The members of the Congress will meet in Strasbourg, France, from 27 to 28 March 2018 for their 34th Session placed under the theme “rights-based governance at local and regional level”.
Congress members will discuss in particular the role of local and regional elected representatives and officials in integrating the human rights dimension into their daily work. They will consider for adoption a draft resolution to promote, in particular, the dissemination of examples of good practice implemented by local and regional authorities in Europe. In addition, the situation of unaccompanied refugee children and the role of local authorities in this regard will be the subject of a specific debate with a view to adopting a resolution and a recommendation.
As part of their regular monitoring of the situation of local and regional democracy in Europe, they will examine the reports on local democracy in the smallest Council of Europe member States, namely Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino. These reports will be followed by a debate on the special challenges these countries face in implementing the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Speakers include Antoni MARTÍ PETIT, Head of Government of the Principality of Andorra, Patrice CELLARIO, Minister of the Interior of the Principality of Monaco, and Silvio PARNIS, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities, Malta.
A report on the situation of local democracy in Latvia is also on the agenda, as well as a report on local elections in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (15 October 2017) and an information report on local elections in Georgia (21 October 2017). In addition, the results of the fact-finding mission on the situation of local elected representatives in the Republic of Moldova will be presented to the members of the Congress. A debate on the situation of "Mayors under pressure" is also on the agenda with the participation of Elena GRITCO, member of Balti municipal Council, Republic of Moldova, and Patrick KLUGMAN, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of International Relations and Francophonie and member of the International Observatory of Mayors in Danger.
Several debates will focus on the regional identity and integrity of the nation-state, and the regional referendum as a democratic tool. In addition, on the occasion of this session, an exchange of views will be held with Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). It will be followed by the signing of a revised co-operation agreement between the European Committee of the Regions and the Congress.
In addition, 42 young delegates from 42 Council of Europe member States – youth activists, youth workers, students and young political leaders - will sit alongside Congress members. This participation is part of the Congress initiative to promote youth engagement in politics.
Among the guests invited to the Session are Simon Emil AMMITZBØLL-BILLE, Minister of the Economy and the Interior, Denmark, on behalf of the Danish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and Michèle NICOLETTI, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.