28 to 30 March 2017 - Strasbourg, France

In her communication at the opening of the 32nd Session of the Congress of local and regional authorities, President Gudrun Mosler-Törnström recalled that “local and regional authorities are responsible for carrying out a considerable share of public action in their States”. She expressed concern upon the situation in member States and in particular the situation of local and regional democracy and underlined that “the Europe of democracy and the Europe of values are in danger”. “When I see elected mayors arrested and replaced by civil servants, when I see powers transferred to central governments, when the wind of recentralisation blows, I feel that the great ambition that is ours is undermined” she said, adding that there was no inescapable fate in these trends. She invited local and regional elected representatives and the Congress to mobilise against any form of retreat of local government. “We must invest ourselves in order to convince our capitals that the crises we are going through can be overcome by collective, concerted and concrete action to which we, elected representatives and the Congress, can and must contribute,” she concluded, stressing that progress towards local and regional self-government will represent an important contribution to the democratic stability of the continent.  

Communication by the President of the Chamber of local authorities
Anders Knape : "Political dialogue is an essential part of the work of the Chamber of Local Authorities"

Communication by the President of the Chamber of regions
Gunn Marit Helgesen: "Regional self-government is a way to enhance democracy"

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