As long-standing partners of the Congress in promoting regional co-operation and democracy, European regional organisations and associations can help bring citizens closer to a Europe from which they often feel far removed. This was made clear in a debate held by the Chamber of Regions on the role of these bodies on Thursday 19 October. “European regions carry out practical and pragmatic work to respond to the daily needs of citizens,” said Magnus BERNTSSON, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), but they must “give a better explanation of what Europe is”. The task of bringing citizens and Europe closer together also falls to European regional associations, which, in addition, help build bridges between project creators and investors. Stefan August LÜTGENAU, Director of Foster Europe, Foundation for strong European Regions, called for stronger and more democratic regions, capable of promoting both union and diversity. He added that interregional co-operation was an “alternative to the sclerosis seen in Europe”. Many members of the Chamber of Regions spoke during the debate which followed. The President of the Chamber of Regions, Gunn Marit HELGESEN (Norway, EPP/CCE) conclude by saying that members of the Chamber were also ambassadors for the regions. “A strong Europe requires strong and engaged local and regional authorities,” she added.
Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM: "In the Congress we are committed to a Europe of solidarity”
Speaking at the opening of the 33rd Congress Session, in Strasbourg, France, on 18 October 2017, Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM, pointed out that the European construction has enabled historic advances over the last sixty years. 'We do not want to abandon these advances and each and every one of us, in our own particular roles, can help preserve what has been achieved,' she added highlighting the role of the Congress in this regard. Reaffirming the importance of strong regions with broad powers, the President of the Congress indicated that she did not believe that 'the Europe we earnestly hope for can be built on weak nation States, a disintegrated, fragmented Europe which would be devoid of all influence in the world.”. 'There is no room for selfishness, be it national or regional. There is no place for nationalism, whether national or regional”, she added. .' For the President, the message of the Congress is clear: 'We know that devolution is essential, that municipal and regional self-government, clearly defined within the limits of each State’s legally-established borders, is indispensable. But we do not want to see our nations implode,” she concluded.
- Political dialogue between Ukrainian mayors and Congress members
- Petr MLSNA: “Supporting local and regional democracy is a top priority of the Czech Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers”
- Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM: "In the Congress we are committed to a Europe of solidarity"
- Thorbjørn Jagland: “Member states have a duty to ensure Council of Europe principles are respected”
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Council of Europe's Congress examines the situation in Mostar
- Local and regional democracy in Serbia
- Local and regional democracy in Italy
- Belgium: Congress of the Council of Europe adopts report on local democracy in a context of linguistic diversity in the municipalities with language facilities
- Congress adopts Information Report on Yerevan elections
- Congress presents recommendation on the local elections in Finland
- Local and regional democracy in Switzerland
- Agenda and documents
- Adopted texts : EN - FR - DE - IT - TUR - RU
- Links to reports: EN - FR - DE - IT - TUR - RU
- Amendments : EN - FR
- Links to the Summaries of reports: EN - FR - DE - IT - TUR - RU
- Session Guide : EN - FR (Version: 17/10/2017 - 2 pm)
- Download the Session documents on CoECloud or in Zip format (the Session folder is regularly updated)
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