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CM(2011)60add3finalE  / 21 October 2011 

Ministers’ Deputies

CM Documents

CM(2011)60 6 May 20111



1116 Meeting, 15 June 2011

2 Democracy and political questions

2.3 European Committee on local and regional democracy (CDLR)

a. Abridged report of the 47th meeting (Strasbourg, 28-30 March 2011)

Item to be prepared by the GR-DEM at its meeting of 17 May 2011



1. Opening of the meeting

The CDLR met in Strasbourg from 28-30 March 2011, with Mr Andriy Guk (Ukraine), in the Chair.

2. Adoption of the agenda

The agenda as adopted appears in appendix.

A. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

3.1 Report of the Bureau meeting on 13-14 January 2011

The Committee took note of the report of the Bureau meeting on 13 -14 January 2011.

3.2 Joint Bureaux meeting Congress/CDLR on 14 January 2011

The Committee noted that the Joint Bureaux meeting Congress/CDLR took place on 14 January 2011 and that a meeting report would be drafted by the Congress Secretariat.

3.3 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers concerning the CDLR

The CDLR took note of the decisions of the Ministers’ Deputies as they appear in document CDLR(2011)1.

3.4 Information on other Council of Europe bodies

The CDLR members took note of the work and priorities of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe for 2011-2012, contained in the document and the additional information provided by Mr Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress. It also took note of the work of the Plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held on 24-28 January 2011.

3.5 The new monitoring arrangements of the Congress

The Committee held an exchange of views to take stock of comments and questions among member States regarding the new monitoring arrangements of the Congress, laid down in Congress Resolutions 307 (2010) and 296 (2010), and how the latter intends to “widen and deepen” its monitoring activities. Mr Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress also contributed to the exchange of views. He thanked CDLR members for the feedback they had given and said he would inform Congress members. The Committee thanked Mr Kiefer for his participation in this exchange of views.

The Committee agreed that the issues raised and comments made could be usefully be communicated to Mr Manuel Chaves, Minister of Territorial Policy of Spain, having regard to the review of all aspects of country monitoring he is conducting. It supported the invitation by the Spanish member to all delegations that so wished to provide the Spanish delegation with their assessment of recent country monitoring of the Charter by the Congress and any other suggestions or comments they might have in addition to those already provided in response to the earlier questionnaire.

The Committee also noted that the GR-H had held an exchange of views with Mr Lars Molin, President of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress on 17 March 2011 in which the question of the relationship between the Congress’ work on monitoring and the Congress’ work on human rights at local and regional level had been broached. The CDLR for its part considered that further clarification of this matter was still necessary and that the review by Minister Chaves should address this question. It decided to inform the Ministers’ Deputies accordingly.

The CDLR regretted that it had not been possible to have an exchange of views with the Congress on its monitoring arrangements at the present meeting and entrusted the Bureau with preparing the reply to the President of the Congress in the light of developments under the Chaves reviews in the next months.

3.6 Forum for the Future of Democracy

The Committee took note of the Mission Statement and the Revised Guidelines of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, the conclusions of Yerevan (19-21 October 2010) and the preliminary proposals for the 2011 Forum event in Cyprus.

3.7 Recent developments in member States

The Committee took note of the state of signatures and ratifications of the Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority (CETS No.207).

The Committee took note of the Declaration on Local governments facing the future: Good governance, social inclusion and European integration, adopted by the mayors and elected representatives of local and regional governments of South-east Europe, at NEXPO – The NALAS International Municipal Fair held in Sarajevo 9-10 March 2011.

3.8 EU member States High Level Group on Governance Meeting

Mrs Viktória Zöld-Nagy informed the Committee of the results of the meeting of EU member States High Level Group on Governance held in Budapest under the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union on 22 - 23 March 2011, devoted to “multi-level governance” and the EU instrument on transfrontier cooperation. The Committee noted with satisfaction the active contribution to and involvement in the meeting by both CDLR members and Secretariat.

The Committee also noted that a joint (Congress and CDLR) study on the relationship between the Lisbon Treaty and the European Charter of Local Self-Government will be implemented in a very near future. Such a study might, inter alia, be useful in consideration of a possible EU instrument on multilevel governance.

3.9 Council of Europe Reform: heading into the future - Progress Review Report

Mr Jean-Louis Laurens, Director General of Democracy and Political Affairs informed the Committee of the progress and status of the Council of Europe reform, which includes a review of the intergovernmental structures. He informed the Committee that the first discussion in the Committee of Ministers to set out strategic priorities will be held on 6 April 2011.

