"Faced with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries, cities and regions, authorities at all levels of government are doing their best to respond to the enormous challenges posed by the coronavirus," said the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić during an exchange of views with the Bureau of the Congress on 9 June 2020, by videoconference.
"While the virus is causing tragic loss of life, we must support preventing it from destroying our way of life and our values," she continued, presenting the guidelines developed to help our member states strike the right balance. in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. "Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are meaningless if they are not embodied in the lives of individuals everywhere in Europe. The role of local and regional authorities is therefore essential to give concrete expression to aspirations on the ground,” she added, welcoming the work carried out by local and regional authorities in the member states.
The exchange also focused on the commitment of cities and regions in the fight against climate change and for an environment respectful of human rights. "The links between environment and human rights are clear as evidenced by several decisions of the European Court of Human Rights", said Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić, recalling that this is a priority for the Organisation. "The Congress, from its experience at local and regional level, must play a key role in this process", she concluded.