President of Greece welcomes Congress’s work on strengthening democratic resilience

Presidency of the Congress 06 December 2018 Athens, Greece

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis PAVLOPOULOS, encouraged Congress President Anders KNAPE to continue the work to strengthen local and regional democracy across Europe. The Congress President had an opportunity to update President PAVLOPOULOS about the priorities of his mandate and...

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KEDE General Assembly: Anders KNAPE calls for greater decentralisation in Greece

Presidency of the Congress 03 December 2018 Athens, Greece

"Local and regional democracy is an essential dimension of democracy," stated Congress President Anders KNAPE at the annual conference of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) on 3 December 2018 in Athens, Greece. “It is the work of the national delegations of local and regional...

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Local governance reforms in Armenia: achievements and results

4 December 2018 Yerevan, Armenia

During the closing conference organised in Yerevan on 4 December 2018, the results of the Local Governance Programme implemented in Armenia in co-operation with international agencies were presented jointly by donors, implementing partners and beneficiaries. The presentation of achievements of...

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Congress Secretary General addresses the CDDG plenary session

European Committee on Democracy and Governance 4 December 2018 Strasbourg, France

“Synergy between the Council of Europe’s bodies is vital to promote democratic governance”, stated Mr. KIEFER – speaking at the annual meeting of the Council of Europe’s European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) on 30 November 2018, in Strasbourg. Referring to the 30th Anniversary of...

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Congress Secretary General meets Croatian Minister of Public Administration

30 November 2018 Strasbourg

Progress in decentralisation and local government reform in Croatia was discussed during a visit by the Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Croatia, Lovro KUSCEVIC, to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, on 30 November 2018. In his...

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Congress President Anders KNAPE addresses the Committee of Ministers: “We must regain the trust of the citizens”

Committee of Ministers 29 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“Corruption continues to pose a major threat to local and regional governance and democracy in Europe, and governments and parliaments at all levels urgently need to address it effectively. The Congress will continue to focus its action on prevention - promoting higher ethical standards and...

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Innovative mechanisms, legal frameworks, quotas and training: ways forward for gender equality at local level in Ukraine and Georgia

Cooperation 28 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“We need innovative gender parity mechanisms, a legal framework to protect women against machismo in politics, legitimized quotas, awareness raising for children from primary school and gender mainstreaming in education programmes from nursery school onwards”. These were the proposals of the...

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Andreas KIEFER: Congress welcomes “Year of local self government reform 2019” in Cyprus and proposes a political dialogue

28 November 2018 Nicosia, Cyprus

“The Congress welcomes the strong commitment of President Nikos Anastasiadis and of Konstantinos Petridis, Minister of the Interior, to make 2019 the year of local self-government reform in Cyprus,” Andreas KIEFER, Congress Secretary General, said in his speech at the Annual General Meeting of...

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Ukrainian municipalities engage further for gender equality

World Forum for Democracy 28 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“Equal opportunities for women and men are of utmost importance at the local level and an essential component of democratic societies” voiced Ukrainian elected representatives from Irpin, Kharkiv, Lviv, Mariupol, Slavuta, Zhytomyr, and other regions of Ukraine unanimously during the World Forum...

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Towards a European framework for national strategies for Roma inclusion after 2020

27 November 2018 Vienna, Austria

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities participated in the conference against anti-Gypsyism held on 27 November in Vienna, Austria, as part of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The objective of this conference was to develop recommendations for a possible...

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Anders KNAPE: “Violence against women concerns us all”

Presidency 25 November 2018 Strasbourg

"We are all concerned about violence against women and each of us can take action against this scourge," said Anders KNAPE, President of the Congress on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on 25 November 2018. "As citizens, we must dare to talk...

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Congress co-operation with Belarus

22 November 2018 Minsk, Republic of Belarus

In the context of relations between Belarus and the Congress, a working meeting was held at the headquarters of the Council of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk on 22 November 2018 with the President of the Council of the Republic, Mikhail MYASNIKOVICH, and the Congress Director, Jean-Philippe...

