Spring Session of the Congress
Strasbourg, 15-17 March 2006
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
hold its spring session in Strasbourg from 15 to 17 March 2006. Debates on
new information technology and cultural diversity were among the highlights
of the session.
New instruments to promote
European cultural diversity will be considered, including the Council of
Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society
and the UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expression.
On the occasion of the Romanian chairmanship of the
Committee of Ministers, Liviu Radu, Romanian Secretary of State for
the Reform in the Public Administration, addressed the participants.
The Council of Europe Commissioner
for Human Rights, Alvaro Gil-Robles, made a speech, which was followed
by a discussion with Congress members.
Monitoring of the implementation of
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was discussed in
the presence, inter alia, of Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Prime Minister of the
Government of Belgium's German-Speaking Community, and Farid Mukhametshin,
Chair of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan (Russian
Liviu Radu: ''The Romanian Government is strongly committed to
carrying out a consistent public administration reform''
''The project of the Black Sea Euroregion is of a crucial importance
for Europe, given its links with Central Europe and taking into
account its geographical location,'' stated Liviu Radu, Secretary of
State from the Romanian Ministry of Administration and the Interior.
He stressed that the Romanian side offered to host the conference ''on
interregional cooperation in the Black sea basin'', in Constanta, on
Alvaro Gil Robles: ''Local and regional
authorities have a vital role to play in the protection of minorities''
''Addressing the Congress' spring session, Alvaro Gil Robles,
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, pointed to the
fundamental role played by local and regional authorities in the
protection of human rights, and especially in safeguarding the rights
of minorities such as the Roma population and foreign residents. Also
emphasising the importance of local and regional police forces, he
said that local and regional authorities, those closest to citizens,
were in the best position to solve any practical problems people had
relating to security and freedom. His address was followed by an open
The Congress adopted 3 reports : ''Young
people and new information technology”, “Contribution of local and
regional authorities to promote the efficiency of the work of the
North South Centre” and “Regional typical products facing
Interview with Dario Ghisletta,
Swiss member of the Chamber of Local
Authorities: ''When talking to young people about
democracy and local life, we must use the technologies familiar to
with Claude Frey, of Switzerland, President of the
Council of Europe's North-South Centre,Claude Frey says that local and
regional authorities play a vital part in promoting development