CoE Congress to discuss local democracy in Cyprus and Turkey
Nicosia, Nov 3 - The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will be holding its autumn session in Strasbourg from 7 to 9 November 2005, with the highlights of the meeting including a debate on local democracy in Cyprus and local and regional democracy in Turkey, reports on which will be tabled for adoption.
A Council of Europe press release said the report on local democracy in Cyprus is highly critical of the development of local self-government since 2001 and includes one chapter on ''local democracy'' in the part of the island which is not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, since it is illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974.
This chapter stresses that in the interests of local democracy cooperation between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities should be strongly encouraged and boosted.
Furthermore, the report on local and regional democracy in Turkey highlights the Turkish Government's determination to make substantial institutional changes in terms of modernising its local authorities, noting that further reform is needed, particularly on the budgetary front, if real change is to be achieved in the apportionment of powers on the ground.
Reports on other subjects will also be debated during the session, including local democracy in Moldova, the state of local finances in the Netherlands, the European Urban Charter, cultural identity issues in peripheral urban areas and public participation in local affairs and elections.
The agenda will also comprise discussions on the follow-up to the Congress report on local and regional democracy in Spain, Sweden and Denmark, inter-regional co-operation in the Adriatic Sea region and the development of regionalisation in South-East Europe.