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Ref. CG-PR 001 (2016)

2016 European Local Democracy Week to focus on promoting intercultural dialogue

Paris, 8.2.2016 – “Living together in culturally diverse societies: respect, dialogue, interaction” will be the theme for the 2016 European Local Democracy Week (ELDW), as approved by the Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities at its meeting in Paris on 8 February 2016 on a proposal from the ELDW national co-ordinators.

The 2016 theme follows on from that in 2015, with a stronger focus on education for democratic citizenship and human rights.  “It is important to educate citizens at local level concerning their fundamental rights and freedoms and also to enable them to acquire the skills for promoting respect and diversity,” said Gaye Doganoglu (EPP/CCE, Turkey), Congress Vice-President and ELDW political co-ordinator.

The 2016 theme also ties in with the current priorities of the Council of Europe and its various bodies, including the Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies (2016-17), the Congress strategy to prevent radicalisation at grassroots level and the 2016 World Forum for Democracy’s theme of “Education for Democracy”.

ELDW website


European Local Democracy Week is a voluntary event, co-ordinated by the Congress, which takes place every year around 15 October, the anniversary of the opening for signature of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1985.  During ELDW, local and regional authorities and their associations across Europe organise various activities to foster greater citizen awareness of the work of local authorities, promote citizen participation in local governance and highlight the key part played by local self-governance in building a united and democratic Europe.

The Congress has two chambers, the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. It brings together 324 full and 324 substitute members representing more than 200 000 European territorial communities.
President of the Congress: Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC), President of the Chamber of Local Authorities: Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), President of the Chamber of Regions:
Gudrun Mosler-Törnström (Austria, SOC)
Political Groups: Socialist Group (SOC), Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CCE), Independent and Liberal Democrat Group (ILDG), European Conservatives & Reformists Group  (ECR)