If you encounter problems in opening this newsletter : click here - version française: cliquer ici    |  22 December 2014
Congress Secretary General presents the highlights of the Congress recent activities to the Committee of Ministers

In his communication to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 December 2014, the Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer presented an overview of the activities of the Congress in recent months, particularly the work of monitoring the local and regional democracy and the observation of local elections as well as the political dialogue with Member States and cooperation activities developed in recent years in close collaboration with its partners in the Council of Europe and outside. He recalled that a Congress delegation is currently in Ukraine in the framework of the post-monitoring dialogue to support the authorities to implement the decentralization reform in this country.“Now that all 47 member states have ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government and that an increasing number of them have accepted to apply additional articles of the Charter, one of the key priorities in 2015 and beyond will be to establish a common European space of local democracy,” the Secretary General stated.
Speech
Activity report CG(27)19 : English - French | soon available in German, Russian and Italian

FOCUS: Situation in Ukraine

Jean-Claude FréconCongress post-monitoring visit in Ukraine
The Congress carried out a post-monitoring visit to Ukraine on 9 and 10 December 2014. Headed by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG), Congress Co-rapporteur on Local Democracy, this visit is the first part of the Congress post-monitoring programme aimed at establishing, by mid-2015, a road map, - in agreement with the Ukrainian Government and in cooperation with the other stakeholders, - for the implementation of Congress recommendations contained in REC348(2013) on the situation of local and regional democracy in Ukraine.

Jean-Claude FréconDeclaration by the President of the Congress on the treaty signed between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia
Reacting to the signature, on 24 November 2014, of a treaty on alliance and strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia, a separatist region of Georgia, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Frécon, declared that “Abkhazia is a region of Georgia, and we cannot recognise the validity of a so-called treaty adopted in violation of the territorial integrity of a member state of the Council of Europe”. The President of the Congress condemned the treaty as “one more factor in the destabilisation of this part of Europe”.
Press release

Council of Europe Congress issues declaration on separatist tensions in Ukraine and neighbouring countries
The Congress adopted a declaration on separatist tensions in Ukraine and neighbouring countries on 16 October, at its 27th session held in Strasbourg (France). The Congress condemns Russia’s military intervention in the east of Ukraine, and condemns all forms of pressure by Russia on its neighbours'. 'The security of this continent is seriously threatened by the Russian Federation’s repeated failure to comply with international rules and the principles and values of the Council of Europe that it signed up to when it joined the Organisation', states the text presented by Marc Cools (Belgium, ILDG) on behalf of the Congress Bureau.
Press release
Text of the Declaration
Video of the debate  

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