The conference will be opened on October 15 at 9.00 by Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The speakers of opening session will be:
- Walter Schmied, vice-president of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
- Milan Markovic, Minister of public administration and local self-government of Serbia, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
- Halvdan Skard, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
- Rita Barberá, mayor of Valencia
- Francisco Camps, president of the Autonomous Community of Valencia
- Elena Salgado, Minister of Public Administration of Spain.
At the conference the ministers will discuss the Council of Europe proposed Strategy on Innovation and Good Governance at Local Level, which aims to develop and incentivise action by national and local authorities with a view to improving the quality of public policies at local level and the engagement of local population.
The strategy invites local authorities to commit themselves before their citizens to follow 12 Principles of Good Democratic Governance: fair conduct of elections, representation and participation; responsiveness; efficiency and effectiveness; openness and transparency; rule of law; ethical conduct; competence and capacity; innovation and openness to change; sustainability and long-term orientation; sound financial management; human rights, cultural diversity and social cohesion; and accountability.
The participants in the conference will also review the implementation of the “Budapest Agenda for delivering Good Local and Regional Governance (2005-2010)”, which identifies current challenges facing local and regional democracy in Europe and the actions that are to be taken in response to them.
This agenda is a true “road-map” for intergovernmental co-operation at European level on local and regional democracy as well as for action by member states themselves. The Agenda is based on four themes: democratic participation and public ethics, legal framework and institutional structures, local and regional finance, and transfrontier and interterritorial co-operation.
Coinciding with the conference, the Council of Europe will launch the “European Local Democracy Week”, which aims to promote citizen participation at local level throughout Europe and increase the awareness of the importance of local democracy for European citizens. The week is expected to become a regular feature of European local authorities, coinciding with date - October 15 - that the European Charter of Local Self-Government was opened for signature in 1985.
On Monday October 15 the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis, and the Minister of Public Administration of Spain, Elena Salgado, will meet the press briefly at 10.30 and there will be a photo opportunity with the representatives of every delegation.
On Tuesday October 16 a press conference with Terry Davis and Halvdan Skard will be held from 13.00 to 13.30 at the conference room, just after the closure.
The Draft Programme of the Conference is available at: http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/local_and_regional_democracy
Requests for accreditation should be sent to : firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to the following number: +34 91458 00 12.
Contacts for the press
Jaime Rodríguez, Council of Europe Press Division: Tel. + 33 (0)3 90 21 47 04; Mob. +33 (0)6 89 99 50 42, email@example.com
Dimitri Marchenkov, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Communication Unit: Tel. + 33 (0)3 88 41 38 44; Mob. +33 (0)6 75 65 03 49 ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Council of Europe Press Division, Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60, Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11, email@example.com, www.coe.int/press