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Interview with Giovanni di Stasi, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

8 February 2005

Question: What are your expectations of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government?

Giovani di Stasi: Well I think it will be a very important event. First of all we have to remember and to stress the fact that in the European space the Council of Europe and the European Union are trying to build up a new Europe. And it will be important to have in this new Europe the values and juridical instruments of the Council of Europe.

Within the important activity of the Council of Europe I think that we should stress the role, the strategic role of the Congress because the Congress is supporting decentralisation, it’s supporting institutional reforms, it’s monitoring the quality of local and regional democracy throughout Europe.

But we should add that what we really need besides democracy is stronger cohesion, and we are trying, we are making a lot of effort in order to have co-operation between different regions, between different municipalities all over the European space. So, I think that this should be fully recognised because at the end of the day what’s important is to have a European democratic society and to have the possibility for all citizens who live in this European space to have a hope to improve the quality of life.

We are working for this and I am sure that from the Third Summit a positive answer will come.