The CDLR members exchanged views in respect of the ongoing reform emphasizing the unique role of the CDLR as a central governmental counterpart to the Congress. They also recognised the fact that there is room for improvement of synergies between the CDLR and the Congress and further dialogue should be encouraged.

B. FOLLOW-UP TO UTRECHT DECLARATION

4.1 Implementation of the Utrecht Agenda

4.1.1 Overview of activities

The Committee took note of document CDLR(2011)6 and the state of implementation of activities to take forward the Utrecht Declaration and Agenda.

4.1.2 Sub-committee meeting reports

The Committee took note of the reports of the meetings of the LR-GG Committee on 8-9 November 2010, the LR-IC Committee on 29-30 November 2010 and the LR-FS Committee on 6-7 December 2010.

As regards the LR-IC Committee it was noted that the Reference framework on systems of local and regional government will be on the agenda of its next meeting (30-31 May 2011).

4.2 CDLR activities requiring particular attention

4.2.1 Draft report on democratic participation at local level

The draft Report on the low democratic participation by certain groups in society and taking stock of the member States’ policies was presented to the Committee by the Rapporteur, Mr Edwin Lefebre. The findings in the Report are based on the data obtained from the replies to the questionnaire sent to the member States, and it presents highlighted cases and initiatives to increase electoral participation.

The Committee reviewed the draft Report, making some changes to it, and entrusted the LR-GG with exploring follow up activities such as a workshop to share practices highlighted in the Report and the development of a manual of good practices.

4.2.2 Workshop on Participatory budgeting at local level

The CDLR took note of the draft programme of the Workshop which is to be held on 10 May 2011 in Strasbourg, and is being organised in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

4.2.3 Communication relating to the CDLR and local and regional democracy

The Committee took note of the highlights of communication activities in 2010/beginning 2011 and the future communication projects. It welcomed the setting up of a (restricted access) internet forum for debate and exchange of information and data between CDLR members.

4.3 Other strands of action

4.3.1 Centre of Expertise on Local Government Reform

The Committee took note of the information contained in document CDLR(2011)11 and the additional information provided by the Head of the Centre and Cooperation Programmes, Mr Daniel Popescu. It invited delegations to transmit to Mrs Billing, who represents the CDLR in the Centre’s Advisory Board, any proposals they may have concerning the orientation to be given to the Centre’s activities.

4.3.2 Cooperation programmes

The Committee took note of the information contained in document CDLR(2011)11 and the additional information provided by the Head of the Centre and Cooperation Programmes, Mr Daniel Popescu.

4.3.3 Strategy for Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level

The Committee took note of the ongoing implementation of the Strategy contained in document CDLR(2011)12. CDLR members provided updated information on measures taken in their respective countries with a view to acceding to the Strategy and/or establishing national (regional) platforms.

Following the resignation of Ms Annie Biefnot Vanboterdal (Belgium) – whom it thanked for her ourstanding contribution – the Committee appointed Mr Paul-Henri Philips (Belgium) to sit on the Council of Europe Stakeholders Platform for the Strategy.

4.3.4 European Local Democracy Week

The Committee welcomed Mr Warmisham, member of the Congress, who presented the latest developments in the implementation of this activity. The CDLR expressed satisfaction for the growing popularity of the Week across Europe.

C. MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

5.1 Preparation of the 17th Session of the Ministerial Conference, including draft agenda, draft programme and draft list of documents

The Committee was informed of the state of preparation of the 17th Session of the Ministerial Conference which is to be held in Kyiv on 3-4 November 2011 and agreed on the draft programme, the draft agenda and the list of documents to be prepared.

As regards the themes of the 17th session, the CDLR reaffirmed the inclusion of human rights at local level as an item on the draft agenda and a topic for political debate by Ministers in Kyiv and agreed to bring this to the attention of the Committee of Ministers. The relevance of this topic stems from recent developments in member states and the priority for 2011-2013 that the Congress has made of the new local dimension of human rights.

The Committee noted that two preparatory Conferences on respectively removing obstacles to cross-border co-operation (see hereunder, item 5.4 of the agenda) and decentralisation will be held in Ukraine prior to the Ministerial Conference in November.

The Committee gave mandate to the Bureau to take forward the preparation of the Ministerial Conference.

5.2 Human Rights at local and regional level

The Committee reviewed document CDLR(2011)15 as regards the human rights dimension at local and regional level and agreed on the list of questions to be explored with a view to preparing the theme for the Ministerial Session in Kyiv. The deadline for replies to the questionnaire was set at 25 April 2011.

The Committee reviewed and approved the draft recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the Principles of Good Democratic Governance at Local Level. The Committee agreed to send it to the Committee of Ministers, asking it to delegate, in accordance with Resolution (89)40, its adoption to the Ministerial Conference at its session in Kyiv in November 2011 (see Addendum I).

