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37th Session: guaranteeing autonomy and territorial governance in Europe

CoE: The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will meet in Strasbourg, France, from 29 to 31 October 2019, for its 37th Session.

Debates will be held on the cybersecurity of smart cities, the working conditions of local elected representatives, the fair distribution of taxes in transfrontier areas, the use of languages by local and regional authorities, the protection of internally displaced persons, as well as on the regional dimension in the future of Europe. Members will also consider the revision of the “Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-making process” prepared by a joint working group, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe and the Congress.

As part of its monitoring activities, the Congress will consider for adoption three reports on local and regional democracy in the Russian Federation and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a report on the observation of local elections in Turkey (31 March 2019), including the re-election of the Mayor of Istanbul on 23 June 2019.

Invited guests include the Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Croatia, Lovro Kuscevic, and the President of the Canary Islands Parliament, Spain, Carolina Darias San Sebastian, who will speak on the role of the regions in the implementation of the sustainable development objectives of Agenda 2030. In addition, as part of the institutional dialogue, the newly elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Liliane Maury-Pasquier, as well as Jacqueline Gourault, French Minister of Territorial Cohesion and Relationships with territorial collectivities, in the name of the Committee of Ministers, will address the members of the Congress.

The granting of the status of Partner of Local Democracy to the Republic of Tunisia will be examined. This status is part of the Council of Europe’s neighbourhood policy and provides the countries concerned with a privileged framework for institutional dialogue within the Congress.

Youth delegates from the 47 member States will present grass-roots projects with their local authorities. This initiative is part of the “Rejuvenating Politics” operation, launched in 2014 by the Congress to encourage youth participation: youth delegates are invited to take part in debates during sessions, meetings and commissions.

In addition, a ceremony will mark the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, with the participation of the President of the Congress, the Presidents of the Chambers of Local Authorities and Regions, as well as the Presidents of the Congress’ political groups.