News 2016 News 2016

Council of Europe Congress rapporteurs complete fact-finding mission to Turkey

monitoring 18 to 20 December 2016 Turkey

From 18 to 20 December 2016, the rapporteurs on Turkey of the Congress Anders KNAPE (Sweden, EPP/CCE) and Leen VERBEEK (Netherlands, SOC) carried out the second part of their fact-finding mission to Turkey, to investigate the recent detentions of elected mayors and their replacement by government...

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Jean-Louis Testud: “We have lost a great man who was a credit to local and regional elected representatives”

16 December 2016 Strasbourg

« As soon as we had learned the sad news of the death of our colleague, Jean-Claude Frécon, we began receiving many tributes from elected representatives of all French and foreign political movements. All underlined Jean-Claude’s commitment to democracy,' stated Jean-Louis Testud, Chair of the...

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Andreas Kiefer: 'Jean-Claude Frécon drew all his energy for his work at national and European level from his involvement at local level'

13 December 2016 Strasbourg

Speaking on behalf of Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, at the funeral of Jean-Claude Frécon which took place on 13 December in the Church of Pouilly-Les-Feurs, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, said 'I last saw Jean-Claude Frécon in Strasbourg on 2 December. He was...

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Jean-Claude Frécon, former Congress President, passed away on Saturday 10 December 2016

10 December 2016 Strasbourg

Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities until October 2016, member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and French Senator, passed away on Saturday 10 December 2016 following a heart attack. He was 72 years old. Congress President Gudrun...

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Piero Fassino : « Jean-Claude Frécon, une vie consacrée aux valeurs de la justice et de la solidarité »

10 December 2016 Strasbourg

« La disparition inattendue de Jean-Claude Frécon nous remplit de tristesse et de douleur. Toute sa vie, entièrement tournée vers la chose publique dans l’intérêt des citoyens, témoigne de ses capacités de générosité et de passion, nourrie avant tout des valeurs de la justice, de la solidarité et...

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Recurring monitoring issues of the Congress and checklist to prevent misuse of state resources in elections discussed at December meetings of the Venice Commission

monitoring 9 December 2016 Strasbourg

'The Monitoring Committee is dealing with issues that are probably the most normative at the Congress - including constitutional questions relating to local and regional democracy. This is why deeper co-operation with the Venice Commission is so important', underlined Leen Verbeek, Netherlands...

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Local councillors in Ukraine advocate changes in favor of modern democratic behaviour at local level

Cooperation 9 December 2016 Kyiv

25 Ukrainian local councillors, mostly in their first electoral mandate, met in Kyiv to discuss the implementation of the principles of the European Charter on Local Self-Government in Ukraine, to improve their understanding of the local democracy tools and mechanisms. They strongly expressed...

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Liisa Ansala: “The project on citizen participation in Armenia broke the ground for future work on participatory democracy”

cooperation 5 December 2016 Yerevan

“The project on consolidating local democracy in Armenia and strengthening local councillors’ leadership, implemented under the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia, has made a critical impact in this country’s local communities,” stressed Congress Vice-President Liisa Ansala at the...

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Seoul Human Rights Conference:

Secretary General 5 December 2016 Strasbourg

Speaking at the opening of the 1st Seoul Human Rights Conference on 5 December 2016, Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer said that “while it is state organs that ratify international human rights treaties, it is local authorities to a large extent which translate international obligations...

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“Greek municipalities are on the frontline of the fight for local democracy,” says Congress President

KEDE 3 December 2017 Thessaloniki

Speaking at the annual conference of the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) in Thessaloniki on 3 December, Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström welcomed closer co-operation between KEDE and the Congress and stressed the importance of strengthening consultations between local...

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Réunion du Bureau du Congrès à Strasbourg

2 décembre 2016

Le Bureau du Congrès s’est réuni à Strasbourg, France, les 1er et 2 décembre pour sa dernière réunion de l’année 2016. Il a approuvé le projet d’ordre du jour de la 32ème Session du Congrès (28-30 mars 2017), les mandats des commissions, ainsi que la contribution du Congrès à la présidence...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: 'The Congress is a natural partner of CALRE in promoting territorial democracy and tackling the migration crisis'

CALRE 25 November 2016 Varese

Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström addressed the 2016 Plenary Session of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), in Varese, on 25 November 2016. She underlined the importance of the cooperation between CALRE and the Congress in the context of the European...

