The Reykjavik Summit comes at the right time to reaffirm member states' commitment to the values defended by the Council of Europe.

The Congress calls for a stronger Organisation with two strong political assemblies, the parliamentary Assembly and the Congress, each in its capacities and competences. It proposes that member states make wider use of the network of local and regional authorities it represents, by strengthening its statutory tasks based on the European Charter of Local Self-Government and by supporting its activities to raise awareness of and respect for human rights at local level. Through its grassroots action, the Congress is a considerable asset in the fight against democratic backsliding.

I hope that the 4th Summit will pave the way for a renewed and strengthened multilateralism, a multilateralism that is inclusive and sensitive to the voice of local governments, which demonstrate every day their indispensable role in managing current challenges.