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Round table on citizen participation at the XVI Minsk Forum

23 November 2018 Minsk, Republic of Belarus

Within the framework of the XVI Forum in Minsk, Congress Director Jean-Philippe BOZOULS participated, on 23 November 2018, in a round table on the theme "Civic participation and local administration: challenges and cooperation mechanisms". He stressed the crucial importance for European...

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Bilateral and institutional external relations of regions: involvement of all stakeholders is indispensible

22 November 2018 Horta, Azores

“The bi- and multi-lateral external relations of regions will be successful if they are focused on topics and concrete results and if they involve all actors, governments, parliaments, civil society and the academic and economic communities. A good example of this inclusive approach is the...

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Congress and CALRE: concrete co-operation in matters of democracy, gender equality and regional languages

22 November 2018 Horta, Azores

The Congress enjoys excellent relations with CALRE, the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies. During the CALRE chairmanship of Ana LUIS, President of the Legislative Assembly of the Azores, the co-operation focused on regional languages, gender equality and representation of...

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Yoomi Renström: ‘’Local and regional authorities are key actors in the organisation of migrants’ reception and integration‘’

headline 22 November 2018 Nijmegen - Gelderland, Netherlands

‘’Since local and regional authorities represent the governance level closest to citizens, they are the first port of call and key actors in the organisation of migrant’s reception, and their integration into the host communities’’, stated Yoomi Renström (Sweden, SOC), Congress rapporteur on...

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LAB 12: Women’s involvement in decision-making is a right not a favour

World Forum for Democracy 20 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“We are not demanding favours, but a right, a right to participate in decision-making using tools that will enable us to change the world”, declared Ambassador Meglena Kuneva, Permanent Representative of the EU delegation to the Council of Europe, at the opening of LAB 12 “Participatory...

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Gunn Marit HELGESEN: "Women's representation at the local level is essential to achieve parity in national parliaments and governments"

World Forum for Democracy 19 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Speaking at the plenary session "Women and Power: Objective 50/50" of the World Forum for Democracy, on 19 November 2018, the President of the Congress Chamber of Regions, Gunn Marit HELGESEN (Norway, EPP/CCE) highlighted the crucial role of local authorities in addressing the challenges of...

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LAB1: Women’s participation in elections and political representation

World Forum for Democracy 20 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“Women's suffrage is not enough to guarantee their representation.” This was a message heard on several occasions during LAB1 (laboratory of ideas) held on 20 November at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg (France). Sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the...

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Johan van den HOUT: “The protection of children against abuse is a long-term battle”

18 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“The fight for the protection of children against abuse is a long-term battle. We need to keep up the work we started with the 1 in 5 campaign of the Council of Europe”, stated Johan van den HOUT, Thematic Spokesperson on Children of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council...

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World Forum for Democracy 2018 - Gender Equality: Whose Battle?

World Forum for Democracy 19 to 21 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities has sponsored two thematic workshops (“LABs”) during the World Forum for Democracy focusing on the question “Gender Equality: Whose Battle?”, which took place from 19 to 21 November 2018 at the Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg (France). The President...

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Congress monitoring visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina

23 November 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe carried out a monitoring visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 20 to 22 November 2018. The delegation examined the situation of local and regional democracy in the light of the provisions of the European...

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John WARMISHAM: "Lack of nationality is at the heart of many of the problems facing Roma in Europe"

19 November 2018 Tirana, Albania

On 14 November 2018, Members of the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (CAHROM) met in Tirana to discuss solutions in regard to the lack of identity documents and statelessness that many Roma face. Congress spokesperson on Roma and Traveller issues, John WARMISHAM (UK, SOC),...

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Georgian and Ukrainian local authorities join to learn from best practices on gender equality and women's rights

World Forum for Democracy 19 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“The goal of gender equality is a shared battle, requiring the involvement of men, the media and all levels of government,” stressed Gunn Marit HELGESEN, Vice President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe encouraging a delegation of 30 Ukrainian and Georgian...

