With more then 25 years of experience in supporting local democracy in Europe and beyond, I can contribute to empower the Congress, in cooperation and together with its members and political leadership and staff, for making it stronger, more relevant, and strategic. In these difficult times for democracy and for Europe, we can’t miss this opportunity for which I feel a responsibility. My career brings me to the Congress, and this is here where I can really bring an added value.
Local Democracy is the basis of Democracy and not a lower dimension of it ! The Congress is not the smaller “chamber” of the political institutions of the Council of Europe. On the contrary, its work paves the way for good governance, human rights and rule of law approach lived first hand by citizens.
It is necessary to further identify and valorise our strong added value as a unique local democracy assembly, representing a large Europe. focused on values, principles and rules and highlighting our expertise and potential. The Council of Europe has now an immense role in helping us to navigate through those turbulent times while democracy, human rights and rule of law are our pillars.
We should create opportunities of strong and operational partnership within the Council of Europe, but also at the European Union and global level as well as focusing on cooperation with association of local authorities and other types of stakeholders (public and private, civil society organizations and international organizations).
Acting alone is not an option. Struggles in resources (human and financial) are ahead of us but without ambition and vision, we won’t be able to secure further funding for the crucial work of the Congress.