Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM (Austria, SOC) held an exchange of views with the Ministers’ Deputies in Strasbourg on 25 October 2017. She mentioned the activities of the Congress during its 33rd session, from 18 to 20 October, in particular the debate on the situation in Catalonia, in which members had very clearly expressed their belief that dialogue was the only possible option. “In a modern democracy, constructive dialogue between central government and regional entities is essential,” she underlined. During the debate, the members had also underlined the need for all concerned to abide by the rules and, in particular, constitutions. In pointing out that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe had been wise enough several decades ago to set up an assembly of local and regional representatives that was unique in Europe, she urged central governments to make use of that asset to tackle the many challenges and crises threatening Europe: “Local and regional representatives hold some important trump cards. Not only do the territories we represent make their own policies within the scope of their powers, but these territories are also the places where many of the policies decided at national level are implemented. So it is with the representatives of these territories that a robust, on-going dialogue needs to be maintained, to seek together solutions that will ensure the security and stability of our societies”. The President stressed that the Congress’s role was to help strengthen local and regional democracy in the member states. “Performing this task requires adequate resources to be allocated to our activities,” Ms MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM said, pointing out that some statutory activities such as local election observation exercises would require calls for voluntary contributions from member states.
Congress President holds exchange of views with Committee of Ministers: “We do not want exemplary devolution at the price of a fragmented Europe”
Committee of Ministers Strasbourg, France 25 October 2017
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