If you encounter problems in opening this newsletter : click here - version française: cliquer ici    |  27 October 2016
31st Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
The 31st Session of the Congress was marked by the renewal of the delegations and the election of new Presidents of the Congress, its Chambers and Committees. On 19 October 2016, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC) was elected as President of the Congress. The Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the two Chambers of the Congress were elected on 20 October 2016. Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP-CCE) was re-elected as the Chair of the Chamber of Local Authorities, and Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP-CCE), was elected as Chair of the Chamber of Regions. Finally, the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Congress Statutory Committees were also elected on 19 October. Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC) was elected as Chair of the Monitoring Committee, Jean-Louis Testud (France, EPP-CCE), was elected as Chair of the Governance Committee, and Gabriele Neff (Germany, ILDG), was elected as Chair of the Current Affairs Committee.
List of Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Chambers
List of Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Committees
File ''31st Session - Elections''
Who’s who - National delegations
Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, the first woman to be elected President of the Congress

The members of the Congress, meeting for the 31st Session in Strasbourg (France), elected Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC) as President for a two-year term of office. Ms Mosler-Törnström is the first woman being elected to the Presidency of the Congress. “The strengthening of democracy, human rights and the rule of law at local and regional level are the core objectives of the Congress. Without these values, our societies would face a decrease in solidarity and an increase in radicalisation, extremism, xenophobia and recentralisation,” she stated addressing the Congress members. Underlining that the democratic structure of the European continent is at risk, she stressed that decentralisation is one answer to these challenges. “Decentralisation is an evolving process which needs our full involvement. The work of the Council of Europe Congress is, therefore, clearly more important than ever,” she said.
Press release
Video of the Debate
Presentation and biography

The Congress adopts its priorities for 2017-2020
The Congress members, meeting at their 31st Session on 21 October 2016, in Strasbourg, adopted the new priorities for 2017-2020. Presented by the corapporteurs Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC) and Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), the priorities focus on two main areas: strengthening the quality of local and regional democracy and building secure societies that are respectful, inclusive and closer to citizens.
More information
Priorities of the Congress for 2017-2020
Presentation by Gudrun Mosler-Törnström | Interview
Presentation by Anders Knape
Monitoring of local and regional democracy

Political and institutional dialogue

Youth delegates and citizen participation

Good governance

Social inclusion and preventing radicalisation


The elements of the Toolkit "Organising intercultural and interreligious activities" can be downloaded on a dedicated website and presented within a video clip.


Interviews Mediabox on the Youtube account of the Council of Europe.
Playlist Youtube


Photos and videos of the 31st Session
Multimedia resources



Communication tools


Documents All documents
File 31st Session


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