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Johan van den Hout: “Local Authorities have a key responsibility in safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare”

Children's rights 1st December 2016 Florence

“Local and regional governments are the first witnesses of crimes of sexual violence against children committed inside their own communities” stated Johan van den Hout, Congress Spokesperson on Children, at the 27th meeting of the Network of Contact Parliamentarians to stop sexual violence...

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Meeting of the Congress Bureau in Strasbourg

Bureau 1 and 2 December 2016 Strasbourg

The Congress Bureau met in Strasbourg on 1 and 2 December for its last meeting in 2016. It approved the draft agenda of the 32st Session of the Congress (28-30 March 2017), the terms of reference of committees and the Congress’ contribution to the Cypriot chairmanship of the Committee of...

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Congress Greeting cards 2017

Greetings cards 1st December 2016 Strasbourg

The Congress Season's Greetings 2017 e-card is available online. You can add a personal message and send it to your contacts by e-mail. Download the greeting card 2017

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Post-monitoring dialogue, cooperation programmes, fight against radicalisation and promotion of intercultural dialogue among the main Congress activities in 2016

Congress Activity report 30 November 2016 Strasbourg

Twice a year the Secretary General of the Congress presents the most significant activities and achievements of the Congress to the Committee of Ministers. On 30 November 2016, Andreas Kiefer underlined in particular the signature of two more roadmaps as a follow-up to Congress monitoring reports...

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Eunice Campbell-Clark: “We must bring down barriers to youth participation”

European Youth Festival 2016 30 November 2016 Graz (Austria)

“The Congress promotes youth participation and empowerment” stated Eunice Campbell-Clark, Vice-President of the Congress, in a video message delivered on the occasion of the European Youth Festival 2016 on the theme “Digital creativity improving society”, in Graz (Austria) on 30 November 2016....

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Giuseppe Boschini: “All levels of governance must work together to respond to the refugee crisis”

2016 Lisbon Forum 24-25 November 2016 Lisbon

“Local and regional authorities have to respond to the needs of refugees often with only limited support from their national governments or at European level,” said Giuseppe Boschini (Italy, SOC), member of the Congress at the 2016 Lisbon Forum (24 to 25 November) focusing on Migration and human...

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An adequate legal framework at national level and specific actions at local and regional levels are necessary to stop violence against women

PRESIDENCY 25 November 2016 Salzburg

''This year, from January to September, in my city of Salzburg alone, more than 30 women reported to the police that they had been raped. As politicians and policy-makers, we have to advocate for change and speak out for those women less able to defend themselves,'' stated Gudrun...

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Congress President addresses the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia: “decentralisation is a collaborative process”

presidency 24 November 2016 Serbia

Speaking at the 44th General assembly of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia on 24 November, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, President of the Congress underlined the importance of the reforms on decentralisation undertaken by Serbia. ”The Congress is strongly supporting this...

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CALRE 2016 Plenary assembly: “Regional parliaments are key actors for regional democracy,” says Congress Secretary General

Calre 24 November 2016 Varese

Addressing the 2016 Plenary Assembly of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), in Varese, Italy, on 24 November 2016, Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer highlighted the key role of regional parliaments and the political cooperation between CALRE and the...

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Albanian mayors committed to making a change

Cooperation 23 November 2016 Durres (Albania)

In the framework of the workshop “Mayors, Leaders for Change”, organised by the Congress from 22 to 23 November 2016 in Durres (Albania), Albanian mayors shared their experience with international peers. They realised that when leading change, similar challenges arise as in other European...

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Congress President met the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues

presidency 22 November 2016 strasbourg

The President of the Congress Gudrun Mosler-Törnström met with the new Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues, Mr. Valeriu Nicolae - who took office in September 2016 - to discuss working priorities and identify activities for mutual cooperation, on 22 November in...

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Monitoring visit by the Congress to Malta

Monitoring 22 to 24 November 2016 Malta

A delegation from the Congress will carry out a monitoring visit to Malta from 22 to 24 November 2016. The delegation will examine the situation on local democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 1993. Co-rapporteurs on...