The Committee also reviewed and approved the draft declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the Principles of Good Democratic Governance at Local Level. It agreed to send the draft declaration to the Committee of Ministers for adoption (see Addendum II).

5.3 Impact of the economic downturn on local government across Europe and responses to it

The Committee took note of the information contained in document CDLR(2011)18. The questionnaire “Local Government: Responses to recession across Europe” was reviewed and approved. The proposal for a conference in June was discussed and further guidance was given to the Secretariat in respect to the next steps. The Committee agreed to consider the draft 2011 report and draft Kyiv guidelines at the next CDLR meeting.

The CDLR examined and approved the draft recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the funding by higher level authorities of new competencies for local authorities and the draft Explanatory Memorandum (see Addendum III). The Committee agreed to send it to the Committee of Ministers, asking it to delegate, in accordance with Resolution (89)40, the decision on its adoption to the Ministerial Conference at its session in Kyiv in November 2011.

5.4 Overcoming obstacles to transfrontier co-operation

The CDLR took note of the information contained in the document CDLR(2011)20. It agreed to set 15 April 2011 as a new deadline for replying to the questionnaire, and confirmed its decision that a conference on obstacles to and best practice in crossborder cooperation be held in preparation of the 17th session of the Ministerial Conference in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian delegation informed the Committee about its plans for such a conference to be held in Kharkiv on 2-3 June 2011. The Committee noted that the themes of the conference would be governments’ role in overcoming obstacles, Protocol No 3 and the presentation of SWOT reports on crossborder co-operation. The further preparation of the event was entrusted to the working party established in 2010 with the Bureau being authorised to take decisions on themes and modalities as appropriate.

5.5 Partnership between the Committee of Ministers and the Ministerial Conference

Mr Kimmo Collander (Finland) informed the Committee that Minister Tapani Tölli sent his proposal to the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and also wrote to his colleagues Ministers to inform them that he had completed the mandate given to him by the ministerial conference.

Minister Tölli also requested that the Committee of Ministers include this proposal in the agenda for its 121st Session in Istanbul (11 May 2011) with a view to subsequently finalising the arrangements for the partnership. The CDLR expressed its support for this approach and decided to inform the Ministers’ Deputies accordingly.

5.6 Utrecht Reviews

The CDLR took note of document CDLR(2011)22 and noted the intention of Minister Chaves to prepare his draft report by next June. A consultation open to all CDLR members would then be held prior to the finalisation of the report.

5.7 Questionnaire to member States in preparation of the 17th Session of the Ministerial Conference

The Committee examined and approved the questionnaire to the member States in preparation of the 17th session of the Ministerial Conference in Kyiv. It agreed to set up the deadline for replies as proposed for 6 June 2011.

D. OTHER

6.1 Elections

The Committee elected Mr. Jesper Lorenz Gradert (Denmark) as a member of the Bureau to complete the term of office of Mr Arto Luhtala.

6.2 Other busines

None.

6.3 Date of the next meeting

The Committee adopted the date 19-21 September 2011 for the next CDLR meeting.

6.4 Adoption of the abridged meeting report

The Committee adopted its meeting report.

APPENDIX

AGENDA

1. Opening of the meeting

2. Adoption of the agenda

A. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

3.1 Report of the Bureau meeting on 13-14 January 2011

3.2 Joint Bureaux meeting Congress/CDLR on 14 January 2011

3.3 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers concerning the CDLR

3.4 Information on other Council of Europe bodies

3.5 The new monitoring arrangements of the Congress

3.6 Forum for the Future of Democracy

3.7 Recent developments in member States

3.8 EU member States High Level Group on Governance Meeting

3.9 Council of Europe Reform: heading into the future - Progress Review Report

B. FOLLOW-UP TO UTRECHT DECLARATION

4.1 Implementation of the Utrecht Agenda

4.2 CDLR Activities requiring particular attention

4.3 Other strands of action

C. MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

5.1 Preparation of the 17th Session of the Ministerial Conference, including draft agenda, draft programme and draft list of documents

5.2 Human Rights at local and regional level

5.3 Impact of the economic downturn on local government across Europe and responses to it

5.4 Overcoming obstacles to transfrontier co-operation

5.5 Partnership between the Committee of Ministers and the Ministerial Conference

5.6 Utrecht Reviews

5.7 Questionnaire to member States in preparation of the 17th Session of the Ministerial Conference

D. OTHER

6.1 Elections

6.2 Other business

6.3 Date of the next meeting

6.4 Adoption of the abridged meeting report

1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.



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