20 years promoting local and regional democracy

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities was born out of the conviction to give local, and subsequently regional, authorities a chance to have their say as efforts to construct a united Europe began. Starting as a mere committee of the Parliamentary Assembly, it subsequently became the “Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe” and was finally, in 1994, established as the “Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe”. A special ceremony was organized on the occasion of the 26th session of Congress to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Congress as a body representing the cities and regions of the 47 Council of Europe member states.

Herwig van Staa: "The Congress shall pursue its efforts for a stronger democracy at the grassroots"

''20 years is the perfect milestone to pay tribute to the pioneers of the first years, in particular, to the French stateman Jacques Chaban Delmas, as well as to the former presidents of the Congress since 1994.'', stated Herwig van Staa, Congress President, introducing the ceremony "20 years promoting local and regional democracy'', organised during the 26th Session, on 25 March 2014. ''And 20 years also gives us the opportunity to evaluate the achievements of the Congress’ work. With the ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-Government by all 47 Council of Europe member states, we are now standing on the threshold of a unified European space of common standards for local democracy. The Congress shall pursue its efforts for a stronger democracy at the grassroots, for more relevant local and regional self-government, and for better governance of our communities – together with our partners across the continent,'' he concluded.
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INTERVIEWS

Luc van den Brande,
Vice-President of the EU Committee of the Regions
Anne Brasseur,
President of the Parliamentary Assembly

PHOTOS

Cérémonie 20 ans du Congrès


PUBLICATION

Magazine 20 ans du Congrès
Conference: 20 years of the EU Committee of the Regions and the Congress
27 February 2014 - Innsbruck, Austria

Herwig van Staa : ''We must work to embed a culture of decentralised democracy in European governance''

''We must continue to reassert ourselves as equal partners of national governments in an emergent system of multi-level governance,'' stated Herwig van Staa? Congress President. ''Our future depends on the capacity of our two assemblies to lead in this action."
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Andreas Kiefer : ''
20 years on, we need visionary politicians to lead us forward''

''The challenge now is to put into practice the legal framework established over the past two decades,'' said Andreas Kiefer, Congress Secretary General, adding the we cannot respond to today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions and with theory alone. “We must go beyond mere standard-setting and political declarations. We need concrete follow-up action to be successful.''
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