The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is a pan-European political assembly which includes 612 members representing over 200,000 authorities in 46 European states.

Its role is to promote local and regional democracy, improve local and regional governance and strengthen authorities' self-government. It pays particular attention to application of the principles laid down in the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It encourages the devolution and regionalisation processes, as well as transfrontier co-operation between cities and regions.

A crucial monitoring role

The Congress conducts regular monitoring visits to all member states to appraise their implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. After these visits the Congress sets out conclusions in its monitoring reports and adopts recommendations which the governments are required to follow, as well as resolutions with a view to improving the governance of local and regional authorities.

This monitoring activity provides a sound basis for constructive political dialogue with member states' governments. Through its activities, the Congress encourages them to take account of the local and regional dimension and to involve local and regional authorities fully in their political decisions. It also ensures that the subsidiarity principle is respected, a principle which ensures that some responsibilities and financial resources are transferred from central to local and regional authorities. Much legislative reform has been carried out by member states on the basis of the findings set out in Congress monitoring reports.

Election Observation

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities has been taking part in the observer missions for local elections in the 47 Council of Europe member countries and beyond since 1990.

The Congress has conducted almost 100 election observation missions to date. Observing local elections is one of the Congress's action priorities. This activity complements the political monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which constitutes the cornerstone of local democracy in Europe.

The results of the work of the Congress: conventions and charters

Since it was set up, the Congress has drawn up a number of international treaties, including the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which has become the international benchmark in this field, laying down common European standards to protect local authorities' rights.

Partner networks and associations

The Congress plays an active part in projects to strengthen local democracy and transfrontier co-operation in Europe and encourages the setting up of national associations of local and regional authorities, Local Democracy Agencies and the new kind of Euroregion.

Congress Key Dates

1957 : First Conference of Local Authorities

1985 : European Charter of Local Self-Government

1994 : The Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe becomes the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE)

2007 : Adoption of the Congress new Charter

2011: The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopts the new Congress Charter

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and Georgia

Georgia is represented in the Congress by a delegation of 5 representatives and 5 substitutes.

Monitoring reports

Observation of elections