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Young leaders in Ukraine promote local democracy

Cooperations 22 to 24 November Lviv

19 young local leaders, representatives of non-governmental organisations, media and local authorities, shared their perceptions of local democracy and leadership within the reform processes in Ukraine during a three-day seminar, from 22 to 24 November in Lviv (Ukraine). They developed ideas to...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström : “ The Congress will contribute to the implementation of the priorities of the Cypriot chairmanship”

presidency 21 November 2016 Strasbourg

“ The Congress will contribute to the implementation of the priorities of the Cypriot chairmanship presented today by participating in all events with a local and regional dimension,” stated Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, at the meeting of the Ministers' Deputies on the occasion of the transfer of the...

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Congress delegation concludes electoral information mission to Gagauzia

Elections 20 November 2016 Republic of Moldova

A 6 member-delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, led by Sevdia Ugrekhelidz (Georgia, EPP/CCE), visited the Republic of Moldova from 19 to 20 November, and held meetings with interlocutors in Comrat and Chisinau, prior to the elections for the...

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The prospects for European Local Democracy Week

ELDW 18 November 2016 Budapest, Hungary

On 18 November 2016, György Illes, Head of the Hungarian delegation to the Congress, opened a workshop to assess the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW), in Budapest, Hungary. Representatives from Amadora (Portugal), Bydgoszcz and Katowice (Poland), Chania and Domokos (Greece), Mioveni...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “Our Pact of towns and regions to stop sexual violence against children must become an everyday tool in local authorities’ fight against this scourge”

European Day 18 November 2016 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the European Day on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, on 18 November, Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, and five Congress members made statements. The objectives of the European Day are to raise public awareness, facilitate open...

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Citizens as partners in local policy-making in the Eastern Partnership region

Eastern Partnership 16 – 17 November 2016 Chisinau

“We work with our citizens so that they don’t just live in their municipality but with their municipality – what we do, we do together” shared Vladimir Prebilič, Kočevje, member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, (Slovenia, PAP-NPA) with fellow mayors in the regional seminar...

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Congress Electoral Information Mission to Gagauzia

elections 17 to 21 November Gagauzia

A delegation of the Congress carries out an Electoral Information Mission to the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia from 17 to 21 November, in the context of the Elections of the Popular Assembly to be held on 20 November. The Congress delegation will be headed by Sevdia Ugrekhelidze...

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Seminar in Chisinau: “Citizen participation: an essential tool in local democracy”

16 – 17 November 2016 Chisinau (Moldova)

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is organising a regional seminar on “Citizen participation: an essential tool in local democracy” from 16 – 17 November 2016 in Chisinau (Moldova). This seminar will aim to reinforce the accountability of local authorities, and to provide a platform...

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Michalis Angelopoulos : ''Inter-municipality is the best option to adapt to today’s new challenges''

Inter-municipality 15 November 2016 Valencia

“Inter-municipality has become more and more present in recent years and may well prove to be the best solution to respond to today’s new challenges. This is partly a response to growing financial pressure on municipalities that have to make more effective use of their limited means to meet...

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20th anniversary of Local-Self Government in Armenia

Perisedency 14 November 2016 Yerevan

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Local Self-Government in Armenia, a celebration event took place in Yerevan, on 14 November 2016. Addressing the participants, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan stated that “The maturing and improvement of the local self-governance system was greatly...

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Call for proposals for initiatives on transparency, accountability and integrity in local government

cooperation 10 November 2016 Strasbourg

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities promotes local democracy and a culture of ethical and inclusive decision-making, as part of the thematic programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance” in the Eastern Partnership countries. In this context, the Congress is...

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Rotterdam: Summit of Mayors for the “Alliance of European cities against violent extremism”

European Forum 9 November 2016 Rotterdam

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the City of Rotterdam and the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) are organising a Summit of Mayors for the “Alliance of European cities against violent extremism” on 9 November 2016 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Summit will bring together...

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Rotterdam Summit: mayors and local and regional elected officials from 28 countries stand up to violent extremism

Summit of Mayors 9 November 2016 Rotterdam, Netherlands

131 participants from 28 countries, including 55 mayors and deputy mayors of European cities, gathered in Rotterdam for a Summit of Mayors for the “Alliance of European cities against violent extremism” on 9 November 2016. A joint initiative by the Congress, the City of Rotterdam and the European...

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Preventing violent extremism: mayor of Rotterdam calls on local councillors to engage in grassroots dialogue with fellow citizens

Alliance of European Cities 9 November 2016 Rotterdam

The mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb spoke at the opening of the Summit of Mayors for the Alliance of European Cities which brought together nearly 130 participants in Rotterdam on 9 November 2016. Stressing the importance of grassroots dialogue between local and regional elected...

