The members of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will meet in Strasbourg, France, from 27 to 29 March 2018 for their 34th Session.
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. A report on the situation of local democracy in Latvia is also on the agenda, together with 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). The results of a fact-finding mission on the situation of local elected representatives in the Republic of Moldova will also be presented to the Congress members.
Specific debates will be held on the right to vote at local level as part of the lasting integration of migrants and displaced persons in Europe’s towns and regions and on the question of unaccompanied refugee minors and the role of local authorities in this respect. The reports on these two topics will be examined by the Congress members with a view to the adoption of recommendations.
In the course of its activities – particularly when monitoring the situation of local democracy in the member States – the Congress regularly highlights the importance of respect for human rights at the level closest to citizens. In this context a Human Rights Manual has been drawn up to help local and regional elected representatives and officials take more account of these questions in their daily work. This manual includes a compilation of good practices and initiatives adopted by local and regional authorities in Europe and will be presented to the Congress members at the session.
In addition, the question of the status of local and regional elected representatives will be at the core of a debate given over to recall referendums and imperative mandates.
An exchange of views will also be held with Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). It will be followed by the signature of a revised co-operation agreement between the CoR and the Congress.