Harald Bergmann:

Harald Bergmann: "Participatory democracy: an indispensable tool for the implementation of human rights at the local level”

21.02.2023

" Faced with the continuing consequences of the pandemic, the fallout of climate change and a war in the heart of Europe, citizens are increasingly turning to their communities for support," said Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, ILDG), Congress Spokesperson for the Human Rights, at the Academy and Conference on Human Rights at the Local and Regional Level 2023. The event, which took place online from 1 to 8 February 2023, focused on management concepts and instruments for local governments to provide human rights-based governance.

"In this period of significant decline in democracy and regular threats to fundamental rights, especially for the most vulnerable, it is our duty as local leaders to be resilient and strong," stressed Harald Bergmann. In this respect, he recalled the importance of Europe based on the principles of democracy and decentralization as contained in the preamble of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. "It has been demonstrated that it is through decentralization that public service becomes more responsive to local needs, that the responsible exercise of power is ensured and that trust in public authorities is most marked/or stronger.

Moreover, "local and regional authorities as the authorities  closest to the citizens and thus, by entering into a real dialogue and partnership with the people living in their territories, their policies can be truly democratic, relevant and effective because they are based on the needs of citizens". In this perspective, the Congress spokesperson referred to various elaborated tools, such as the Human Rights Manuals at local and regional levels which offer a range of good practices on the implementation of human rights at local level, and announced the development in 2023 of a revised Congress strategy on human rights.

More here:https://www.coe.int/en/web/congress/-/harald-bergmann-participatory-democracy-an-indispensable-tool-for-the-implementation-of-human-rights-at-the-local-level-


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