and the impact of migration on social cohesion, Andreas Kiefer presented the activities of the Congress in support of local and regional politicians and administrations concerning refugees, migrants and immigrants. He also met with Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of the city of Rotterdam, who is together with Jacob Bundsgaard, the Mayor of Arhus one of the pioneers in successfully working on de-radicalisation at local level. The Congress is looking forward to holding its next conference aiming at establishing an alliance of European cities against violent extremism” in Rotterdam in November this year.
Collection of Congress reports and recommendations
20 partners from 10 countries were represented at the annual ELDW co-ordination meeting
[03/02/2016 15:30:00] The annual co-ordination meeting of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) was held in Paris (France), on 1 February 2016. This meeting brought together the most active cities, European and national associations of the 2015 edition, in order to assess this edition, exchange experience and good practices, as well as to discuss the main theme and possible developments for the upcoming 2016 edition. ''The participants underlined that the 2015 theme of multiculturalism perfectly addressed the current challenges faced by local and regional authorities in Europe” explained Gaye Doganoglu (Turkey, EPP/CCE), political co-ordinator of the ELDW, who also presented certificates to the representatives of the “12-Star” partners to reward them for their outstanding participation and commitment to the ELDW.
Full text of the news - ELDW website
Call for applications for young people to participate in the 30th and 31st sessions of the Congress
[15/01/2016 14:30:00] The Congress, in close co-operation with the European Youth Foundation and the Council of Europe Youth Department, has decided to once again invite a number of young people to take an active part in its 30th and 31st Sessions of the Congress (from 20 to 24 March and 17 to 21 October 2016). The aim is to create a space for dialogue between the selected youth delegates and local and regional elected representatives and enable young people to express their views on the issues being debated. Completed application forms must be sent to email@example.com by 5 February 2016 at the latest.
Call for applications