A co-operation programme

In May 2011, the Council of Europe adopted a policy towards neighbouring regions, in particular the Southern Mediterranean, which aims to facilitate a democratic political transition, promote good governance and strengthen and broaden regional action in the fight against cross-border threats. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is responsible for the implementation of the local and regional democracy element, the purpose of which is to support the ongoing territorial reforms. On 10 February 2017, the Congress Bureau adopted a co-operation programme entitled “South-Med Partnership”, to meet the objectives of the neighbourhood policy. Although the activities only concern Morocco and Tunisia, the Partnership aims to extend to other neighbouring countries.


Within the framework of the South-Med Partnership, through which local and regional authorities of Southern Mediterranean States benefit from the Congress' expertise, activities are carried out in the following areas:

  • Reinforcement of the political dialogue between European elected representatives and their counterparts in the South, and of the decentralised co-operation between local and regional authorities on both sides of the Mediterranean;
  • Legislative assistance and expertise in the drafting and implementation of legislation in the fields of decentralisation and local and regional governance;
  • Support for the electoral process and, where required, observation of local and regional elections;
  • Capacity building (especially leadership) of local and regional elected representatives (where applicable, candidates) and their administrations through the development of specific awareness and training programmes, paying particular attention to the role of women and young local leaders;
  • Assistance in the creation or strengthening of associations of local and regional authorities;
  • Support for the development of participatory democracy, paying particular attention to the role of young people, women and civil society.