Congress at the NALAS General Assembly in Istanbul: Resilience of local authorities facing natural disasters

Istanbul, Turkiye 15 March 2023
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Congress at the NALAS General Assembly in Istanbul: Resilience of local authorities facing natural disasters

On 15 March 2023, the President of the Congress Chamber of Local Authorities Bernd Vöhringer and the Congress Secretary General Mathieu Mori  participated in the 18th General Assembly of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities in Southeast of Europe (NALAS) hosted in Istanbul, Turkiye.

Taking place in the aftermath of the massive earthquakes which hit the country, the event focused on resilience and sustainability of local authorities, in the context of responding to natural disasters and other major crisis.

In his opening remarks, President Vöhringer highlighted the essential role of local authorities in crisis times which was being proven over again. “In these difficult times, local authorities emerge as primary actors, the ones immediately responding to the needs, providing assistance, and remaining closest to their citizens”, he stated. “It is therefore more than ever important to focus our efforts on building resilient and sustainable local authorities as part of the strong multi-governance system. Let’s learn from the past shortcomings and change our practices. Municipalities and regions are key to addressing crisis,” emphasised President Vöhringer. 

In a thematic session dedicated to responses and policies related to natural disasters, Mathieu Mori stressed how the Congress works with Council of Europe member States in changing the usual practices when catastrophes strike. 

“Instead of re-centralising competences and funds, better coordination between different levels of governance and improved system of regular consultations with local and regional authorities must be established within emergency mechanisms, making subnational authorities an integral part of national crisis management”, he stated. 

“We commend the efforts in this regard taken up by NALAS, a long-standing partner of the Congress, in upholding and strengthening local democracy in the countries of South-East Europe, even in difficult times”, the Secretary General concluded.

During the event, the President of the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Secretary General met with members of the Delegation of Türkiye to the Congress as well as with the mayors from the Marmara region, and congratulated the mayor of Fatih, Mr Mehmet Ergün Turan, for his election as the new NALAS President. These meetings were also an opportunity to discuss the situation in communities affected by the earthquakes as well as the measures and services provided to assist them and to re-iterate once again Congress support and solidarity

 Speech by Mathieu Mori

 Speech by Bernd Vöhringer