Communication of Andreas Kiefer to the Committee of Ministers: Focus on recent activities and the forthcoming reform of the Congress

18 April 2018 Strasbourg, France

In his communication to the Committee of Ministers on 18 April 2018, the Secretary General of the Congress Andreas Kiefer presented the recent activities of the Congress in particular the plenary session in March 2018 as well as the initiative taken by the Congress to reform its structures and...

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World Forum for Democracy 2018: Call for initiatives

Deadline: 15 May Strasbourg

The 7th edition of the World Forum for Democracy, to take place in Strasbourg on 19-21 November 2018, will be dedicated to women’s role in public and economic life. The labs will focus on why and in what way women have different roles, different influence and different levels of participation...

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Breda PEČAN at NALAS General Assembly: “Our common mission is to respond to challenges faced by local communities“

Co-operation 18 April 2018 Brdo (Slovenia)

“Associations of local and regional authorities have always been the Congress’ key interlocutors in member states, and NALAS was created to represent and defend their interests in South-East Europe”, stressed Congress Vice-President Breda PEČAN (Slovenia, SOC) addressing the General Assembly of...

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Monitoring visit by the Congress to Georgia

Monitoring 16 April 2018 Strasbourg

A delegation from the Congress will carry out a monitoring visit to Georgia from 17 to 18 April 2018. The delegation will examine the situation of local and regional democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 2004....

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North-South Centre organises a cycle of regional seminars on global development education

Call for expression of interest 13 April 2018 Strasbourg

The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe is organising a cycle of regional seminars to assess the recognition and implementation of global development education in the Balkan (Zagreb, October 2018), Baltic (Riga, 9 April 2018), Visegrad (Warsaw, 22 May 2018) as well as South-East Europe...

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Meeting of the Council of Europe's Gender Equality Commission

Gender Equality 13 April 2018 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the meeting of the Council of Europe's Gender Equality Commission (GEC), from 11 – 13 April 2018 in Strasbourg, Congress Secretary General Andreas KIEFER met GEC Chairperson Eva FEHRINGER. They discussed possible synergies, the role of the Congress in promoting the Council of...

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John WARMISHAM: “There is a real commitment to Roma Inclusion in our local councils”

Roma Alliance 12 April 2018 Athens, Greece

The world community honored the International Roma Day, on 8 April, a tradition inherited from to the First World Romani Congress held in Orpington, in 1971, where Roma representatives from different countries came together to discuss cultural and social issues. “For me it is a strong symbol,...

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Michalis ANGELOPOULOS : « We have the moral duty to protect the rights of the Roma people”

Roma Alliance 12 April 2018 Athens, Greece

“We have the moral duty - as mayors, as councilors and as Greek citizens - to protect the rights of the individuals affected and of the Roma community as a whole,” stated Michail ANGELOPOULOS (Greece, EPP/CCE), Vice-President of the Congress and Mayor of Samos, addressing the participants at a...

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Conference in Athens: Strengthening Roma networks at the local and regional level

Roma Alliance 12 April 2018 Athens, Greece

A conference on initiatives for strengthening Roma networks at local and regional levels was co-organised by the Congress and the Association of Greek municipalities (KEDE)in Athens, Greece, on 12 April 2018. Chaired by Michail ANGELOPOULOS (Greece, EPP/CCE), Vice-President of the Congress and...

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New Practical Guide: “Administrative resources and fair elections”

Publication 12 April 2018 Strasbourg

The Congress launched a new Practical Guide, entitled “Administrative resources and fair elections”, for local and regional politicians and public officials. This booklet is based on the Checklist for compliance with international standards and good practices preventing misuse of administrative...

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Stewart DICKSON: “We must continue to raise awareness about misuse of administrative resources and its threat for the fairness of elections”

Elections 10 April 2018 Tirana, Albania

“For some 15 years now, the Congress has been systematically involved in the observation of grassroots’ elections in the member States of the Council of Europe. This activity, which complements the regular monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, shows that many states have...

