A Code of rights and duties of regional entities
The Framework has two principal functions: to serve as a source of inspiration when countries decide to establish or reform their regional authorities; and to act as a body of principles on which the Congress can rely in monitoring regional democracy in the Council of Europe member states.
The text stresses the principle of subsidiarity, the principle of social and territorial cohesion and the need for solidarity among the components of a sovereign state.
For regional authorities, the Framework provides principles concerning their democratic structure, their organisation, competences and own resources, their place within the state, their relations with other authorities, and their relations with citizens.
2002: the Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government adopted the so-called “Helsinki principles” of regional self-government.
2008: the Congress adopted a draft European Charter of Regional Democracy. This text was not accepted in the form of a convention but conducted to the elaboration of the Reference Framework.
2009: The European ministers responsible for local and regional government adopt the Regional Framework on Regional Democracy at the Utrecht Conference