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Andreas Kiefer met with Mayor of Hamamatsu

Secretary General 9 November 2016 strasbourg

In the context of the World Forum for Democracy, Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress met with Yasutomo Suzuki, Mayor of Hamamatsu (Japan), to share views on the major and common problem of integration and to discuss the importance of citizen participation at local level. Japan faces...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “Coordination between various government levels is an important dimension in protecting citizens against violent extremism”

presidency 9 November 2016 Rotterdam

“There are multiple reasons that can contribute to individuals becoming radicalised: Lack of integration into society, political disengagement or exposure to extremist individuals, groups or organisations,” underlined Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, President of the Congress, at the opening of the...

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World Forum for Democracy: parliaments urged to throw their doors open to young people

World Forum for Democracy 8 November 2016 strasbourg

Sponsored by the Congress, Lab 4 of the World Forum for Democracy, held in Strasbourg on 8 November, launched a discussion on “Unlocking parliament”. Speaking at this Lab, Gudrun Molser-Törnström, Congress President, stressed the importance of educating young people about politics on a more...

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The Congress at the World Forum for Democracy: “Reloading Elections”

World Forum for Democracy 8 November 2016 strasbourg

At a time when the abstention rate in elections is steadily rising across Europe, what can be done to get voters voting again? That is one of the issues raised by the Congress-sponsored Lab7 “Reloading Elections”, held in Strasbourg on 8 November as part of the World Forum for Democracy. Various...

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Congress President meets with young Ukrainian local leaders

World Forum for Democracy 7 November 2016 Strasbourg

Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström met, on 7 November 2016 in Strasbourg, with a delegation of twenty young Ukrainian local leaders involved in a study visit organised in the context of the World Forum for Democracy. “We believe that a good local governance system is key to restoring...

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World Forum for Democracy 2016 – Democracy and equality - does education matter?

World Forum for Democracy 7 and 9 November 2016 Strasbourg

The Congress will take an active part in the World Forum for Democracy 2016 to be held in Strasbourg on 7 and 9 November, which will be centred on the theme “Democracy and equality - does education matter?”. The President of the Congress, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), will be present at...

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Congress President meets with Prime Minister of Norway

World Forum on Democracy 7 November 2016 Strasbourg

Congress President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström met with Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway during the World Forum on Democracy, on 7 November in Strasbourg. They discussed the importance of working within networks to promote democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. Ms Mosler-Törnström...

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Gudrun Mosler-Törnström: “Education for democratic citizenship must underpin our effort for building inclusive and intercultural communities”

presidency 7 November 2016 Strasbourg

“Living in a democracy requires learning about the foundations of democratic society” stated Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC), President of the Congress, during the Plenary Session 1 ”Learning by doing – From preaching to practicing democracy” at the occasion of the World Forum for...

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Ukrainian young local leaders inspired by German Mayors to build enhanced local governance

Cooperation 7 to 10 November 2016 Ukraine

A study visit Strasbourg (France) and to Kappelrodeck (Germany) was organised by the Congress for twenty young local leaders from Ukraine, from 7 to 10 November 2016, as a follow-up to a series of regional seminars on local and regional democracy. These activities are implemented within the...

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Artik, Urtsadzor, Vardenik and Akhtala: peer-to-peer exchanges to strengthen citizen participation at local level in Armenia

cooperation 27-28 October 2016 Armenia

On 27-28 October 2016, community leaders from Artik, Urtsadzor, Vardenik and Akhtala – mayors, council members, municipal staff, young local leaders, NGOs and active citizens – participated in the peer review “Engaging citizens in local policy making”, organised by the Congress of Local and...

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Mayors determined to improve local governance

governance 26 October 2016 Yerevan

“We, the mayors, have a primary role in leading change in our communities and in implementing innovative and ethical actions at the local level, where citizens have a real say”, stated Saša Paunović (L-SOC), Deputy Head of the Serbian Delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities...

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Call for Tenders: Provision of facilitating, coaching and training services on local democracy in Ukraine

Call for tenders 26 October 2016 Strasbourg

The Congress is currently implementing the project “Promoting Local Democracy in Ukraine” as part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2015-2017. Within this context, the Congress has developed peer-to-peer exchanges with the participation of Congress members, both from Ukraine and...

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