News 2015

News 2015 News 2015

Jean-Claude Frécon: “Migration reflects a legitimate desire for more human dignity, more security and a better future”

18 December 2015 Strasbourg

“The issue of migrants is closely linked to the responsibilities of local authorities, which are directly affected by migratory flows. Local and regional authorities are first in line when it comes to catering and providing accommodation for migrants and their families, a particularly difficult...

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Congress President meets President of Georgia

18 december 2015 Tbilissi

'I welcome the work of the Congress and I assure you that decentralisation in Georgia is the basis of strengthening our democracy,' said the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvilide during a meeting in Tbilisi with Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress. 'The signing of the roadmap on...

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First national seminar on Roma inclusion in Lithuania

17 December 2015 Lithuania

The first national seminar on Roma inclusion took place on 17 December 2015, in Lithuania. 25 elected officials and senior civil servants from Lithuanian cities and regions, participants in the European Alliance for Roma Inclusion, met to exchange their concrete experiences and know-how, as well...

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Georgia’s Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure signs road map on local democracy with the Congress

16 December 2015 Georgia

The President of the Congress, Jean-Claude Frécon, and Georgia’s Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, Nodar Javakhishvili, on 16 December 2015 signed a road map on the implementation of the monitoring recommendations concerning Georgia. The signing of the road map follows on from...

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“Mayors - Leaders for change” workshop starts in Ukraine

15 December 2015 Kyiv

Speaking at the start of the “Mayors - Leaders for change” workshop in Kyiv on 15 December 2015, Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), President of the Chamber of Local Authorities and Vice-President of the Congress, outlined the Congress’s role in promoting local democracy in the 47 Council of Europe...

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Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, in Ukraine

14 December 2015 Kyiv

The Congress and the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Communal Services of Ukraine organised a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, in Kyiv, on 14 December 2015, with the participation of Vyacheslav Nehoda, Vice-Minister of...

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Jean-Claude Frécon encourages Bulgarian government to keep up dialogue with local and regional authorities

11 December 2015 Strasbourg

The President of the Congress, Jean-Claude Frécon, met the Bulgarian Minister for Regional Development and Public Works, Lilyana Pavlova, in Sofia on 11 December 2015. The minister expressed the support of her government for dialogue between central government and local and regional authorities...

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Jean-Claude Frécon: “Human Rights must be present at all levels of governance”

10 December 2015 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, on 10 December 2015, the President of the Congress, Jean-Claude Frécon, stated that “this day is not only a commemoration, but it is also a stark reminder for us all, because humanity is still far from the ideal it set for itself in 1948”. He...

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The President of the Congress welcomes the process of ratification by Bulgaria of the Additional Protocol on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority

10 December 2015 Bulgaria

Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress, and Marie Madeleine Mialot Muller, Chair of the Congress’ Governance Committee met members of the parliamentary committee on regional development in Sofia on 10 December. The President welcomed the recent process of ratification by Bulgaria of the...

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The political commitment at the core of a debate between students from Sofia University and the Vice-President of the Congress

10 December 2015 Sofia University, Bulgaria

On Thursday 10 December 2015, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, President of the Chamber of Regions, and Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, held a debate at Sofia University, the oldest university in Bulgaria, with a hundred students from the faculties of regional development, public...

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Democracy in action : local governance discussed between Armenian mayors

8-10 December 2015 Yerevan, Armenia

What are the key principles of leadership and local democracy, how to enhance trust in local authorities and how to engage citizens in ethical decision-making processes, are only few of the many questions discussed during the workshop “Mayors, leaders for change”, organised in Yerevan (Armenia)...

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Monitoring visit by the Congress to the Slovak Republic

7 - 9 december 2015 Slovak Republic

A delegation from the Congress is to make a monitoring visit to the Slovak Republic from 7 to 9 December. Congress rapporteurs Artur Torres Pereira, (Portugal, EPP/CCE) and Leen Verbeek (The Netherlands, SOC) will examine the follow-up action taken on the commitments made by this country in the...

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Jean-Claude Frécon tells the EU Committee of the Regions: “let’s step up our co-operation”

4 December 2015 Brussels

The President of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Jean-Claude Frécon, addressed the 115th plenary session of the EU’s Committee of the Regions in Brussels on Friday 4 December 2015. This was the first time a President of the Congress has addressed the plenary...

