Belgium and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is composed of 318 representatives of the more than 200,000 local and regional authorities in the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe. Like the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress is a consultative body which makes the voice of local and regional democracy heard in the Council of Europe.
The precursor of the Congress first met in 1957, but in its current form this assembly of Mayors and regional representatives has existed since 1994. The Congress authored the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It supervises the enforcement of this Charter in the Member States. The Congress also regularly sends observers to monitor local and regional elections.
The Belgian delegation consists of seven effective members and seven substitutes from the municipal authorities or the Parliaments of the Regions or the Communities. After the May 2014 regional elections the delegation was partly renewed. The new delegation will be operational by the spring session of the Congress in March 2015. You can find the list of names of the Belgian delegation to the Congress on the website of the Council of Europe.
Congress reporters have already visited Belgium on several occasions to monitor compliance with the Charter. As Belgium has a complex political structure, the most recent monitoring visit took place in two parts, in October 2013 and February 2014. The report on this visit was discussed during the autumn session of the Congress, from 14 to 16 October 2014.