If you encounter problems in opening this newsletter : click here - version française: cliquer ici    |  5 November 2015

29th Session of the Congress - 20 to 22 November 2015
Dear Members,

Jean-Claude Frecon

The two sessions in 2015 were on the theme “Local responses to human rights challenges: migration, discrimination, social inclusion”.  At the 29th session, the theme was addressed from various angles, through the examination of thematic reports and the holding of debates, all of which were related to particular contexts and highly topical issues in our states and institutions.

Naturally, this was true of the situation of refugees and migrants in Europe, which we debated and which we are going to continue to work on, including between sessions. It is also true of the problem of radicalisation, which is being reflected in most of our countries in violence and, in some cases, more tragically, in terrorist attacks.  In the months ahead, we will work to promote the implementation of the guidelines which we have adopted to combat these excesses.

This topical relevance of our debates concerns many other issues which we dealt with during the session. We welcomed youth delegates who urged us to change our habits and whom we left room to express themselves during the session.

You will find details of the work done in this newsletter.  While it is, of course, just a condensed version of our work, it provides a very good overview of what we do at our sessions. Our work as grassroots elected representatives is a long-term process which demands creativity, perseverance and commitment.

I hope you enjoy reading all this information, which will enable you to continue your active contribution outside the session.

Jean-Claude Frécon,
President of the Congress

Andreas KieferWe are pleased to offer you this newsletter summarising the main activities of the 29th session.  We hope you will find it useful and urge you to distribute it widely among those around you so as to publicise the work of the Congress and your work as a local or regional elected representative in the European institutions. 245 members of the Congress took part in the 29th session.  The figure is up over 25%, as 195 members took part in the 27th session in October 2014. This increase demonstrates the members’ growing interest in the work of their assembly. You will find by clicking here some facts and figures intended to give you a clearer picture of the communication and publicity tools which we provide for you and which I urge you to use as widely as possible in your activities.

Andreas Kiefer,
Secretary General of the Congress


The States of Europe must assume shared responsibility for accommodating refugees on their territory in line with the applicable right to asylum and human dignity. That was the message from the members of the Congress in a declaration adopted on 21 October 2015 in Strasbourg, France. 'This declaration is a tool for reiterating our deep commitment to the principles of solidarity, social cohesion and the values promoted by the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities', said Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP/CCE), Congress rapporteur. (more...)
Background paper


Prevention and the reintegration of radicalised individuals are the two main focuses of the “Guidelines on preventing radicalisation and manifestations of hate at the grassroots level” adopted by the Congress, on 20 October 2015. “In the face of radicalisation and violent extremism, repression alone is not the solution. To combat these phenomena, it is essential to take preventive action. This is the area of action par excellence of local authorities”, highlighted rapporteur Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC). (more...)
Background paper


The Congress held debates on the situation of local democracy in Luxembourg and Montenegro, following monitoring visits to those countries in 2015. It further considered the reports concerning the observation of the elections in Albania (21 June 2015) and the Republic of Moldova (14 June 2015), as well as an information note on the election of the Governor (Bashkan) and the partial elections to the Popular Assembly of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia, Republic of Moldova (22 March 2015).


Inaugurating a photo exhibition devoted to the 30th anniversary of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, Congress President Jean-Claude Frécon reiterated the fundamental role played by this instrument, which creates a single legal area for local self-government in Europe. Taking the floor on this occasion, a young delegate emphasised that “another important text for us as young citizens is the Congress’s revised European Charter on the participation of young people in local and regional life." (suite...)


FILE " 29th Congress Session"

Flickr Mid-Term statements by Congress Presidents.
Mid-Term statements
Flickr - Marie-Madeleine Mialot Muller (France, SOC), Chair of the Governance Committee
- Philippe Leuba (Switzerland, ILDG), 5th vice-Chair of the Governance Committee
- Sabine van Dooren (Belgium, ILDG), 5th vice-Chair of the Current Affairs Committee
Who's who
Flickr Participation in the 29th Session of young people, aged 16 to 30 and from 39 Council of Europe member States.
More information

Mediabox interviews available on the Council of Europe Youtube account.
Youtube Playlist


Photos and videos of the 29th Session
Multimedia ressources



Electronic vote during the 29th Session. Communication tools available for Congress members.
Communication tools



DocumentsAll documents
File 29th Session


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