Bernd Vöhringer, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities and Mayor of the German city of Sindelfingen, attended the Association of Irish local Government Seminar on "Celebrating Local Government", held 14 and 15 September 2022 and underlined that it is essential to give local and regional elected representatives all the support they need to carry out their missions in response to everyday challenges and crisis situations.
Addressing the theme “Local Government - Leading out in Challenging times”, he stressed that the key to efficient multi-level governance and resilient and strong societies was a well-functioning local democracy which requires strong local authorities and strong structures to represent them at all levels of governance. Recalling the many challenges democratic societies have been facing over the last years, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, he underlined that local and regional authorities are the ones which are on the frontline, responding to the citizens’ daily needs, expectations and grievances in all circumstances. He praised the Congress for playing a central role in supporting them in this regard. "The Congress provides local elected representatives and their associations a forum to exercise peer-to-peer relations and mutual support. One concrete example of this inter-solidarity is the Cities4Cities platform that we launched to put in contact Ukrainian cities with European cities willing to help them," he said.
The seminar was organised as part of the Irish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Irish Minister for local Government and Planning, Peter Burke and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy will participate in the 43rd session of the Congress on 25 October 2022.