President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Anders KNAPE (SWEDEN, PPE/CCE-EPP/CCE), addressed Congress members at the opening of the 33rd Session of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress, on 19 October 2017, in Strasbourg. Reporting on his recent participation in the plenary of the Venice Commission, Mr KNAPE highlighted the importance of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in exercising of local democracy. “Here it is our responsibility to safeguard and to defend the rights of our citizens and their own freely elected assemblies to manage their own affairs as much as possible”, he stated. He observed that the Congress was encountering an increasing number of issues relating to the use of languages in local and regional administrations and that this had prompted the Congress Bureau to invite the Governance Committee to prepare a report on this issue. He also mentioned the situation in Mostar and insisted that a sustainable solution to resolving the electoral crisis must be found. “As far as the Congress is concerned, we will keep this high on our political agenda, and the monitoring mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is scheduled for 2018, to assess the implementation of the provisions of the Charter of Local Self-Government will certainly keep the focus on Mostar”, he concluded.