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Thorbjørn Jagland: “Congress' thematics are in line with the Council of Europe's priorities”

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities Session Strasbourg 20 October 2016
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Thorbjørn Jagland

Thorbjørn Jagland

“It is very important for the Council of Europe to work with the Congress which represents the grassroots level closest to the people of our member countries”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in his address to the 31st Session of the Congress on 19 October 2016. He congratulated Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria) on her election to the Presidency of the Congress and thanked the outgoing President, Jean-Claude Frécon (France), for the excellent cooperation during his term of office. The Secretary General emphasised the relevance of the Congress session agenda which was very much in line with the Council of Europe's priorities. “Corruption is a huge issue at both local and national level which threatens the integrity of our democracies”, he said, before adding that ethics and transparency at local level, the participation of women and governance of metropolitan areas are all issues of great importance for the Council of Europe as the guardian of democracy and human rights. Thorbjørn Jagland went on to praise the great contribution of the Congress to the decentralisation process in Ukraine and to the Council of Europe's projects in this context.