News 2014 News 2014

Congress Greeting cards 2015

Gretting cards 23 December 2014 Strasbourg

The Congress Season's Greetings 2015 e-card is available online. You can add a personal message and send it to your contacts by e-mail. Download the greeting card 2015

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EU Conference: Andreas Kiefer presents Congress activities in promoting human rights at the grassroots

EU Conference 17 December 2014 Brussels

On Wednesday 17 December 2014, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourová opened the first ever stocktaking conference on the application of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Director General Philippe Boillat (CoE DG on Human Rights and Rule of Law) presented the Council of Europe...

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Communication of the Congress Secretary General to Committee of Ministers

10 December 2014 Strasbourg, France

In his communication to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 December 2014, the Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer presented an overview of the activities of the Congress in recent months, particularly the work of monitoring the local and regional democracy and the...

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Regional seminar in Odessa : promoting local democracy with Ukrainian youth

9 - 10 december 2014 Odessa, Ukraine

The Congress is organising a regional training seminar for young local leaders in Odessa (Ukraine) from 9 to 11 December 2014. 22 young local leaders of NGOs, youth wings of political parties as well as local elected representatives will discuss and share their perceptions on local democracy, in...

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Congress’ Secretary General invites Lord Ahmad to address the March 2015 Session

08 december 2014 Strasbourg, France

On the fringe of the meeting of the CDDG (European Committee on Democracy and Governance), Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer exchanged views with the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Minister for Communities and European Programmes, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, on local governance...

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Josef Neumann (Germany, SOC) participates in the Conference on Including People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness and Response

5 December 2014 Brussels

“Human rights have a home, it is where people reside, live, work, grow old; it is in their regions, municipalities and neighbourhoods. It is also in their home that people experience disasters. Empowering people with disabilities to actively participate in disaster management needs to be regarded...

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Declaration by the President of the Congress on the treaty signed between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia

3 december 2014 Strasbourg, France

Reacting to the signature, on 24 November 2014, of a treaty on alliance and strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia, a separatist region of Georgia, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Frécon, declared...

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Andreas Kiefer meets with representatives of European Associations of Local Authorities

2 December 2014 Strasbourg

On 2 December 2014, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress met with his counterparts from European Association of Local Authorities to assess their common priorities and identify areas of future co-operation. The meeting was dedicated in particular to the presentation of the current...

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Meeting of the Congress Bureau

1 December 2014 Brussels, Belgium

The members of the Congress Bureau will meet in Brussels (Belgium) on 1 December 2014 in the framework of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. Rudi Vervoort, minister-president of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region will address the Bureau at the opening of the...

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Congress supports new anti-corruption programme for the “Tyrol - South Tyrol - Trentino” region

27 November 2014 Strasbourg, France

On 27 November, the EGTC (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation) European Region Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino unanimously adopted its ''Triennial plan to prevent corruption 2014 – 2016'', aiming at reducing corruption and bringing to light more efficiently corruption practices. The plan...

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Conference on ''Minority Protection in South East Europe''

26 november 2014 Skopje

''Local and regional governments and elected representatives are full-fledged actors and stakeholders in creating conditions for the exercise of human rights in their communities and in ensuring their full implementation,'' stated Juliana HOXHA, Vice-President of the Congress addressing the First...

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Pope Francis visits and addresses the Council of Europe

25 November 2014 Strasbourg

Today, Pope Francis is paying an official visit to the Council of Europe. Following an invitation by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland at a private audience accorded at Vatican City, His Holiness will address the Organisation, as it celebrates its 65th anniversary, in a solemn session gathering...

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The Congress supports Pope Francis’s call for a “new agora” for dialogue between all civic and religious groups

25 november 2014 Strasbourg, France

Speaking at the end of the visit by Pope Francis to the Council of Europe, the President of the Congress Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC), welcomed the Pope’s speech and his call to continue the dialogue to maintain the peace so desired by the founding fathers of the Council of Europe. “This...

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Jean-Claude Frécon presents “partner for local democracy” status to the Contact Group of the Committee of the Regions and the Congress

18 November 2014 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the meeting of the Contact Group of the Committee of the Regions and the Congress held in Brussels on 18 November, Jean-Claude Frécon presented “partner for local democracy” status. “This status will be granted at the joint request of the government of the requesting state and...