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Tirana : the Congress to take part in a Seminar on the misuse of administrative resources during election processes

Elections 09 April 2018 Tirana, Albania

A parliamentary seminar on the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes took place on 10-11 April in Tirana, Albania. The event was jointly organised by three Council of Europe bodies – the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), the Venice Commission and the Congress of Local and...

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Marking the International Roma Day, celebrated on 8 April 2018, the Congress invites Mayors around Europe to sign a Declaration against Anti-Gypsyism

International Roma Day 8 April 2018 Strasbourg

“Anti-Gypsyism continues to be one of the most widespread forms of racism in Europe. Millions of Roma in many European countries are facing discrimination and hate speech in their everyday lives. The dimension can vary from experiencing derogatory clichés about the Romani culture up to violent...

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Regional identity and nation states: only dialogue in line with constitutions can resolve crises

34th session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg

The Congress and its institutional partners must work together to reaffirm loud and clear that only dialogue and negotiation, in line with the law and constitutions, can resolve crises between nation states and regions. During a debate on “regional identity and integrity of the nation state” held...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “Given the current challenges, we must preserve the voice of local and regional authorities”

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg

“Together, we are all entering a serious period in the life of our organisation and of our Congress,” said Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström at the opening of the 34th session of the Congress in Strasbourg, France, on 27 March 2018. In her communication, the President gave an update on...

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Michele NICOLETTI: “If democracy dies at the local level, it will also die at the national level”

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

“The success of democracy is not possible without the participation of our citizens in civic life,” stated. Michele NICOLETTI, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe addressing the Congress members at the 34th Session, in Strasbourg, on 27 March 2018. He outlined the...

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Congress concludes Electoral Assessment Mission to the Netherlands

Elections observation 29 March 2018 Strasbourg

A delegation headed by Stewart DICKSON (United Kingdom, ILDG), Congress Thematic Spokesperson on election observation, has carried out a mission to assess the local elections held in the Netherlands on 21 March 2018. On E-Day, four Congress teams visited some 50 polling stations throughout the...

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Congress Chamber of Local Authorities approves Information Report on municipal elections held in Georgia

34th session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg

The overall well-administered Election Day, transparency of the electoral process and confidence in the performance of the Central Election Commission were highlighted by Congress Rapporteur Stewart DICKSON (United Kingdom, ILDG) during a debate on the municipal elections held in Georgia on 21...

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Local democracy in Liechtenstein

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

On 28 March 2018, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on the situation of local democracy in Liechtenstein following a monitoring visit on 6 and 7 June 2017 to the municipalities of Vaduz, Triesenberg and Planken by the...

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Unaccompanied refugee children: a matter of urgency for local and regional authorities

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

Since 2015, more than a million children have arrived in Council of Europe member states seeking refuge from war, conflict and poverty. “Urgent action is needed to protect and integrate them as quickly as possible, in particular those children who are unaccompanied or have been separated from...

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Local Democracy in the Republic of San Marino

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities welcomes the reform process launched in the Republic of San Marino to bring local self-government in line with the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. Presented by Stewart DICKSON (United-Kingdom, ILDG), on 28 March 2018, on...

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Local democracy in Andorra

34th session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg

The level of local democracy in Andorra and its general compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government were highlighted in a report adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, at its 34th Session, in Strasbourg, on 28 March 2018. The report is the result of the first...

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Anders KNAPE: “Awareness-raising is not enough to deal with the pressures being placed on our local elected representatives. What is needed is action”

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg

“We are receiving a growing number of complaints from mayors and local councillors about the intimation that they are being subjected to,” said Anders KNAPE, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, addressing the 34th session of the Congress on 28 March 2018 in Strasbourg. In this context,...

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Gunn Marit HELGESEN: “If we are to bring tangible impact in pursuing our mission, change is a must”

34th SESSION 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

“The Chamber of Regions will contribute as fully as possible to the Congress Reform,” stated Gunn Marit HELGESEN, President of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress in her communication to the 34th Session on 28 March 2018 in Strasbourg, France. She called on the members to engage in the...

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Local democracy in Monaco

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

“Despite Monaco’s small geographical size, local government is a long-established tradition in the country and we take the view that, bearing in mind its unusual situation, there is a generally very satisfactory level of local self-government in Monaco,” said co-rapporteur Marianne Hollinger...

