The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe closed its 18th Session on 19th March 2010.

Resolutions and recommendations on current affairs and on the situation of local and regional democracy in Europe were adopted at the end of the debates. They are, notably, related to climate change, local authorities and human rights, North-South co-operation, gender equality in politics, intra-regional transport, minority languages, as well as local democracy in Portugal and Iceland, and regional democracy in Switzerland.

The Congress also adopted a recommendation and a resolution concerning the observation of elections in Azerbaijan, held on 23th December 2009.

The key points of the session

Monitoring of local democracy

Reform processes of the Congress
Ian Micallef
Ian Micallef: ''Through its reform, the Congress must become more relevant to the needs of our citizens''
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secrétaire Général du Conseil de l'Europe
Thorbjørn Jagland: ''The Congress’ monitoring is a key asset of the Council of Europe''

Andreas Kiefer
Andreas Kiefer elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe Congress
Sandra Barnes
Sandra Barnes elected President of the Committee on Social Cohesion

Other debates
The measures taken by local and regional authorities will aid the emergence from the financial crisis

Capitals of South Caucasus seek a greater role in regional and European integration, says Gagik Beglaryan

Congress underlines the role of the reference framework as an important step in creating a binding legislation on regional democracy

Minority Languages have a decisive role to play in forging regional identity

Signature of co-operation agreement between the Congress and the AEBR “promoting democratic stability and good neighbourliness”

Stepan Kirichuk: ''Intra-regional transport in Russia has many facets and requires a case-by-case approach''

Congress underlines the issue of intra-regional transport as a challenge for sustainable development