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Congress sends an ad hoc mission to the Republic of Slovenia in the context of the municipal elections of 18 November 2018

Elections 16 November 2018 Ljubljana, Slovenia

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will carry out an ad hoc mission of limited scope to the Republic of Slovenia from 16 to 18 November 2018, at the invitation of the Slovenian Minister of Public Administration, Rudi MEDVED, in the context of...

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Youth participation in local democracy: youth delegates present their projects to the Congress

35th Session 15 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Young people's participation is vital for the development of European local democracy. The Congress invited its youth delegates to present the projects they carried out in 2018, along with their observations and recommendations. As well as directly affecting more than 5 000 Europeans, these 42...

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“The local level is the most appropriate for showcasing political talent, especially for women,” says Carla Dejonghe in Tunis

14 November 2018 Tunis

“The active engagement of all citizens is a continuing challenge for elected officials on both shores of the Mediterranean,” said Carla Dejonghe (Belgium, ILDG) at the Mid-Term Conference of the PARFAIT project (Women’s Participation for the Advancement and Innovation of Tunisia) held in Tunis on...

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Forum on Local Democracy: a shared commitment to foster local economic development

Co-operation 14 November 2018 Yerevan, Armenia

“Local authorities are the first line of response to citizens’ needs, and bear the primary responsibility for the well-being of their communities. However, to be successful, local authorities must have the necessary competences, financial means and autonomy. These requirements are among the key...

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Coping with the debt burden: Congress stresses need to provide local authorities with adequate resources

35th Session 12 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

The right of local authorities to adequate financial resources of their own commensurate with their responsibilities is vital for ensuring local self-government. On the basis of this principle enshrined in Article 9 of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the members of the Congress of...

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The first municipal elections in Tunisia, a starting point for further decentralisation

35th Session 12 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

In May this year, an Electoral Assessment Delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe was invited to observe the first municipal elections held in Tunisia after the Arab Spring of 2011. As a result, an Information Report was discussed in the frame of...

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Congress continues debate series on “mayors under pressure”

35th Session 9 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

In the frame of its 35th Session held from 6 to 8 November in Strasbourg, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities again focused on the issue of mayors facing pressure in some member countries of the Council of Europe. The fact that mayors continue to come under undue legal, financial,...

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Territorial justice requires better definition of the role of states and the local and regional levels

35th Session 9 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Held on 6 November 2018, as part of the 35th Session of the Chamber of Regions the Chamber of Regions a debate on the theme of “Territorial solidarity: regional self-government or regional selfish government”, which focused on cohesion between regions within states and at the European level....

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Gunn Marit HELGESEN: “It is crucial to give regions a proper place in the future European architecture”

35th Session 9 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

The President of the Chamber of Regions, Gunn Marit HELGESEN, speaking at the 35th Session of the Congress in Strasbourg (France) on 6 November 2018, presented a report on the Chamber’s activities during her first term (2016-2018). She noted the numerous challenges facing regions: territorial...

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Gabriele NEFF, re-elected President of the Current Affairs Committee

35th Session 9 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Members of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities met in Strasbourg, France, on 6 November 2018, during the 35th session of the Congress. Before moving on to the planned debates, the Committee elected its Chair (Gabriele NEFF, Germany, L/ILDG) and...

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Congress discussed the Report on local elections in the Netherlands

35th Session 9 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

For the second time after the vote observed in 2014, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe was invited to assess the elections held in 335 Dutch municipalities on 21 March 2018. The according Information Report was examined by the Congress’ Local Chamber in the...

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Congress Information Report on the May 2018 early local elections in the Republic of Moldova

35th Session 8 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

The findings of a Delegation by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe that assessed the early local elections held on 20 May in seven Moldovan municipalities including the two largest cities, Chișinău and Balti, was at the center of a discussion at the 35th...