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Election of a Vice-President of the Chamber of Regions

28 mars 2018 Strasbourg

Róbert-Csongor Grüman (Romania, EPP/CCE) was elected 7th Vice-President of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on 28 March 2018 during the 34th session. His election means that he is now also a member of the Bureau of the Chamber of Regions and of the Bureau...

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The Congress and the European Committee of the Regions sign a new Co-operation Agreement

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

On the occasion of the 34th Congress session, on 27 March 2018, Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM and President of the European Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ signed a revised Co-operation Agreement to replace the existing Agreement of 2009. “The Congress and the European...

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Simon Emil AMMITZBØLL-BILLE: “Well-functioning local authorities are crucial for a well-functioning democracy”

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

“Our continent is facing complex challenges, such as extremism, terrorism and organised crime. Each of these are threatening the values that we defend in this Organisation. They also impact on our citizens, our societies, our towns, villages and cities,” stated Simon Emil AMMITZBØLL-BILLE,...

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34th Session

Debate on “Regional referendum, a tool for democracy: challenges and risks”

28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

The “Stuttgart 21” Referendum 2011 in Germany, the Scotland 2014 referendum , the UK´s EU membership Ref 2016, the much-discussed Catalonia “Referendum” 2017 and the 2018 No – Billag Referendum in Switzerland. The future of railways, independence and the abolition of Radio and TV licence...

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The Congress adopts a Report on municipal elections in “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

34th session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

In autumn last year, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities carried out a mission to observe the municipal elections in “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” held on 15 October 2017. Further to this observation, a recommendation, presented by Rapporteur Karim VAN OVERMEIRE (Belgium,...

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First meeting of the Reflection Group on the European Local Democracy Week

34th Session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg

The Reflection Group on the European local democracy week (ELDW) met on 27 March 2018, in Strasbourg. This first meeting was the occasion to launch discussions on a new strategy to advance this pan-European initiative. Chaired by Gaye DOGANOGLU (Turkey, EPP/CCE), Vice-President of the Congress...

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Local and regional democracy in Latvia

34th session 27 March 2017 Strasbourg

An overall positive situation of local self-government in Latvia, together with the extensive autonomy of local authorities were welcomed in a report adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, during its 34th Session, on 27 March 2018 in Strasbourg,...

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The Congress adopts a recommendation following the fact-finding mission in the Republic of Moldova

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg

On 27 March 2018, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, holding its 34th Session in Strasbourg (France), adopted a recommendation on the fact-finding mission on the situation of local elected representatives in the Republic of Moldova that was carried out in...

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Debate on the Council of Europe's "smaller member States" and local democracy

34th Session 28 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

Of a size closer to a local authority than a State, the Council of Europe's "smaller member States" are often models of local democracy. Even though, at first sight, certain aspects of the European Charter of Local Self-Government may not appear relevant to their specific characteristics, full...

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Council of Europe Congress launches tool for promoting human rights at local and regional level in Europe

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

How can human rights be made a tangible reality at grassroots level? This issue was debated by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 27 March 2017, with the participation of Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and...

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Co-operation: two publications to support local and regional authorities in Europe

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

The Handbook on Transparency and Citizen Participation and the Tool Guide on Management of Change were presented to the Congress members on the occasion of the 34th Session in Strasbourg (27-28 March 2018). Both publications were developed as part of the Congress’ co-operation activities to...

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Meeting of the Congress Governance Committee

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg

The members of the Governance Committee of the Congress met in Strasbourg on Tuesday 27 March 2018, on the fringe of the 34th Congress Session. They examined the draft “Guidelines on the right of local authorities to be consulted by higher levels of government” presented by Anders KNAPE (Sweden,...

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Meeting of the Congress Current Affairs Committee

34th session 27 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

The members of Current Affairs Committee met on Tuesday 27 March 2018, in Strasbourg, during the 34th Session of the Congress. They reviewed a report on border regions facing migration phenomena, prepared by Rena DOUROU (Greece, SOC) for which a reflection group has been set up to further examine...

