Empowering Local and Regional Authorities to Take the Initiative when Tackling Challenges

Promoting the Charter

Through an international convention, the Congress is the only European institution working to ensure that local and regional democracy runs smoothly on our continent. A number of democratic advances have been made within member states thanks to recommendations that the Congress’s monitoring committee has made.

With challenging budgetary times ahead of us, we must protect the political heart of the Congress. To do so, we must work in total synergy with member states to ensure and improve monitoring of—and follow-up on—the Charter, in addition to election observation.

Influencing Governments

Towns and regions have a vital role to play in the solutions to the threats facing us. The recommendations and observations we make are useful to member states, and we must continue to improve both their visibility and how governments receive them.

The work carried out by committees must remain relevant and innovative, while adhering to the Council of Europe’s three pillars. Mr Lambertz’s report on deliberative democracy, for example, provides practical examples which the Committee of Ministers examined positively while preparing a resolution on the subject.

Territorial associations and the Committee of the Regions have an interest in cooperating with the Congress, which offers a unique level of topical expertise. Mathieu Mori has been working with their secretaries general for a number of years now. Top photo: Fabrizio Rossi, Secretary General of CEMR. Bottom photo: Petr Blížkovský, Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions.

Meeting People’s Needs Through Cooperation

Cooperation programmes help towns and regions apply the Charter and implement recommendations and resolutions from the Congress.

Cooperation with Ukraine and other “front line” countries such as Georgia and Moldova must remain a priority. Particular attention must be paid to the western Balkans and the Caucasus.

Ensuring the longevity of this type of funding within a constrained financial and institutional framework will require determination and diplomacy.

Furthermore, territorial associations and both European and international institutions also benefit from the expertise of the Congress. These organizations have the capacity to share its work more widely.