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Leendert VERBEEK re-elected Chair of the Monitoring Committee

35th Session 8 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

The members of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe met on 6 November 2018 during the 35th Session of the Congress in Strasbourg. They re-elected Leendert VERBEEK (Netherlands, SOC) Chair of the Monitoring Committee and elected five...

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Consultation of local authorities: a must for good democratic governance

35th Session 08 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“The consultation of local authorities by higher levels of government on any matters that concern them is a core principle of the European Charter of Local Self-Government which underpins all the other principles,” pointed out Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE), Congress Rapporteur, presenting the...

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Local and regional democracy in Georgia

35th Session 07 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Substantial progress has been achieved in the field of local and regional democracy in Georgia over the past 15 years, but lack of clarity in competences distribution, difficulties faced by opposition members in access to the information held by municipal administrations, and risks of...

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Safeguarding integrity among local and regional elected representatives

35th Session 7 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Conflicts of interest, transparency, open government and Code of Conduct regarding local and regional governance: four reports were adopted on these issues during the 35th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France) on 7 November 2018....

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Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers: “The European Charter of Local-Self-Government is a major achievement of the Council of Europe”

35th Session 7 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“These are, undoubtedly, difficult times. At the European level, at the national and local level and also at an institutional level. Pan-European challenges are more present than ever,” said Marija Pejčinović BURIĆ, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia,...

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Consolidating the institutional role of the Congress to better defend local and regional democracy

35th Session 7 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

On 7 November 2018 the Congress adopted a recommendation which included several proposals for the reform of its political functioning. The aim is to consolidate its institutional role as a guarantor of local and regional democracy within the Council of Europe, while strengthening its capacity to...

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Fresh impetus for European Local Democracy Week

35th Session 7 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

“European Local Democracy Week is very important for citizens and their elected representatives, it contributes to democratic education and is a valuable tool for strengthening local democracy,” said Gaye DOGANOGLU (Turkey, EPP/CCE), Congress spokesperson on European Local Democracy Week (ELDW),...

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Border regions facing migration

35th Session 7 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

According to a recent report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, migration remains a critical issue for all levels of governance in Council of Europe member states. It was against this background that the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities held a debate on “Border...

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Congress presidency elections

35th Session 07 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Meeting on 6 November 2018 in Strasbourg, France, during the 35th Session, Congress members elected Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE) President, Gunn Marit HELGESEN (Norway, EPP/CCE) President of the Chamber of Regions and Xavier CADORET (France, SOC) President of the Chamber of Local Authorities....

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Voting rights at local level: A factor in the long-term integration of IDPs and migrants

35th Session 07 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

A new report on the relevance of voting rights for the integration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and foreigners in Europe‘s municipalities and regions was adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe at it’s 35th Plenary Session. As underlined by the...

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Local democracy in Slovenia

35th Session 6 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Overall, Slovenia complies with the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, but consensus between central and local authorities in the principles of municipal financing should be achieved, local fiscal autonomy increased, local authorities better consulted in practice on...

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Robert GRUMAN elected President of the Governance Committee

35th Session 6 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

At their meeting on 6 November 2018, during the 35th Session of the Congress, in Strasbourg, members of the Governance Committee elected Robert GRUMAN (Romania, EPP/CCE) as Chair of the Committee, before going on to elect the vice-chairs. They also approved the draft reports “Protecting...

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Anders KNAPE elected president of the Congress

35th Session 6 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Congress members have elected Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE) president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, on 6 November 2018, for a two-year term. “Our Congress is a political body tasked with protecting local democracy. We represent not governments but rather citizens in our...

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Outgoing president calls for gender rotation for the post of Congress president

35th Session 6 November 2018 Strasbourg, France

Taking stock of her two-year term at the helm of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, outgoing president Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM spoke of the high quality of the work and discussions that had helped to convey the Congress’s political message. “The policy we have been following for ten...

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