National referendums focus a large part of public attention, yet it is at local level that most referendums are held in Council of Europe member states. Meeting on 3 July 2019 in Oslo, Norway, the Congress Monitoring Committee discussed this issue and decided to prepare a new report on “Referendums at the local level".
Increasingly used as tools for democratic participation, referendums are an important means of direct participation for citizens, who can be consulted on issues that have an actual impact on their daily lives, a principle also contained in the European Charter of Local Self-Government.
The terms of reference approved by the Monitoring Committee underline the need to establish guidelines for local and regional authorities to use this tool responsibly. This issue is part of the Priorities of the Congress 2017-2020, which aim at improving citizens' participation in political life at the local and regional level.
The draft report will be submitted for adoption at the 39th Congress Session in autumn 2020.
Secretary of the Monitoring Committee