It is crucial for a sustainable society to promote peaceful communities, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. It includes a wide range of activities, such as ensuring freedom of expression, access to justice, respect of human rights, reduction of inequalities, and elimination of social exclusion. Each society must have strong and efficient institutions ensuring the rights of its citizens are fulfilled. 

The approach of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is based on three key principles: achieving SDGs is the shared responsibility of all levels of government; local and regional authorities must have the necessary competences and financial autonomy to achieve the goals in their respective areas; citizens must always remain at the heart of the action.

The Congress acts for the promotion of inclusive and sustainable societies, by fostering regional democracy, based on human rights, respectful of its citizens rights, liberties and freedoms.

The Congress adopted the following texts in relation to SDG 16:

  • RES 496 (2023) and REC 498 (2023) -  Local and regional media: watchdogs of democracy, guardians of community cohesion

  • RES 495 (2023) - European Urban Charter III (2023): Urban living in the era of transformations

  • RES 493 (2023) - Delivering on the Reykjavik summit: revised Congress priorities, working procedures and structures

  • REC484 (2022) and RES489 (2022) - A fundamental right to the environment: a matter for local and regional authorities - Towards a green reading of the European Charter of Local Self-Government

  • RES490 (2022) - Human Rights Handbook for local and regional authorities

  • RES486 (2022) and REC480 (2022) - Smart cities and regions – prospects for a human rights-based governance approach

  • RES 484 (2022) -  Revised Code of Good Practice on Referendums (adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections and the Venice Commission)

  • RES 480 and REC 472 - Beyond elections - the use of deliberative methods in European municipalities and regions

  • RES471 (2021) - The role of local authorities with regard to the situation and rights of LGBTI people in Poland

  • REC458 (2021) and RES470 (2021) - Protection of LGBTI people in the context of rising anti-LGBTI hate speech and discrimination: the role of local and regional authorities

  • RES 461(2020) - Human Rights Handbook for local and regional authorities Volume II-Social Rights

  • RES460 (2020) - A contemporary commentary by the Congress on the explanatory report to the European Charter of Local Self-Government

  • RES451 (2019) - Congress resolution to endorse the Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution (“The Venice Principles”)

  • RES452 (2019) - Revised Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-making Process

  • REC441 (2019) and RES453 (2019) - The use of languages by local and regional authorities

  • REC435 (2019) and RES444 (2019) - The protection of whistleblowers: challenges and opportunities for local and regional government

  • REC428 (2019) and RES441 (2019) - Fighting nepotism within local and regional authorities

  • REC424 (2018) and RES435 (2018) - Transparency and open government

  • REC423 (2018) and RES434 (2018) - Conflicts of interest at local and regional level

  • RES433 (2018) - European Code of Conduct for all persons involved in local and regional governance

  • RES430 (2018) - European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) : a new momentum

  • RES427 (2018) - Promoting human rights at local and regional level

  • REC419 (2018) - Voting rights at local level as an element of successful long-term integration of migrants and IDPs in Europe’s municipalities and regions

  • REC405 (2017) and RES421 (2017) - Making public procurement transparent at local and regional levels

  • RES 415 (2017) - Revised Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society

  • REC398 (2017) and RES417 (2017) - Open data for better public services

  • REC395 (2017) and RES412 (2017) - Recurring issues based on assessments resulting from Congress monitoring and election observation missions (reference period 2010-2016)

  • Report CG32(2017) - Checklist for compliance with international standards and good practices preventing misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes at local and regional level

  • RES 402 (2016) - The misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes: the role of local and regional elected representatives and public officials

  • RES401 (2016) - Preventing corruption and promoting public ethics at local and regional levels

  • REC383 (2015) and RES393 (2015) - Conditions of office of elected representatives

  • RES389 (2015) - New forms of local governance

  • RES387 (2015) - Voting at 16 – Consequences on youth participation at local and regional level

  • REC369 (2015) and RES378 (2015) - Electoral lists and voters residing de facto abroad

  • REC364 (2014) and RES374 (2014) - The role of regional media as a tool for building participatory democracy

  • RES368 (2014) - Strategy on the right of local authorities to be consulted by other levels of government

  • REC332 (2012) and RES350 (2012) - Regional legislation and action to combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children

  • REC327 (2012) and RES346 (2012) - Youth and democracy: the changing face of youth political engagement

  • RES343 (2012) - Policy of the Council of Europe towards neighbouring regions: the role of the Congress

  • REC325 (2012) and RES342 (2012) - The changes underway in the Arab countries – opportunities for local and regional democracy

  • RES332 (2011) - Tools for democratic citizenship

  • REC309 (2011) and RES327 (2011) - The office of Ombudsman and local and regional authorities

  • REC307 (2011) and RES326 (2011) - Citizen participation at local and regional level in Europe

The following thematic activities of the Congress are particularly related to SDG 16:

Congress has issued the following SDG 16 relevant publications: