CM/Cong(2004)Rec142 final 23 February 2004
The promotion or regionalisation and interregional co-operation in Europe through the Summer Schools and Centurio programme
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Recommendation 142 (2003)
(Reply adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 18 February 2004 at the 873rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
1. The Committee of Ministers has considered Recommendation 142 (2003) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on the promotion of regionalisation and interregional co-operation in Europe through the Summer Schools and Centurio programme run by the Assembly of European Regions and, according to the established practice, forwarded it to the governments of member states. Indeed, positive exchanges of practical experience and expertise between regions are very important for themselves, their relevant countries and Europe at large. This was stressed by the European Ministers in charge of local and regional government at their 12th Conference in Helsinki on 28 June 2002. On the other hand, regionalisation is not an aim in itself and it is for the states to decide whether introducing or developing a regional tier of government is appropriate for them.
2. The Committee of Ministers confirms its interest in continuing and developing programmes with non-member states of the Council of Europe, especially of the Southern Mediterranean Basin, in the framework of its Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Line of Action.
3. As for the recommendation of the Congress that the Committee of Ministers reserves for it a suitable place in its special assistance programmes, the Committee of Ministers has always indicated that it shall consult the Congress on issues which are likely to affect the responsibilities and essential interests of the local and/or regional authorities which the Congress represents. In implementing specific assistance programmes affecting the development of local and regional democracy and capacity building at local level, attention is paid to the involvement of territorial authorities, their associations and representatives.
4. The Committee of Ministers values the work of the Congress in the field of local and regional government and regularly informs the Steering Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) of the recommendations adopted by the Congress.
5. As regards the second recommendation, “to provide particular support to the Adriatic regional members of the Congress” in order to promote the Adriatic Agenda 21 initiatives, the Committee of Ministers recalls that since 2000 the Congress is responsible for managing its budget and therefore is capable of providing such support as appropriate for the implementation of this - as well as any other relevant – initiative. However, the Committee of Ministers is ready to examine other proposals for support, in so far as they are compatible with the political priorities and the budgetary ceilings of the Organisation.