The Congress elects its new President
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Council of Europe has renewed its presidency on the occasion of its 45th Session.
The Congress members have elected Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD) as the new President of the Congress, for a mandate of two years and a half. Marc Cools is First Deputy Mayor of Uccle (Belgium) and was previously the chair of the Independent and Liberal Democrat Group in the Congress.
President Cools applauded the work of the Congress under the leadership of the outgoing President Leendert Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC/G/PD): “President Verbeek has invested an enormous amount of time and energy in the service of our Congress and he has also achieved results for our Congress, particularly at the summit in Reykjavik”. Underlining that his vision of the mandate was about continuing the work already done and working together collectively to promote local and regional democracy throughout Europe, he said that the proximity at local level between elected representatives and citizens makes a vibrant democracy: “New ways must be found to directly involve citizens in deliberations and bring decision-making as close to them as possible,” stated Mr. Cools who also called for the funding and staffing of the Congress to be raised in order to fulfil its mission and the mandate given by the Reykjavik Summit.
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