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34th Session : rights-based governance at local and regional level

34th Session 26 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

The members of the Congress met in Strasbourg, France, from 27 to 28 March 2018 for their 34th Session placed under the theme “rights-based governance at local and regional level”. Congress members discussed in particular the role of local and regional elected representatives and officials in...

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Congress Bureau meets in Strasbourg

26 March 2018 Strasbourg, France

Meeting in Strasbourg on 26 March 2018, with Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM in the Chair, the Congress Bureau considered the draft agenda of the 34th session to be held on 27 and 28 March 2018 under the theme of “rights-based governance at local and regional level”. In particular, the Bureau approved...

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Congress Electoral Assessment Mission to the Netherlands

Electoral Assessment Mission 20 March 2018 The Hague (Netherlands)

The Congress carried out an assessment electoral mission to the Netherlands from 19 to 22 March 2018, in view of the local elections scheduled for Wednesday 21 March. The delegation headed by Stewart Dickson (United-Kingdom, ILDG), Thematic Spokesperson on Observation of local and regional...

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EU Eastern Partnership countries: Emin YERITSYAN advocates for co-ordinated interventions

Co-operation 16/03/2018 Yerevan, Armenia

Emin YERITSYAN (Armenia, EPP/CCE), Head of the Armenian delegation to the Congress and member of CORLEAP, intervened during the Seminar on Public Administration Reform at Local and Regional Level, organised by the European External Action Service in Yerevan, Armenia, on 16 March 2018. “The...

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Venice Commission: 61st meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections and 114th plenary session

15 March 2018 Venice, Italy

Jos WIENEN (Netherlands, EPP/ECC) and Stewart DICKSON (United Kingdom, ILDG), the Congress Spokespersons on the Observation of Local and Regional Elections, took part in the 61st meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections in Venice on 15 March 2018. Jos WIENEN presented the preliminary draft...

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Declaration by the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on Women’s Day

8 March 2018 Strasbourg

In recent months, scandals related to the harassment and sexual abuse of women have erupted and no environment - political, artistic or civil society - has been spared. Women all around the world decided to break the silence and speak out, giving rise to movements such as the #MeToo campaign on...

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The Congress participated in the meeting of the Task Force Ukraine of the European Committee of the Regions

Co-operation 8 March 2018 Brussels

The Congress Rapporteur on Local and Regional Democracy in Ukraine Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD) participated in the 4th meeting of the European Committee of the Regions Task Force Ukraine, on 8 March 2018 in Brussels. In the presence of Vyacheslav Nehoda, First Vice-Minister for regional...

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International Women’s Day: Conference on “Women and Local Governance” in Armenia

Co-operation 7 March 2018 Yerevan (Armenia)

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Congress co-organised a conference on “Women and Local Governance” on 7 March in Yerevan, Armenia, jointly with the Armenian Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the...

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What can be done to make human rights popular again : Facebook live on 6 March 2018

Human Rights 5 March 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

What can be done to make human rights popular again in times of increased populism and scepticism? A High level panel discussion on this issue will take place in Geneva, Palais des Nations, room XXIII on 6 March (1:30 – 3:00 pm). Among the speakers will be United Nations Deputy High Commissioner...

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Statement by Congress President following the death of Archil Tatunashvili a Georgian citizen

Congress President 27 February 2018 Strasbourg

Following the death of Archil Tatunashvili, a Georgian citizen who was being detained by the de facto authorities in Tskhingvali, Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström declared: “I would like to join with the entire international community in expressing my outrage and sorrow at this tragic...

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Gender equality at local level: challenges and opportunities in Ukraine

Co-operation 21-22 February 2018 Kyiv, Ukraine

Within the project “Strengthening capacity of local elected authorities", the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities organised with the Association of Ukrainian Cities, in Kyiv on 21 and 22 February, a workshop on challenges and opportunities related to gender equality at local level in...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “The obstacles to women's participation are not only political”

Presidency 21 February 2018 Giza, Egypt

Speaking at the 9th Plenary Session of the Assembly of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) in Giza, Egypt, on 21 February 2018, Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström highlighted the importance of co-operation frameworks such as the ARLEM for bringing in the spotlight...

