Conventions and Congress reference texts

Since it was set up, the Congress has drawn up a number of international treaties, including the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which has become the international benchmark in this field, laying down common European standards to protect local authorities' rights.

Opened for signature on 15 October 1985, the European Charter of Local Self-Government entered into force in 1988. The Charter has been ratified by the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe. It's the first internationally binding treaty that guarantees the rights of communities and their elected authorities.

Among other Congress juridical instruments and reference texts are also:

The European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities (1980 and its three protocols) Lire la suite

The Convention is intended to encourage and facilitate the conclusion of cross-border agreements between local and regional authorities within the scope of their respective powers. Such agreements may cover regional development, environmental protection, the improvement of public services, etc., and may include the setting up of transfrontier associations or consortia of local authorities.

The Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level (1992)Lire la suite
The Convention aims to improve integration of foreign residents into the life of the community. It applies to all persons who are not nationals of the Party and who are lawfully resident on its territory.

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992)Lire la suite

The Charter is a convention designed on the one hand to protect and promote regional and minority languages as a threatened aspect of Europe’s cultural heritage and on the other hand to enable speakers of a regional or minority language to use it in private and public life. Its overriding purpose is cultural.

European Code of conduct for the political integrity of local and regional elected representatives Lire la suite

The purpose of this code (1999) is to consolidate the relationship between citizens and local and regional policy-makers by setting out, at European level, ethical principles approved by the delegates of Europe’s local and regional elected representatives. The Congress invites national governments and national associations of local and regional authorities of the member states to detail the standards and principles established by the code in their national legislation and in ethical codes.
Text of the Code
European Landscape Convention (2000)Lire la suite
 The Convention aims to encourage public authorities to adopt policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe. It covers all landscapes, both outstanding and ordinary, that determine the quality of people’s living environment. The Convention proposes legal and financial measures at the national and international levels, aimed at shaping "landscape policies" and promoting interaction between local and central authorities as well as transfrontier cooperation in protecting landscapes.

Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life (2003)Lire la suite

The Charter is a tool to support young people, youth workers, youth organisations and local authorities in promoting and enhan¬cing meaningful youth participation at local and regional level across Europe. Text

The European Urban Charter II - Manifesto for a new urbanityLire la suite

The Urban Charter, adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in 1992, was a ground breaking step for Europe and marked a key stage in the necessary recognition of the urban phenomenon in the development of our societies.
The European Urban Charter II - Manifesto for a new urbanity, adopted in May 2008, complements and updates the original Congress contribution and offers a new approach to urban living, urging European countries to build sustainable towns and cities.
Special File

Council of Europe Reference Framework for Regional Democracy (2009)Lire la suite

This text is a veritable code of rights and duties of regional entities, aimed at intermediate authorities between central government and the basic (local authority) tier, and has two principal functions:

  • To serve as a source of inspiration when countries decide to establish or reform their regional authorities.

  • To act as a corpus of political reference principles on which the Congress can rely in the context of its statutory task of monitoring regional democracy in the member states of the Council of Europe.
  • Documents
    The European Charter of Local Self-Government

    The Charter requires compliance with a minimum number of principles that form a European foundation of local democracy.

    Document database

    All Congress texts are available online in the Document database. You can access this database and search for a text by clicking on the link below.

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