The Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities met in Warsaw on 17 September 2015, with the participation of Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw. The following day, on 18 September 2015, a conference was held to mark the 30th anniversary of the European Charter of Local Self-Government and focused on Poland’s experience of local government reform.
At the opening of the conference, Congress President Jean-Claude Frécon reminded participants that it was in Poland that the first local elections had been held after the fall of the Berlin Wall. “The decentralisation reform undertaken 25 years ago in Poland was prepared with the support of the Congress and on the basis of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. This legal instrument is more necessary than ever to build stronger local democracy in Europe. The ultimate goal is a stronger Charter and implementation of all its provisions. 100% of the Charter on 100% European territory”, he said.
Philippe Receveur (Switzerland, EPP/CCE), Chair of the Monitoring Committee, underlined the monitoring mechanism implemented by the Congress at the request of the Committee of Ministers. "Celebrating the Charter's 10th, 20th and 30th anniversaries is a way of regularly reminding ourselves that this achievement must be preserved and that the need for awareness-raising with regard to local democracy is greater than ever. The Charter, the only real instrument to guarantee so many rights for European local authorities, constitutes the foundation for this," he concluded.
The examination of the situation of local and regional democracy by our Congress members, all local and regional representatives, is a real added value. This is what defines the quality of our work and its recognition by governments. Your participation is essential and we count on your contributions, particularly in view of the upcoming debates held at our next session in October.
Secretary General of the Congress