"The current crisis has highlighted the need for solidarity which makes the North-South Centre more relevant than ever," said Gunn-Marit Helgesen, Congress Vice-President and President of the Chamber of Regions, at the North-South Centre Executive Committee meeting on 30 June 2020.
She praised the work of the North-South Centre in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and reiterated the support of the Congress, in particular with regard to the #SolidAction initiative launched as part of the collective mobilisation campaign for solidarity in the context of the Coronavirus crisis.
" As the pandemic continues, its consequences at economic, political and social levels in Europe are very serious and require all our attention. Solidarity and the sharing of experiences are essential to implement responses at the local and regional levels," added the Vice-President. This is the aim of the online platform developed by the Congress, which enables local and regional authorities to contribute directly and share with their peers in Europe and beyond the responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Congress will also devote an important part of its next session (27-29 October 2020) to the lessons learned from the crisis and the role played by local and regional authorities in handling the effects of the crisis. "We hope that the Moroccan and Tunisian delegations which have the status of Partners for Local Democracy to the Congress will actively participate in this work," Ms Helgesen concluded.
The Executive Committee also elected by consensus the members of the Bureau of the North South Centre. As a result, Spain was reconducted in the position as Chair, Morocco as Vice-Chair and Greece, Malta, Serbia and Portugal as Bureau members, together with representatives of the parliamentary, local and regional authorities and civil society dimensions quadrilogue.
The Congress is an institutional stakeholder of the North-South Centre, whose mission is to spread beyond the European continent the universal values of the Council of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.