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Herwig van Staa : ''There is no level of government which has a monopoly on decision-making''

18 November 2014 Strasbourg

''When we speak of Multilevel Governance, we are recognising that there is no level of government which has a monopoly on authority and decision-making. Governance is a shared process, aimed at serving our citizens in the best possible way,'' stated Herwig van Staa (Austria, EPP/CCE), addressing...

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2nd Congress visit in order to examine the situation of local and regional democracy in Greece

18 november 2014 Greece

Artur Torres Pereira (Portugal EPP/CCE) and Gudrun Mosler Törnström (Austria, SOC) carried out a monitoring visit from 18th until 20th November in Greece. On 18 November several meetings were scheduled with the mayors of Paros and Naxos and Small Cyclades Islands, as well as the Director of the...

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Joint Meeting of the Congress Governance Committee and the EU Committee of the Regions CIVEX Commission

17 November 2014 Brussels

On the occasion of the 20th anniversaries of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions, the Congress Governance Committee held a joint meeting with its counterpart in the Committee of the Regions, the CIVEX Commission on 17 November in Brussels. This was the first time the two committees held...

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Young local leaders developing grassroots democracy in Ukraine

13 November 2014 Strasbourg

On the occasion of a study visit, twenty young Ukrainians discussed aspects of local self-government systems in Europe with representatives of different countries. Coming from several Ukrainian regions, they met with delegations from other European and neighboring countries and compared youth...

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Committee of Ministers Chairmanship: Jean-Claude Frécon welcomes regional democracy example set by Belgium

13 November 2014 Strasbourg

'The Committee of Ministers chairmanships provide an opportunity to pursue the political dialogue we initiate with the member state governments in the course of monitoring the European Charter of local self-government', said Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, on 13 November 2014, as...

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Workshop “Mayors, Leaders for Change” in Kyiv (Ukraine)

11-13 November 2014 Kyiv, Ukraine

The Congress organised a workshop “Mayors, Leaders for Change” in Kyiv (Ukraine) on 11-13 November 2014. It brought together around 20 mayors elected at pre-term local elections on 25 May and 26 October 2014 from different regions of Ukraine. Organised within the “Immediate Measures Package for...

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Leen Verbeek: « Think global act local – lead by example!”

7 November 2014 Strasbourg

Congress Vice-President Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC) led, on 7 November 2014, a working session on encouraging active citizenship entitled “Why do we do politics? To improve the quality of life in our communities”. Organised at the Council of Europe headquarters, it gathered participants from...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “Committing to a stronger cooperation with CALRE and with Presidents of Regional Parliaments”

headline 7 November 2014 Santiago de Compostela, Spain

“As newly-elected President of the Chamber of Regions, I am strongly committed to giving a new impetus to our co-operation with the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) and with all the European regional parliaments over the next two years”, declared Gudrun...

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Andreas Kiefer: ''A representative democracy should involve youth, women and disadvantaged people equally''

3-5 November 2014 Strasbourg

''We have to build an inclusive, cohesive and truly representative democracy that involves all groups of society equally, including youth, women and disadvantaged people,'' concluded Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, when moderating Lab 16 of the third World Forum for Democracy...

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Jean-Claude Frécon speaks in support of the young Ukrainian leaders on track for local and regional democracy

3 November Strasbourg

« We in the Congress are convinced that young people’s active participation in civic life, particularly at the local level, is a way of ensuring social cohesion,» Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, emphasised in an address to the young local leaders of Ukraine at the conference...

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Jean-Claude Frécon elected President of the Congress

14 October 2014 Strasbourg (France)

The members of the Congress, meeting at the 27th Session, elected Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC) by acclamation as President for a two-year term of office. ''I believe that, through the political dialogue it has established with governments and, here in Strasbourg, with the Committee of...

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Local democracy: the Council of Europe Congress mobilises young Ukrainians

03 October 2014 Strasbourg

Twenty-one young Ukrainians between the ages of 17 and 29 had discussions with members of the Congress and experts on the occasion of a regional training seminar held in Chernihiv (Ukraine) from 30 September to 2 October 2014. Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine), President of the Chamber of Regions of...

