7 November 2023 - 11.15-13.00  / Room 8 Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation FR/EN

In co-operation with the Council of Europe’s European Committee on Democracy and Governance, the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance and the French Grand Est Region

Since the end of WWII, cooperation across borders has helped build peace, promote stability, and has contributed to unprecedented economic and social progress in Europe.

The benefits of cross-border co-operation (CBC) are not confined to border areas but are essential to the fundamental and interdependent principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights. Interterritorial and cross-border co-operation addresses myriad issues such as infrastructure development, labour and social rights, transport, resource management, health, and economic and social development.  New challenges related to the green and digital transitions, environmental degradation, resilience, and crisis management are increasingly being addressed by stakeholders working together on place-based or thematically connected solutions.  How can the potential of new forms of international co-operation at local, regional or even virtual level be maximised?  How can well-known successful examples, for example the networking and co-operation across the Franco-German border which contributed to remarkably sustained economic, cultural, social and even political co-development, be learned from or replicated throughout the world in relation to today’s conflicts? What lessons can be learned, 25 years on from the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, about the impact of the contributions of a diversity of actors, stakeholders, and communities, at all levels, in the efforts to erode distrust and build peace in Ireland? Despite wider national and international trends towards democratic backsliding, the Pact of Free Cities is using global networking and co-operation among Cities to protect and promote freedom, democracy and equality, is this a new model for crossborder co-operation?

Forum Talk 4: Building Peace and Democracy across Borders

Full screen: ENFR / ORIGINAL

Palais de l'Europe, room 8 7 November 2023 (11.15-13.00)
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Interview with Rory MONTGOMERY, Mitchell Institute, Queen’s University Belfast; RIA, Trinity College Dublin

GERLACH Annette 2023


Journalist and TV-Host, ARTE

Annette Gerlach from Berlin is a bilingual journalist and TV host for ARTE, the European cultural channel she joined when it was founded in 1992. She presents the daily news programme as well as prestigious live music events from La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, the Paris Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Salzburg Festival, and the Savonlinna Festival in Finland. She is also in charge of developing Educ'ARTE and ARTE Campus in Germany, ARTE's educational tools for schools and universities. Annette Gerlach is a regular speaker at conferences, round tables, symposia or award ceremonies for the Council of Europe or the European Parliament, among other institutions and associations. She also does coaching for television and stage presentations.


Bartlomiej CIĄŻYŃSKI

Deputy Mayor of Wrocław


Bartłomiej CIĄŻYŃSKI is a lawyer and local government official, who has been Deputy Mayor of Wrocław, Poland, responsible of Social Affairs, since 2023. Since 2022, he has been the Vice President of the European Coallition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR). In 2021, he became a Co-Chairman of the Wrocław Equal Treatment Council, Secretary of the Human Rights and Equal Treatment Commission of the Association of Polish Cities. He was Civic Advisor to the Mayor on Tolerance and Counteracting Xenophobia and Vice-Chairman of the City Council as well.



Member of the Board of the Association of Amalgamated Communities of Ukraine, Kopychyntsi Mayor


Bogdan Kelichavyi is currently a Mayor of Kopychyntsi Community in Ukraine (Ternopil region). For over two years he serves as a Board Member of the Association of Amalgamated Communities of Ukraine and leads its International Relations platform. Previously, as a Local Economic Development Officer for Global Communities Office in Kyiv, he contributed to the growth of 75 communities through the USAID-funded program. Additionally, during his time as a Program Officer in Dnipro region, Bogdan made a significant contribution to supporting decentralisation and municipal governance in 4 local communities. Bogdan's career exemplifies his commitment to fostering economic development and driving positive change at local level in Ukraine.



Mitchell Institute, Queen’s University Belfast; RIA, Trinity College Dublin


Rory Montgomery was educated at Trinity College Dublin and was an Irish diplomat from 1983-2019.  In the 1990s he worked on the Irish peace process and was part of the Irish team which negotiated the Good Friday Agreement (1998). He later served as Political Director, Permanent Representative to the European Union, Ambassador to France, EU adviser to the Taoiseach, and Second Secretary General for EU and European Affairs.  He is currently Chair of the Press Council of Ireland and an honorary professor at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and an officier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.



Chair of the European Committee on democracy and Governance (CDDG)

United Kingdom

Paul Rowsell has extensive experience of leading work on reforming democratic governance, particularly at the local and regional levels, and on devolution and decentralisation. He is responsible for legislation currently before the United Kingdom Parliament to support further decentralisation of power, including through new locally accountable institutions, and is overseeing governance reforms and devolution deals in a number of English counties and City Regions. He is currently Chair of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance, whose activities this year have focused on drafting Committee of Ministers Recommendations to Member States on the principles of good democratic governance and on the uses of deliberative democracy. In 2017 Her Majesty the Queen awarded Paul the honour of Commander of the British Empire for services to Local Government.



Vice-Chair, Grand Est Region


Brigitte Torloting is Vice-President of the Grand Est Region, in charge of the "cross-border, Europe and international relations" delegation. In this capacity, she is President of the Rhine Council for 2023. She is also mayor of Louvigny and president of the "communauté des communes du sud messin". 


Renis META

Youth delegate


Renis graduated with the highest honors from University of Tirana, where he actually works as an Associate Lecturer. His work experience is diverse and related to working from highly important Albanian institutions to regularly contributing in civil society and engaging as an expert and policy-analyst with several CSOs, in Albania and the Western Balkans. Renis has a long tracking record of his civic and political engagement in Albania and region. He has been part of youth-led actions in research and advocacy groups to influence public policies and discourse in Albania and the Western Balkans. He is particularly interested in Politics, transitional issues related to Migration, Human Trafficking and Human rights, EU & Enlargement Policies, Gender & Social policies.