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Congress President to address ARLEM in Egypt

Presidency 21 February 2018 Giza, Egypt

Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström addressed the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) in Giza, Egypt on 21 February 2018, on the subject of women's empowerment and participation. The Assembly provided an opportunity to determine the priorities...

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Monitoring visit by the Congress to Slovenia

Monitoring visit 19 February 2018 Strasbourg

A delegation from the Congress carried out a monitoring visit to Slovenia from 20 to 22 February 2018. The delegation examined the situation of local democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 1996. Rapporteurs on local...

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Congress Monitoring Committee meets in Strasbourg

Monitoring 14 February 2018 Strasbourg, France

The members of the Congress Monitoring Committee met in Strasbourg, France, on February 14, 2018. At the opening of the meeting, Committee Chair Leendert VERBEEK (SOC, Netherlands) presented the results of the committee’s work in 2017 and the prospects for monitoring activities in 2018. The...

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Meeting of the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre

SOUTH-MED 6 February 2018 Strasbourg, France

Xavier CADORET (SOC, France), alternate Spokesperson on the South-Med Partnership, will represent the Congress at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre in Strasbourg on 8 February 2018. Items on the agenda include the election of the president and vice-president and the...

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Annual co-ordination meeting of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) in Paris

ELDW 5 February 2018 Paris, France

The annual coordination meeting of the European Local Democracy Week was held on 5 February in Paris. Forty-five participants from participating cities from 6 countries (France, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine) and national associations of local authorities was on hand to evaluate...

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Handbooks on Transparency and Citizen Participation

Co-operation 1 February 2018 Strasbourg, France

Four Handbooks on Transparency and Citizen Participation in Armenia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have been developed by the Congress of the Council of Europe to support local and regional authorities in their efforts to make communities more open, ethical and citizen-oriented....

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Management of change: a tool guide for local and regional authorities

Co-operation 1 February 2018 Strasbourg, France

Stemming from the Congress of the Council of Europe’s local initiatives on ethical governance and transparency, this tool provides step-by-step guidance for local authorities towards the successful assessment of local policies’ efficiency and effective management of change. It aims to support...

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Recommendations for enhanced citizen participation

Co-operation 1 February 2018 Strasbourg, France

Jointly commissioned by the Congress of the Council of Europe and the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia, the study on ‘institutionalised citizen participation: assessment of existing mechanisms in Georgia’ provided the basis for amendments to the Code of Local Self-Government....

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Congress Bureau meeting in Strasbourg

Bureau 1 February 2018 Strasbourg, France

The Bureau of the Congress met in Strasbourg, France, on 2 February 2018. In particular, it discussed the agenda of the 34th Session which will be held in March 2018, under the theme "Rights-based governance at local and regional levels ". The members adopted the draft co-operation agreement with...

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Monitoring visit by the Congress to Lithuania

Monitoring 23-24 January 2018 Lithuania

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe carries out a monitoring visit to Lithuania from 23 to 24 January 2018. Rapporteurs on local and regional democracy, Mr Artur TORRES PEREIRA (Portugal, EPP/CCE) and Mr Sigurdur Bjorn BLONDAL (Iceland, ILDG),...

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Congress and Committee of the Regions discuss co-operation priorities

Co-operation 17 January 2018 Brussels

At its meeting in Brussels on 16 January 2018, the High-Level Group of the Congress and of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) took stock of their recent and current cooperation activities, and discussed common priorities for 2018. The Congress was represented by President Gudrun...

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Malta signs and ratifies the Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority

16 January 2018 Strasbourg

Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM welcomes Malta’s signature and ratification of the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority, on 16 January 2018, which will enter into force in Malta on 1 May...

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Meeting of the High Level Group between the European Committee of the Regions and the Congress

Co-operation 15 January 2018 Strasbourg

The High Level Group of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Congress of the Council of Europe will meet on 16 January 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. This meeting is part of the broader framework of cooperation between the two bodies and aims to define common priorities to be pursued...

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