Latest News (Site updated Wednesday, November 19, 2014 | 16:00)

Ukrainian mayors are leading change in local government

[18/11/2014 16:30:00] 19 mayors, elected in May 2014 and representing towns with populations ranging from 5 000 to 60 000 inhabitants, came together in Kyiv, between 11 and 13 November, to exchange views and experiences on the current challenges facing local authorities in Ukraine. The mayors, together with Congress Members from Latvia, Slovenia and the Netherlands and experts, discussed the impact of administrative reforms on local authorities in Ukraine and in other European countries.
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Photos [Flickr]

2nd Congress visit in order to examine the situation of local and regional democracy in Greece

[18/11/2014 14:30:00] Artur Torres Pereira (Portugal EPP/CCE) and Gudrun Mosler Törnström (Austria, SOC) will conduct a monitoring visit from 18th until 20th November in Greece. On 18 November several meetings are scheduled with the mayors of Paros and Naxos and Small Cyclades Islands, as well as the Director of the Financial Department of the Municipality of Naxos. On 19 November, the delegation will meet with deputy Mayors of Lagadas as well as with the Mayor of Thessaloniki. Finally on 20 November, they will hold talks with the Mayor of Athens, the President of the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA), the Representative of the President of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, as well as the representatives of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece and the Union of Greek Regions.
Press release

Meeting of the Contact Group Committee of the Regions/Congress

[18/11/2014 10:30:00] On 18th November 2014, Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC), Congress President, took part in the meeting of the Contact Group Committee of Regions/Congress held in Brussels with the participation of the Ambassador of the European Union to the Council of Europe Jari Vilen and the Ambassador of the Council of Europe to the EU Torbjørn FRØYSNES. Among the items on the agenda were the state of play of the relations between the European Union and the Council of Europe, priority areas of cooperation between the CoR and the Congress, the state of local and regional democracy, multilevel governance and decentralisation processes, as well as the neighbourhood policy of both Organisations. The Congress delegation also included Herwig Van Staa (Austria, EPP/CCE), Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP/CEE), Lulzim Basha (Albania, EPP/CCE), Sabine Steppat (Germany, SOC), Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC), Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG)and Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress.
Jean-Claude Frécon presents “partner for local democracy” status
Herwig van Staa : ''There is no level of government which has a monopoly on decision-making''

Joint Meeting of the Congress Governance Committee and the EU Committee of the Regions CIVEX Commission

[12/11/2014 12:00:00] On the occasion of the 20th anniversaries of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions, the Congress Governance Committee held a joint meeting with its counterpart in the Committee of the Regions, the CIVEX Commission on 17 November in Brussels. This was the first time the two committees held a joint meeting. Among the items on the agenda were : the protection of the rule of law and human rights at the local level, the regionalisation and decentralisation trends in Europe and the new forms of local governance. The participants also reviewed the recent Congress election observation missions in Georgia and Ukraine, to which CIVEX members had contributed.
Photo Gallery

Workshop “Mayors, Leaders for Change” in Kyiv (Ukraine)

[07/11/2014 16:00:00] The Congress organised a workshop “Mayors, Leaders for Change” in Kyiv (Ukraine) on 11-13 November 2014. It brought together around 20 mayors elected at pre-term local elections on 25 May and 26 October 2014 from different regions of Ukraine. Organised within the “Immediate Measures Package for Ukraine” and the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine, it aimed at providing the participants with the opportunity to exchange experience with Ukrainian and other European peers on local governments’ challenges. They discussed in particular the ways to define and lead successful policies, plan strategically, inspire and involve citizens and stakeholders in a positive and effective manner.
Congress co-operation activities in Ukraine

Committee of Ministers Chairmanship: Jean-Claude Frécon welcomes regional democracy example set by Belgium

[13/11/2014 10:30:00] 'The Committee of Ministers chairmanships provide an opportunity to pursue the political dialogue we initiate with the member state governments in the course of monitoring the European Charter of local self-government', said Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, on 13 November 2014, as the chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers was handed over from Azerbaijan to Belgium. 'Belgium's federal make-up and tradition of decentralisation makes it an example for Europe. There might sometimes be difficulties, but the spirit of constant dialogue between the different levels of governance prevailing in your country is the same driving force that is central to the mission of the Congress'. Committee of Ministers
Speech (French)
Congress special file

Young local leaders developing grassroots democracy in Ukraine

[13/11/2014 16:30:00] On the occasion of a study visit, twenty young Ukrainians discussed aspects of local self-government systems in Europe with representatives of different countries. Coming from several Ukrainian regions, they met with delegations from other European and neighboring countries and compared youth participation initiatives in their own countries. The young leaders also met with citizens involved in neighborhood committees in Strasbourg and exchanged their experience on how citizens can contribute to local decision-making processes. As a next step they will elaborate projects in their own municipalities and regions on youth parliaments, councilor accountability and local authority transparency.
News
The Congress invites 20 young Ukrainian leaders to discuss the practices of local democracy on the occasion of the World Forum for Democracy

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The agenda in brief 
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World Forum for Democracy

25 November - Visit of H.H. Pope Francis to the Council of Europe / Strasbourg, FRANCE
27 November - Diversity Advantage Challenge Prize Jury meeting / 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
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Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
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Leyla GüvenLeyla Güven, former Congress member
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