“Switzerland is a strong proponent for the work of the Congress”, said St. Gallen State Councillor Kathrin Hilber
Speaking on behalf of the Swiss Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, State Councillor for the St. Gallen Canton Kathrin Hilber underlined the importance of the contribution of the Congress to the reform process that had been launched by Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland. “The Committee of Ministers was pleased to hear recently from acting President Ian Micallef that the Congress was committed to actively take part in this process. We are looking forward to concrete plans to strengthen a strategic approach to its mission and to prioritise its activities”, said Hilber.
Given its federal and highly decentralised nature, local self-government and territorial democracy are values of great importance for Switzerland, underlined the State Councillor for the St. Gallen Canton. “Therefore Switzerland is a strong proponent for the work and potential of the Congress in promoting democracy of the highest quality at regional and local level”, she said. With regard to the conference on “Democracy and Decentralisation” that will be held on 3 and 4 May in St. Gall, Kathrin Hilber expressed the expectation that this event will bring “a stimulating debate to issues which are central to the concerns of the Congress.” In this context, Kathrin Hilber also referred to the country monitoring of the Congress to assess the situation of local and regional democracy in member states and to the specific report on “regional democracy in Switzerland” which was adopted on Thursday. “The Swiss authorities are particularly pleased that the conclusions of that report are indeed positive”, she concluded.