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Congress organises a workshop “Mayors – Leaders for change” in Tbilisi

24 – 26 November 2015 Tbilisi, Georgia

The Congress will organise, in close co-operation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG), a workshop “Mayors – Leaders for change” in Tbilisi on 24 – 26 November 2015. This workshop is aimed to provide a platform for exchange on local democracy. By involving members...

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Involving citizens in the decision-making process, a key feature for enhanced democracy in Georgia

24 - 26 November 2015 Tbilisi, Georgia

Eighteen Georgian mayors and “gamgebelis”, heads of provincial municipal districts, were sharing best practices and increasing their knowledge of standards of local self-governance within a workshop “Mayors - Leaders for change” organised by the Congress in Tbilisi from 24 - 26 November 2015....

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The Latvian example inspires Albanian Mayors and their associations

24 November 2015 Latvia

A delegation composed of local and regional elected representatives, experts and a member of the National Agency for Territorial Reform from Albania participated in a study visit to Latvia, organised jointly with the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, from 24 to 26 November...

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World Forum for Democracy 2015 – Freedom vs control: For a democratic response

19 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

The Congress will take an active part in the World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 18-20 November 2015), which, this year, will be centred around the theme ‘Freedom vs. control: For a democratic response’. The Congress will sponsor in particular three working session (Labs) on 19 November 2015....

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Leen Verbeek: “We need balanced responses and inclusive policies to face the challenge of extremism”

19 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

“We are facing a major crisis situation today. It is with balanced policies that go beyond repression and take into account both safety and human rights issues that we can face these challenges together” stated Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC), Vice-President of the Congress, addressing the...

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From radicalisation to resilience: the Congress takes part in an international conference organised by the City of Aarhus and the Jutland police

19-20 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

A Congress delegation took part on 19 and 20 November 2015 in an international conference organised by the City of Aarhus (Denmark) on “Building resilience to radicalisation and violent extremism”. “The role of local authorities, the guarantee of individual freedoms through a human rights-based...

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Mayors, councillors and local representatives from 22 European countries call for the creation of an alliance of European cities to prevent radicalisation

18 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

Attending the International Conference on the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism, in Aarhus, a hundred or so mayors, councillors and local representatives from 22 European countries adopted a joint declaration. They call for concerted action by local authorities, in close...

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Towns and cities must find the right partners to foster intercultural dialogue

18-20 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

''Towns and cities, regions and states” must work together to foster respect and tolerance. It is important to bridge the gaps and overcome the ignorance that divide cultures, and to promote the role of education in acquiring the skills that are necessary for democracy,'' said Dusica Davidovic,...

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Jean-Claude Frécon: “The millions of European local elected representatives form a great network which we must mobilise to prevent radicalisation”

18 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

“The attacks in Paris targeted young people, the generation who go to concert halls, in mixed neighbourhoods where cultures meet, intermingle and intermarry. We will continue to promote this ‘living together’, while respecting differences and respecting religions,” said Congress President...

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Congress Vice President at the opening of the World Forum for Democracy: “It is essential, to protect our citizens without jeopardising their freedom granted by democratic values”.

18 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

“The terrorist attacks we have witnessed this year in European cities are examples of the terrible devastation that a refusal to understand and accept others can cause”, said Clemens Lammerskitten (Germany, EPP/CCE), Member of the Niedersachsen Parliament and Vice-President of the Congress,...

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Leen Verbeek : « Prevention and de-radicalisation activities are the type of action that corresponds best to local authority competences”

18 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

“The terrorist attacks we witnessed this year in Europe are examples of the terrible devastation that a refusal to understand and accept others can cause. This leads to an increased risk of polarisation in our societies, as well as of stigmatisation of some communities and propagation of hate...

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Opening of the International Conference of Local Authorities on the Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violent Extremism

18 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

What role can local elected representatives and local authorities play in preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism? About one hundred local elected representatives, decision-makers and specialists from 22 European countries are meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, on 18 November to discuss...

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Guilherme Pinto 'We must show our commitment to promoting and defending human rights on a daily basis'

18 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

'What do they want? They want us to be afraid. They want to stop us from being democratic, free and inclusive. Shall we correspond to what they want and become racist, xenophobic and radicalised ourselves? ' asked Guilherme Pinto during the opening session of the Conference on the prevention of...

