“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 “quadrilogue” practiced in the Council of Europe’s Lisbon-based European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity, known as the North-South Centre”, Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer stated, in a panel discussion organised in the framework of the first Transatlantic Parliamentary Forum in Horta, Faial Island(Azores), on 22 November 2018. The mission of the North-South Centre is to empower civil society, in particular youth and women, through intercultural dialogue and global citizenship education, to play an active role in Council of Europe member states and neighbouring regions.
“Apart from legal instruments such as the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities (Madrid Convention), the external relations of regions are mostly governed by informal memoranda of understanding. The Congress of the Council of Europe and the EU Committee of the Regions are institutional bodies within international organisations while the European associations of regions co-operate politically in developing democracy, human rights and the rule of law and in addressing the burning problems identified in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, “ he added.
The Forum was organised by the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Azores and presidents of regional legislative parliaments and their national conferences from Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Finland as well as from Cape Verde, the United States of America (National Conference of State Legislatures) and Brazil (National Union of Legislators and Legislative Assemblies of the States).