Congress Session: rights-based governance at local and regional level

Strasbourg 27-28 March
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The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities will hold its biannual session. Reports on local democracy in the smallest Council of Europe member States (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino) will be examined, with the participation of Antoni Martí Petit, Head of Government of the Principality of Andorra; Guerrino Zanotti, Minister of Internal Affairs of San Marino; Patrice Cellario, Minister of the Interior of the Principality of Monaco; and Silvio Parnis, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities of Malta.

The situation of local democracy in Latvia, local elections in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (15 October 2017) and in Georgia (21 October 2017), as well as the results of the fact-finding mission on the situation of local elected representatives in the Republic of Moldova are also on the agenda. A special debate under the theme “Mayors under pressure” will feature Elena Gritco, member of Balti municipal Council, Republic of Moldova; Patrick Klugman, Deputy Mayor of Paris; and Leyla Imret, Former Mayor of Cizre, Turkey. The promotion of human rights at local and regional level as well as the situation of unaccompanied refugee children and the role of local authorities in this regard will also be discussed.

Guest speakers will include Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille, Minister of the Economy and the Interior of Denmark, on behalf of the Danish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, PACE President Michele Nicoletti, Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks and President of the EU Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz Lambertz.

More information - Agenda -  Contact: Tatiana Baeva, tel. +33 3 88 41 21 41

Project on recognition of refugees’ qualifications widens scope and brings new countries on board

Athens 28 March
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A new phase (2018-2020) of the Project “European Qualifications Passport for Refugees” (EQPR) will be launched at the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of Greece. The project promotes a reliable methodology to assess refugees’ qualifications in the absence of full documentation and provides public authorities and institutions with reliable information for integration and progression towards employment and admission to further studies.

New partners are involved from Armenia, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands - along with the original ones from Greece, Italy, Norway and the UK. The creation of an Alumni Network will better prepare future refugee candidates for the assessments and help them integrate well and as quickly as possible within the host society.

Contact: Giuseppe Zaffuto, Tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04

Other events

26 March, Podgorica

A round table on achievements, challenges and perspectives of judicial reforms in Montenegro in 2014-2018 will be jointly organised by the Council of Europe Programme Office in Podgorica and the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro. Zoran Pažin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice; Ivica Stanković, Supreme State Prosecutor; Mladen Vukčević, President of the Judicial Council; Stanka Vučinić, Deputy President of the Supreme Court; Ambassador Aivo Orav, Head of the EU Delegation in Montenegro; and Angela Longo, Head of the Council of Europe Programme Office will be among the key speakers at the event.

More information - EU-CoE Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey

Contact in Strasbourg: Tatiana Baeva, tel. +33 3 88 41 21 41

Contact in Podgorica: Vesna Kekovic, tel. +382 20 673 868


26-28 March, Budapest

The Joint Council on Youth (CMJ), a decision-making committee composed of both governmental and non-governmental representatives, will debate the shrinking space for civil society and youth organisations. It will prepare the ground for a new strategic plan for the youth sector for the decade 2020 to 2030.

More information on Advisory Council on Youth and European Steering Committee for Youth

Contact: Tatiana Baeva, tel. +33 3 88 41 21 41


26-29 March, Stockholm

The Council of Europe’s monitoring group to prevent violence against women (GREVIO) will visit the Swedish capital and areas near it to prepare its report on Sweden, which is a party to the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention to prevent such violence. GREVIO will visit with government agencies, NGOs, care centres for victims of rape and domestic violence and refugee centres, as female refugees have been particularly at risk. The members would be available for interviews to talk about the Istanbul Convention and how GREVIO works.

Contact: Panos Kakaviatos, tel. +33 3 90 21 50 27


27 March, Strasbourg

The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body (GRECO) will publish a report on the prevention corruption and promoting integrity in central government (including top executive functions) and of law enforcement agencies in Finland under its new evaluation round.

Contact: Päivi Suhonen, tel. +33 3 90 21 53 70


27 March, Strasbourg (10.30 a.m., Agora, Room G01)

The Council of Europe and the Office des Sports de Strasbourg will organise a press conference to present the 2018 edition of the Strasbourg race (11-13 May).

Contact : Estelle Steiner, tél. +33 3 88 33 35


27 March, Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights will notify in writing seven judgments concerning Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

More information - ECHR website, tel. +33 3 90 21 42 08


27-30 March, Chisinau

The second regional cybercrime co-operation exercise, organised in the framework of the joint EU/CoE projects Cybercrime@EAP 2018 and GLACY+, will focus on communication protocols and practices in case of cyber incidents and cybercrime investigations. The aim is to  show the need for public-private partnerships in order to get access to data held by private companies, and to encourage the use of common approaches and methods for processing electronic evidence in both cybersecurity incident handling and criminal/financial investigations on the basis of internationally accepted standards, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

The event will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel Chisinau (Mitropolit Varlaam St 77). The opening session (9.30 a.m. – 10 a.m.) is open to the press.

Contact: Estelle Steiner, tel. +33 3 88 41 33 35


28 March, Strasbourg

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will hold meetings with Antoni Martí Petit, Prime Minister of Andorra; Patrice Cellario, Advisor to the Government, Minister of Interior of the Principality of Monaco; and Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille, Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior of Denmark.

Contact: Daniel Höltgen, tel. +33 6 68 29 87 51


28 March, Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights will hold a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Güzelyurtlu and Others v. Cyprus and Turkey (9.15 a.m.)

This case concerns the alleged lack of cooperation between Cyprus and Turkey in a murder case.

More information - ECHR website, tel. +33 3 90 21 42 08


28-30 March, Turkey

Marianne Mikko and Nigel Evans, PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Turkey, will visit the country to further assess the honouring of its obligations and commitments to the Council of Europe. Meetings are planned with representatives of the authorities, members of political groups represented in the Parliament, and representatives of the judicial authorities, the media, NGOs and the international community.


29 March, Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights will notify in writing 65 judgments and/or decisions concerning Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

More information - ECHR website, tel. +33 3 90 21 42 08

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Council of Europe Media Relations Division:

+33 3 88 41 25 60