Round table on special status of regional autonomy in Europe 

On 2 December 2008, the Chamber of Region of the Congress held a Round Table on “Territorial Autonomy” including the presentation of several examples of special autonomy status as they exist in Europe, as the recent events in Georgia have led to an increased interest in this theme.

Ludmila SFIRLOAGA, President of the Chamber of Regions introduced the debate and Valentin GUZNAC, Minister of local public administration of Moldova, Sándor EGERESI, President of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; Alberto Joao JARDIM, President of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira; Mikhail FORMUZAL, Governor of Gaugazia, Anatoly Saltiykov, Representative of the Novosibirsk Regional Administration of the Russian Federation and Nataliya ROMANOVA, Chair of the Chernigiv Regional Council, presented their respective experiences. Jean-Claude VAN CAUWENBERGHE, Rapporteur of the Congress on regionalisation, drew the conclusions of the Round Table.

The Congress has always supported the idea that within a state, it is possible to give a special autonomy status to some territories while maintaining the state's territorial integrity. From the historical angle, a number of countries in Europe have adopted an internal organisation showing that it is possible, and sometimes necessary, to opt for a variety of solutions (involving different degrees of autonomy) for regions within the same State. These different forms of self-government may have their basis in different legal instruments: constitutions, statutes, treaties between a federal government and the entities concerned. Examples are to be found in States with federal, quasi-federal, regionalised and even unitarist systems of government.