Autumn Session of the Congress
19- 21 November 2007 - Strasbourg, France

Among the highlights of the Congress Autumn session was the debate on a report on local democracy in Turkey, following a fact-finding mission to South-East Anatolia lead by Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CD) and Hans-Ulrich Stöckling (Switzerland, ILDG) in August this year.
A round table on regional democracy in Europe was organised by the Chamber of Regions, focusing in particular on the proposal for a European Charter of Regional Democracy, which should be finalised during the Congress’ 2008 plenary session.
An exchange of views on the implementation of the Congress’ 2004 recommendation on local and regional democracy in Russia was held on Tuesday 20 November, with the participation of Vitaly Shipov, Russian Vice Minister of Regional Development, and Victor Tolokonsky, Governor of the Novosibirsk Region.


Russian model of federalism succeeded in solving many acute problems, says Vitaly Shipov (more ...)
Speech (French)
Press release
Video record of the speech
Video record of the debate

Le Congress calls for reform of Turkish legislation on municipalities
As part of the Congress’ Autumn Session, the Chamber of Local Authorities held a debate on local democracy in Turkey, in particular in the light of the situation of mayors and municipal councils in South-East Anatolia. Former Mayor of Sur Abdullah Demirbas and Mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir took part in the meeting. Photo: Former Mayor of Sur Abdullah Demirbas (right) and Mayor of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir  (more...)
Video record - 1st part
Video record - 2nd part
File "The Congress on the situation of local democracy in Turkey"

Congress to send a fact-finding mission to Latvia
Meeting in Strasbourg on 19 November, the Congress Bureau decided to send a fact-finding mission to Latvia at the earliest opportunity. The decision was motivated by concerns about the situation of minorities and immigrants in that country, Latvia having the worst policies with regard to integration of migrants, according to an EU report. (more ...)
File "The Congress examines the situation of 'non-citizens' in Latvia"

Local democracy in Croatia: Congress calls on the government to overcome existing shortcomings 
During its Autunm Session, the Congress adopted a recommendation on the situation of local and regional democracy in Croatia, with reference to the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Following a debate on the report by Karsten Behr (Germany, EPP-CD) and Cees Bijl (The Netherlands, SOC), the Congress welcomed the commitment at all levels of government to the principle of decentralisation and to establishing real autonomy of operation at local and regional levels. Nevertheless, the Congress called on the Croatian government to tackle a number of shortcomings including the territorial organisation, the local and regional finance and the lack of legal provisions on consultation of local authorities.

Emil Kuchar présente les priorités du Comité des ministres (more...)

Jeremy Smith: ''We need a Charter which sets out not only rights but also duties of local authorities''
''The existing European Charter of Local Self-Government establishes rights of local authorities, such as the right to participation, the right to be consulted and the right to information,'' stressed Jeremy Smith, Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). ''Now we need a text which defines the duties of local authorities as well,'' he said, speaking in the debate on the Additional Protocol to the Charter during the Congress’ Autumn Session.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz elected President of Working Group on Interregional Cooperation (more ...)

European Charter of Regional Democracy: unanimous support from associations of regions (more ...)

Dosta! - Congress Prize for Municipalities
Three cities of South-East Europe winners of the ''Dosta!-Congress Prize for Municipalities''
On the occasion of the ''Dosta!-Congress Prize for Municipalities'' Henry Scicluna, of Europe co-ordinator for Roma issues, presented a diploma to the three cities winners of the ''Dosta!-Congress Prize for Municipalities'' represented by Dragoljub Davidovic, Mayor of Banja Luka, Vlado Alilovic, Mayor of Vitez, and Snezana Mushitski, from the Municipality of Novi Sad. On this occasion, Congress President Halvdan Skard also handed them the Congress Medal, in recognition of their initiatives for Roma communities. The prize was awarded in recognition of their commitment to promoting Roma political and social participation and combating discrimination. The prize highlights their work as examples of good practice.
Dosta! - Congress Prize to Municipalities

background papers

Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government
European Charter of Regional Democracy

press contact

Congress Communication Unit
Dmitri Marchenkov
Head of Communication Unit
Tel.: + 33 (0)3 88 41 38 44