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Leen Verbeek : ''We invite European local authorities to create an alliance of European cities against violent extremism''

18 November 2015 Aarhus, Denmark

''We invite all conference participants and especially the host cities Aarhus and Rotterdam, all the members of the Congress and the European Forum and all European local authorities to continue our work against violent extremism by creating an alliance of European local authorities. It will be a...

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Grassroots democracy discussed between Ukrainian young local leaders and representatives of Strasbourg Eurometropole and Alsace region

16 - 21 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

The Congress is organising a study visit with the aim to empower young local leaders to foster grassroots democracy in Ukraine, in Strasbourg, from 16 to 21 November 2015. This study visit aims to provide participants with insight on inter-municipal and transfrontier cooperation and enable them...

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Co-operation, consultation and financial autonomy – three conditions for the proper development of local and regional democracy in Ukraine

16 - 21 November 2015 Strasbourg, France - Kehl, Germany

On the sidelines of the World Forum for Democracy, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe organised a study visit in Strasbourg (France) and Kehl (Germany) from 16 to 21 November 2015 on the theme “Supporting young local leaders to foster grassroots democracy in...

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Following the attacks in Paris Jean-Claude Frécon says we must : “Bring the spirit of resistance alive'

14 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

Reacting to the terrible events in Paris, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Frécon, said: ''Paris, a city that is the symbol of cultures and of freedom, has been hit by the terrorism of Isis: a nameless barbarism has struck the...

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Andreas Kiefer: “Local democracy, with its checks and balances, is part of the European model of society”

13 November 2015 London

“Local democracy is a vital part of the European model of society: The different levels of government and the complex interactions between them, the checks and balances that characterise their relations, the search for cohesion and an understanding of solidarity are the natural products of a...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström : “Effective cross-border cooperation is a key to European integration”

13 November 2015 Brussels

''Effective cross-border cooperation is a key to European integration, it goes to the heart of the European project,'' stated Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), President of the Congress Chamber of Regions, addressing the Conference on ''The role of Cross-Border Cooperation in Europe'', on...

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The Future of Cross-Border Cooperation in Europe

13 November 2015 Brussels

A Joint Conference of the European Commission, the European Committee of the Regions, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Association of European Border Regions will take place in Brussels on 13 November 2015. It will be opened by Raffaele Cattaneo, Chair of the COTER...

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Breda Pecan: “Effective transfrontier cooperation requires a sustained programme of capacity building, training and gathering of data”

13 November 2015 Brussels

“Regions are cooperating in an increasingly diverse range of fields, including infrastructure projects, investment in research and technology, exchanges and training programmes, intercultural dialogue and promotion of shared cultural heritage”, explained Breda Pecan (Slovenia, SOC),...

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Jean-Claude Frécon 'The Chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers are for us, in the Congress, the opportunity to develop our activities in close collaboration with national governments'

10 November 2015 Strasbourg, France

On 10 November, during the handover meeting between Bosnia and Herzegovina, the outgoing Chair of the Committee of Ministers, and Bulgaria the new Chair until May 2016, the President of the Congress Jean-Claude Frécon welcomed the commitment of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the six-months...

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Jean-Claude Frécon: “Local authorities can and must promote education about democratic citizenship and religious practices”

2 - 3 November 2015 Sarajevo

At the occasion of the annual Council of Europe Exchange on the Religious Dimension of Intercultural Dialogue held in Sarajevo, from 2 to 3 November 2015, as part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, Jean-Claude Frécon drew attention to the toolkit developed by...

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National conference for local governance in Tirana

30 October 2015 Tirana

Anders Knape, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities and Vice-President of the Congress introduced the National Conference for Local Governance organised by the Government of Albania and the Albanian Ministry of State on Local Issues, in co-operation with the Congress and other...

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Clemens Lammerskitten at the CALRE general Assembly: “Advocating the importance of regionalisation remains one of the main objectives of the Congress”

CALRE 23 October 2015 Milan

Speaking at the opening of the general Assembly of CALRE in Milan on 23 October 2015, the Vice-President of the Congress stressed that “regional autonomy, where it exists, is a strong means of empowering citizens in decisions which are of direct concern for them”. He explained that “in quite a...

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Debate on “Conditions of office of local and regional elected representatives“

29th Session 22 October 2015 Strasbourg

The members of the Congress examined a resolution and a recommendation on “Conditions of office of local and regional elected representatives” on 22 October 2015, during its 29th Session. The report emphasises that elected representatives should have the extent of their duties suitably recognised...