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Nataliya Romanova:''Involving young people contributes to the search for creative political solutions in Ukraine''

02 October 2014 Strasbourg

“The fall of Yanukovych’s regime has opened the way for a new political elite in Ukraine. Young people play an important role in this process. By involving young people in public policy at the regional and local levels, we are taking a step towards a society founded on new ideas and creative...

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Ludmila Sfirloaga: ''Encouraging women’s participation in political life is a democratic requirement''

23 September 2014 Lisbon

''Like political pluralism, participation by women is vital to democratic life. This requirement is enshrined in the Congress Charter, which provides that women must make up at least 30% of members of all national delegations'', said Ludmila Sfirloaga (Romania, SOC), Vice-President of the...

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Congress visit to monitor local and regional democracy in Greece

23 September 2014 Greece

A delegation of the Congress, composed of Arthur Torres Pereira (Portugal EPP/CCE) and Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), carried out a monitoring visit in Greece from 16 to 17 September. High-level meetings were foreseen in Athens, notably with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Administrative Reform and...

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Ukraine ratifies the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government

19 September 2014 Ukraine

On 2 September 2014, the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) adopted the law on the 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 by a majority of 260 votes. This is a positive step...

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Exchange of views between the Congress and a Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group

17 September 2014 Strasbourg

On 9 September 2014, Karl-Heinz Lambertz (Belgium, SOC), Congress thematic spokesperson on co-operation with the intergovernmental sector of the Council of Europe and President of the Congress Governance Committee, held an exchange of views with the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Group on...

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Call for expression of interest: grants for multi-ethnic municipalities in South-East Europe

16 September 2014 South-East Europe

The Joint European Union / Council of Europe Regional Project “Promoting Human Rights and Minority Protection in South East Europe” has issued a call for expression of interest for small grants for multi-ethnic municipalities in South East Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

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ONE in FIVE: The Mayor of Plsen to sign the Pact of Cities and Regions

16 September 2014 Strasbourg

On the occasion of a meeting on 8 September 2014, Jiri Kuthan, member of the Municipal Council of Plsen, Czech Republic, informed Johan van den Hout (Netherlands, SOC), Congress Thematic Spokesperson on Children, that the Mayor of Plsen was expected to sign imminently the Pact of Cities and...

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Seminar on Transfrontier Co-operation in Strasbourg

16 septembre 2014 Strasbourg

On 16 and 17 September, the Congress, the Euro-Institute and the European Public Administration Pole (EPAP), held a seminar in Strasbourg on “Prospects for effective transfrontier co-operation in Europe” as a follow-up to Congress Resolution 363 on transfrontier co-operation, which identifies...

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Congress visit to monitor local and regional democracy in Norway

Monitoring 8 September 2014 Norway

A Congress delegation composed of Xavier Cadoret (France, SOC) and Guilherme Pinto (Portugal, SOC) carried out a monitoring visit from 9 to 11 September 2014 to Norway with a view to examining the follow-up given to the commitments made by this country in the area of local and regional democracy...

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Local democracy in Armenia: 200 mayors and municipal councillors come together at seminars in Gyumri and Sisian

3 September 2014 Armenia

The Congress is holding two seminars on the theme “Fostering local democracy in Armenia” in Gyumri and Sisian on 9 and 11 September 2014. Some 200 mayors and municipal councillors representing all the provinces (marzes) of Armenia will take part in four workshops on the principle of subsidiarity,...

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Jean-Claude Frécon: ''Save these populations trapped in a war from a bygone century in Ukraine''

1 September 2014 Bakou, Azerbaidjan

“A lot is being said here about the need for dialogue; I should like to tell you what a very deep chord is struck by our proceedings today and tomorrow on intercultural dialogue at the present time when a Council of Europe member country is torn by a horrific war which has already claimed...

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Congress Rapporteur calls for democratic campaign environment prior to 2nd round local elections in Georgia

monitoring 08 July 2014 Georgia

In view of the 2nd round of local elections to be held on 12 July in Georgia, the spokesperson on election observation of the Congress, Jos Wienen (Netherlands, EPP/CCE), reminded all political stakeholders to refrain from degrading or hateful discourse and violent action. “Government and...

