Speaking at the opening of the 37th Session in Strasbourg on 29 October 2019, Congress President Anders Knape recalled the role of the Council of Europe in guaranteeing in its 47 member States democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He stressed that the Congress, which plays a key role in defending local democracy, is an important part of this mechanism.
"We welcome the recognition of the Council of Europe's place in the European architecture, as well as that of the Congress as watchdog of local democracy, recently expressed by the President of the French Republic during the ceremonies of the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, "said Anders Knape.
"However, beyond speeches, we are under increasing pressure from the member States who expect the Congress to monitor local democracy, observe local and regional elections, but also to be a leading actor who is closer to the citizens in the face of many current challenges,” said the president of the Congress. "Therefore, we must pursue dialogue with the member States in order to return to a share of 3% of the Organisation's budget which would allow the Congress to continue the activities for which it is responsible within the Council of Europe. Europe," concluded Anders Knape.