Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is a pan-European political assembly, the 636 members of which hold elective office (they may be regional or municipal councillors, mayors or presidents of regional authorities) representing over 200,000 authorities in 47 European states.
The Congress is:
- the voice of Europe's regions and municipalities in the Council of Europe;
- provides a forum where local and regional elected representatives can discuss common problems, pool their experience and express their views to governments;
- advises the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on all aspects of local and regional policy;
- co-operates closely with national and international organisations representing local and regional government;
- organises hearings and conferences at local and regional levels to reach a wider public whose involvement is essential to a working democracy;
- prepares regular country-by-country reports on the state of local and regional democracy in all the Council's member and applicant states and monitors, in particular, how the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-government are being implemented;
- helps new member states with the practical aspects of their progress towards establishing effective local and regional self-government.
The emergence of new states from varying political and economic bases has necessitated reappraisal and reformulation of the Congress's objectives to include:
- promoting effective local and regional government structures in all Council of Europe member states, especially in the new democracies;
- examining the state of local and regional democracy in member and applicant states;
- developing initiatives to enable citizens to participate effectively in local and regional democracy;
- representing the interests of local and regional government in the shaping of European policy;
- encouraging regional and transfrontier co-operation for peace, tolerance, and sustainable development;
- observing local and regional elections.
Congress Key Dates
1957- First Conference of Local Authorities
1985 - European Charter of Local Self-Government
1994 - The Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe becomes the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE)
2007 - Adoption of the Congress new Charter
2011 - The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopts the new Congress Charter