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Congress delegation to observe local elections in Georgia

monitoring 11 June 2014 Georgia

A delegation of the Congress will observe the local elections in Georgia scheduled for 15 June 2014. Headed by Jos Wienen (The Netherlands, EPP/CCE), the delegation is composed of 22 members, including members of the EU Committee of the Regions. The delegation will hold two days of meeting in...

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20 years of grassroots democracy with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

3 June 2014 Strasbourg

20 years after the first session of the Congress, on 31 May 1994, Herwig van Staa, President of the Congress, pointed out that local and regional democracy has now become the landmark of European democratic development. “Since its creation, the Congress has been at the forefront of the work for...

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Emperor Maximilian Prize awarded to Herwig Van Staa

Emperor Maximilian Prize 08 April 2014 Strasbourg

The 2014 Emperor Maximilian Prize has been awarded to Herwig VAN STAA (Austria, EPP/CCE), President of the Congress, for his outstanding work to promote local and regional democracy, and more specifically transborder and inter-regional co-operation, multi-level governance and regional...

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Seminar 'Deepening democracy with e-media'

e-media 23 March 2014 Strasbourg

A Seminar entitled 'Deepening democracy with e-media' will be held on Thursday, 27 March in the afternoon. It will be structured around three debates on “Open Data for transparency in local government ', 'Web applications for voters' and “Combining on-line and off-line local democracy.' The...

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Congress delegation welcomes the transparency of the organisation of local elections in the Netherlands

election 20 March 2014 Netherlands

A delegation of 13 members of the Congress from 12 European countries, observed the local elections in the Netherlands on 19 March 2014, at the invitation of the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. Pearl Pedergnana (Switzerland, L, SOC), Head of delegation and Rapporteur, presented the preliminary...

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Declaration by Congress President on proposed Crimean Referendum

President 7 March 2014 Strasbourg

Reacting to the announcement of a referendum in the Crimea on 16 March on whether it should join the Russian Federation, Congress president Herwig van Staa declared: “I cannot but deplore this initiative. To hold a referendum, at such short notice, using closed questions, without consultation...

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Congress President meets with President of CALRE

CALRE 7 March 2014 Athens

Congress President Herwig van Staa (Austria, PPE/CCE) and Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress met with Pilar Rojo Noguera and Xosé Sarmiento Méndez respectively President and Secretary General of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) in Athens on 7 March...

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Congress delegation heading to Portugal for a post-monitoring visit

montoring 3 March 2014 Portugal

The Congress carried out a post-monitoring visit to Portugal on 4 March 2014. Congress Rapporteur Jos Wienen (The Netherlands, EPP/CCE) examined the follow-up to the Recommendation 323 (2012) on local and regional democracy in this country. The aim of Congress post-monitoring activity is to...

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Herwig van Staa: ''We must work to embed a culture of decentralised democracy in European governance''

local democracy 27 February 2014 Innsbruck

''Today, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we must continue to reassert ourselves as equal partners of national governments in an emergent system of multi-level governance,'' stated Herwig van Staa, at the Conference on ''20 years of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions'', in...

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Andreas Kiefer: ''20 years on, we need visionary politicians to lead us forward''

Secretary General 26 February 2014 Innsbruck

“The Congress and the EU Committee of the Regions were created to give a voice to local and regional representatives in the European construction,” underlined Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer at the Conference on “20 years of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions”, in Innsbruck,...

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“Come and support your European Cultural Route” exhibition opens at European Parliament

culture 26 February 2014 Strasbourg

“European Cultural routes offer great potential for local and regional authorities to develop and use their specific heritage along the cultural routes for economic and touristic initiatives,” stated Andreas Kiefer, Congress Secretary General when attending the inauguration of the “Come and...

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Ukraine: CKY President visits Congress

cooperation 25 February 2014 Strasbourg

Les perspectives de coopération entre le Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux et le Congrès mondial ukrainien (CMU) ont fait l’objet de discussions entre le Secrétaire général du Congrès, Andreas Kiefer, et le président du CMU, Eugene Czolij, le 24 février à Strasbourg. Le Congrès mondial...

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