The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will meet, in the last week of October 2020, on the occasion of its 39th session. In view of the sanitary situation in France and in member States, the situation, whether the session can be held in-person in Strasbourg or via video-conferencing tools, will be re-assessed early September.
The session will focus on the theme "COVID-19 "COVID-19 - Local and regional authorities at the frontline". Members will hold debates on lessons learned from the health crisis and on the role of regions for citizen-centred responses and post-COVID-19 recovery.
As part of its regular monitoring of the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the Congress will examine monitoring reports on the situation in Turkey, Armenia, Ukraine and Hungary, as well as a fact-finding report on territorial reform in Latvia. The Congress' contribution to re-establishing local elections in Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where no local elections have been held since 2008, will also be debated. Members will also consider, for adoption, a contemporary commentary on the explanatory report on the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which takes into account the recommendations of Council of Europe bodies as well as the case-law of national courts to give a contemporary reading of the Charter's provisions.
Debates at the session will include discussions on fighting sexist violence against women in politics at local and regional level, digitalisation as a tool for social inclusion and social care, and smart cities analysed as democratic and inclusive.
In addition, youth delegates from 42 member States will participate in the debates, as they have been doing since October 2014 in the framework of the "Rejuvenating Politics" initiative. This is in line with the Congress' commitment to promoting youth participation at local and regional level. A report on youth work at local and regional level will be discussed for adoption.
Finally, the agenda of this session will include the election of two vice-presidents to the Chamber of Local Authorities and of the Secretary General of the Congress.
The debates of the 39th session of the Congress will be interpreted into English, French, Italian, German and Russian.
Given the uncertainty over the sanitary and travel conditions, the Bureau agreed, by written procedure on 17 July, to entrust a final decision on the format of the 39th Session (in-person or remote), to the three presidents together with the Secretariat. This decision will be taken and communicated to all members in the first week of September.
- If held as an in-person event at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg, the session will take place from 27 to 29 October 2020, with the Bureau and the political groups on the eve, 26 October 2020;
- If held remotely, the session will take place from 26 to 30 October 2020, with the political group meetings and the Bureau being held the previous week on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October 2020 respectively.
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You are not a member of the Congress / Other participants
The debates of the 39th Session will be live webcast in the interpretation languages (English, French, Italian, German and Russian).