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Fighting the increasing poverty of women: the responsibility of local and regional authorities

29th Session 22 October 2015 Strasbourg

On 21 October 2015 the Congress debated a report on the increasing poverty of women which looks at the responsibility of local and regional authorities and analyses policies under way in the Council of Europe to combat this phenomenon. Presented by Jean-Louis Testud, (France, EPP/CCE), the report...

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Council of Europe Congress adopts declaration on reception of refugees in Europe

29th Session 22 October 2015 Strasbourg

The States of Europe must assume shared responsibility for accommodating refugees on their territory in line with the applicable right to asylum and human dignity. That was the message from the members of the Congress in a declaration adopted on 21 October 2015 in Strasbourg, France. 'This...

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Anne Brasseur: “The refugee and migrant crisis requires a global solution and global solidarity, as well as action at a local level”

29th Session 22 october 2015 Strasbourg

Addressing the Congress Members at the 29th Session, Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, highlighted the utmost importance of the Congress work in the refugee and migratory crisis. She recalled the Member states their responsibility in integrating the...

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Jean-Claude Frécon "The Europe Prize : for active municipalities in promoting the European ideal”

Exhibition on the Europe Prize 22 October 2015 Strasbourg

“The Europe Prize reflects progress towards a strong and cohesive Europe for all citizens”, said Jean-Claude Frécon, in his capacity as President of the Congress and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee on the Europe Prize, at the inauguration of the exhibition on the 60th anniversary of the Europe...

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Polish and Ukrainian Delegations to the Congress: Signature of a Joint Declaration Adoption on co-operation consistent with the values of the European Charter of Local Self-Government

29th Session 22 October 2015 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the 29th Session of the Congress, on 21 October 2015 in Strasbourg, France, Dariusz Wrobel, President of the Polish delegation, and Oleksii Reznikov, President of the Ukrainian delegation, have solemnly signed the Joint Declaration adopted at the meeting of the Monitoring...

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Congress adopts a Recommendation on local elections in Republic of Moldova

29th Session 21 October 2015 Strasbourg

The Congress debated on 21 October 2015, a Recommendation on the local elections held in Republic of Moldova on 14 June 2015 and observed by a Congress delegation. “These elections took place in a very difficult political and socio-economic environment”stated Line Skoii Vennesland Fraser (Norway,...

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Congress adopts report on trends in regionalisation in Europe

29th Session 21 October 2015 Strasbourg

On 21 October 2015, the Congress adopted a report on trends in regionalisation in Europe. Presented by Marie-Madeleine Mialot Muller (France, SOC), the report reviews the main trends in regionalisation in the Council of Europe member states between 2007 and 2015. “The strengthening of local and...

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Jean-Claude Frécon: “The Charter creates a single legal area for local self-government in Europe”

29th Session 21 October 2015 Strasbourg

Inaugurating a photo exhibition devoted to the 30th anniversary of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, Congress President Jean-Claude Frécon reiterated the fundamental role played by this instrument, which creates a single legal area for local self-government in Europe. “11 countries...

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Debate on the report of “New forms of local governance”

29th Session 21 October 2015 Strasbourg

The members of the Chamber of local authorities of the Congress debated a report and a resolution on “New forms of local governance “at their meeting during 29th Session, on 21 October 2015. The report covers 35 of the Council of Europe 47 Member States. The resolution highlights the new forms of...

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Local democracy in Luxembourg: a model for local self-government

29th Session 21 October 2015 Strasbourg

The Congress adopted a recommendation on the situation of local democracy in Luxembourg on 21 October 2015, following a monitoring visit to the country by co-rapporteurs Dorin Chirtoacã (Moldova, EPP/CCE) and Marianne Hollinger (Switzerland, ILDG) from 3 to 5 March 2015. The debate took place in...

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Meeting of the Congress Current Affairs Committee

29th Session 21 October 2015 Strasbourg

The Current Affairs Committee met on Tuesday 20 October 2015, in Strasbourg, during the 29th Session of the Congress. Sabine van Dooren (Belgium, ILDG), deputy mayor of Kapellen, was elected as the committee’s 5th Vice-Chair. The agenda items included a debate on begging in urban areas and...

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