Communication from the Secretary General of the Congress to the Ministers' Deputies: "We wish to anchor the Congress ever more firmly in the priorities of the Council of Europe and explore new synergies between its entities"
In his communication on April 5, 2023, the Secretary General Mathieu Mori underlined the will of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to contribute to fighting more effectively against the decline of democracy observed in many European states.
In this respect, he proposed to strengthen the statutory activities of the Congress by reinforcing the monitoring of local and regional democracy and by obtaining a systematic invitation to observe local and regional elections in the member states.
Furthermore, the Secretary General indicated his willingness to use the Congress to better defend human rights and the rule of law, in particular by cooperating more with the European Court of Human Rights, the judgments and the Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission). For the first, he recalled that, while many judgments of the Court concern decisions taken by local and regional authorities, the Congress can help to make elected officials aware of their responsibilities with regard to the respect and protection of human rights and avoid as well as complaints before the Court. Furthermore, as many judgments require changes to local and regional practices, the Congress can facilitate the implementation of judgments on the ground. He also mentioned the series of handbooks on human rights for local and regional elected representatives published by the Congress, of which the first three volumes are devoted to the fight against discrimination, social rights and the environment. Concerning the Venice Commission, he informed the Deputies of the preparation of a report on the rule of law at local level which will be based on the list of criteria elaborated by the Commission.
He stressed that the Council of Europe is fortunate to have all the entities necessary to properly fulfill its mission: "We hope that the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Reykjavik on May 16 and 17 will renew the commitment of member states to the Organization and help strengthen the existing entities to enable them to increase their cooperation, synergy and efficiency.
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