“CALRE and the Congress share a long-standing relationship of co-operation and share many areas of interest” stated Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM, speaking at the Standing Committee of the Conference of Regional Legislative Assemblies of Europe (CALRE), held in Brussels, on 28 June 2018. “However, we could better target our co-operation, in a wide range of thematic activities of your ten working groups and the Congress’ three committees” she nuanced.
Reiterating Congress intentions to build synergies between the two assemblies, she pointed out many areas of common interest for the two institutions. One of these topics is the challenges of migration and integration of migrants and refugees. “This year, the Congress adopted a manual of good local and regional practices in protecting the human rights of migrants, and a recommendation for border regions facing migration phenomena will be adopted during our 35th Session in November”, Mrs MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM explained.
Citizen participation in local and regional decision making was another area of their common concern brought up by the President. In this regard, she recalled that the Congress organises an annual event called the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW), that brings together citizens and local and regional authorities to boost joint decision making.
“Promoting cultural diversity and inclusive citizen participation are the subjects that can hardly be separated from the use of regional or minority languages in our communities”, stated Mrs. MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM. In this regard, she recalled that the Congress adopted last October a report on the implementation of the European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages at the regional level. In May, the Congress also organised a conference about regional and minority languages in order to prepare a report on the use of these languages by the local and regional authorities.
To meet the current and future challenges, she warmly encouraged other institutions to join the Congress’ effort. “While co-operation between the Congress and CALRE is undoubtedly important, so are the partnerships with other institutions and associations which work to advance local and regional democracy on our continent”, she concluded.