San Marino ratifies the Charter of Local Self-Government: uniting the European local democracy family [29/10/2013]
At a ceremony held during the 25th Session of the Congress, Giancarlo Venturini, Minister for Home Affairs, Civil Service, Justice and Relations with Municipal Councils of San Marino, deposited the instruments of ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which was approved by the San Marino Parliament on 23 October last. 'This historic day marks the end of a long process to establish a harmonized legislative space for European territorial democracy' stated M. Venturini. With this ratification, all 47 member states of the Council of Europe are now covered by this international treaty. This is a crucial stage which, 25 years on from the entry into force of the Charter, confirms the unanimous recognition by governments of local democracy as the cornerstone of the democratic system. [Photo: (from left to right) Giancarlo Venturini, Minister of San Marino, and Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress, and Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities] 
Responses to the economic crisis must be coherent at all tiers of governance [30/10/2013]
On 29 October 2013, the Congress adopted a report on responses by local and regional authorities to the economic crisis. The Co-Rapporteurs, Svetlana Orlova (Russian Federation, EPP/CCE) and Barbara Toce (Italy, SOC), called for local and regional authorities to be recognised as fully-fledged stakeholders in dealing with the crisis and for the establishment of regular consultations between these authorities and the national authorities in order to ensure policy coherency. The adopted texts call for increased budgetary and fiscal autonomy for the local and regional level, and advocates stability in intergovernmental transfers to communities budgets. Ms Toce concluded as follows: “financial policy must focus on reviving investment in order to stimulate employment, innovation and economic growth, rather than relying solely on austerity measures, which are liable to have a knock-on effect on the local labour markets and threaten local growth possibilities”. On the occasion of the debate, a joint declaration by the Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Mignon and Herwig van Staa, was presented to the participants. 
Local and regional democracy in Hungary [31/10/2013]
The Congress examined a report on local and regional democracy in Hungary on 29 October 2013 following a monitoring visit to the country in May 2012. Congress Rapporteurs Artur TORRES PEREIRA (Portugal, EPP/CCE) and Devrim ÇUKUR (Turkey, SOC) welcomed the ratification by Hungary of the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority in June 2010. They regretted, however, that this positive step was overshadowed by the recent reforms, which led to a deterioration of the legislative framework on local and regional issues in Hungary. “I am concerned by the current recentralisation of powers and competences which go against the principles laid down in the Charter” stated Artur TORRES PEREIRA.  
[31/10/2013]  Local and regional democracy in Denmark
[31/10/2013]  Liviu Nicolae Dragnea addresses Congress Session
[31/10/2013]  Local and regional democracy in Ukraine
[31/10/2013]  Local and Regional democracy in Albania
[31/10/2013]  Declaration of the Bureau of the Congress on the Lampedusa tragedy
[31/10/2013]  Dosta!-Congress Prize Awarded to 3 Cities and Regions
[31/10/2013]  Congress adopts report on Yerevan elections and recommends strengthening of voting rights at local level
[31/10/2013]  “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”: Congress adopts report on municipal elections and calls for a pluralistic media landscape
[30/10/2013]  Transfrontier co-operation: new arrangements for greater effectiveness
[30/10/2013]  Monitoring of local democracy and election observation: procedures now clearer
[30/10/2013]  Giving regions special status helps to ease tensions
[30/10/2013]  The effects of the economic crisis on regionalisation and decentralisation in Europe
[30/10/2013]  Congress of the Council of Europe advocates support for migrant integration through entrepreneurship and access to employment
[30/10/2013]  Local democracy in Ireland
[30/10/2013]  Nataliya Romanova: “Our work must focus on the impact of the crises on the regionalization process”
[30/10/2013]  Economic crisis : joint declaration of the Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly and Congress for a reinforced co-operation between all levels of government
[12/11/2013]  Political extremism at the local and regional level: the Mayor of Athens answers hatred with solidarity


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