Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Congress of the Council of Europe has launched several initiatives to support local and regional authorities which, because of their special responsibilities and their proximity to citizens, are in the front line. From the outset of the crisis, it has called for coordinated action by all levels of government and warned of the multiple consequences not only for human lives but also for the functioning of democracy. As a political assembly composed of local and regional elected representatives from 47 Council of Europe member states, the Congress has the capacity to pool the experiences of cities and regions in order to find answers that can be implemented on the ground in all European communities.

The Congress is currently preparing a transversal report on “Ensuring the respect of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in major crisis situations”, which is currently being prepared and will be presented at the Congress session in March 2021.

Focus Focus

German Minister Michael Roth: "Cooperation at all levels of government is key to tackling Covid-19 effectively and safeguarding human rights”

Event Covid-19 7 December 2020 Remote meeting

German Minister of State for Europe speaking on behalf of the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe stressed the unique role of local and regional authorities in facing COVID-19. “Local and regional authorities are at the forefront when it comes to...

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Elections Elections

Congress calls for ensuring respect for electoral standards in major crisis situations

Elections 28 September 2020 Remote meeting

How to preserve local and regional elections during major crises? Congress members discussed this question on 28 September 2020 at a debate organised during the Statutory Forum, on the basis of a report prepared by co-rapporteurs Stewart Dickson (United Kingdom, ILDG) and Jos Wienen (Netherlands,...

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Committees Committees

Covid-19 crisis at the centre of the debates of the three Congress committees

COVID-19 18 September 2020 Online

The Governance, Current Affairs and Monitoring Committees held their meetings respectively on 15, 16 and 17 September 2020 online (videoconference). Several debates on the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and the stakes of major crises for European local and regional authorities were on...

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Monitoring Committee 11 February 2021 Strasbourg, France

Congress strategy to address pandemic-related challenges to local democracy

The Congress has developed an online hub which presents a set of resources deployed by local and regional authorities, by partner networks and by other organisations. An interactive module allows cities and regions to contribute directly and share their initiatives.

 COVID-19: response at local and regional levels

HR Handbook vol.2 HR Handbook vol.2

Human rights handbook for Local and Regional Authorities - vol.2 - Social Rights

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Toolkit Toolkit

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has issued a toolkit for governments across Europe on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 crisis.

Covid-19 Toolkit
(available in several languages)

Congress and its Secretariat Congress and its Secretariat

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congress has taken several steps to pursue its activities.

Functionning of the Congress and its Secretariat