Regionalisation in Europe
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 11626
| 03 June 2008
- Committee of Ministers
by the Committee of Ministers on 21 May 2008, at the 1027th meeting
of the Ministers’ Deputies.
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 1811
The Committee of
Ministers has attentively examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1811 (2007)
on regionalisation in Europe which it transmitted to
the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) for
comments; these are appended.
2 The Committee of Ministers follows with interest the ongoing
debate on regional self-government, and will continue to bring attention
to it in the light of the experience obtained in implementing the
European Charter of Local Self-Government. In fact, as stated by
the European Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government
in their Declaration on Regional Self-Government adopted at their
15th Session in Valencia (15-16 October 2007), this debate provides
useful insight for all member states. It would therefore inform
the Assembly, that it has instructed the CDLR, by 31 December 2008,
to conduct, and report on, an in-depth discussion on regionalisation
in Europe, on the basis of the conclusions adopted at the aforementioned conference.
3 The CDLR has also prepared a report to “monitor developments
in regional self-government across member states during the years
2005 to 2007, identifying in particular innovations and any issues
common to a number of states”, and recalling, inter
alia, the principle of subsidiarity. The Committee of
Ministers, at its 1022nd meeting on 26 March 2008, took note with
satisfaction of this report, and agreed to transmit it to the Parliamentary
Assembly and the Congress in order that they may benefit from it.
It would also draw attention to the appendix to the report which
contains the update of the syntheses and overviews of models of
4 Finally, the Committee of Ministers would recall that the
Council of Europe has a panoply of legal instruments with which
to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of persons
belonging to national minorities in member states such as the Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European
Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It would also recall
the principle of non-discrimination as set out in Article 14 and
Protocol No. 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and the
case law of the Court as well as the work of the European Commission
against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) which monitors the application
of this principle in all member states.
Appendix – Comments by the European Committee
on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1811 (2007)
Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) notes with interest
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation
on regionalisation in Europe, which covers an issue
to which it too has devoted considerable efforts.
2 The CDLR recalls the declaration made by European Ministers
responsible for Local and Regional Government at the 14th Session
of their conference (Budapest, 24-25 February 2005) recognising
“the importance of regional self-government and the fact that it
can represent an enrichment for democratic societies, can help address
new challenges of good democratic governance and, depending on circumstances, can
respond to the need to deal with public affairs as close to the
citizen as possible”.
3 Later on, and at the request of the European ministers, the
CDLR prepared a report on European practice and development of regional
self-government which was well received at the 15th Session of the conference
in Valencia (15-16 October 2007).
At this conference, the ministers also adopted a Declaration
on Regional Self-government in which they stated:
The diverse, changing and stimulating reality of regional self-government
in Europe today deserves to be further monitored as it provides
useful insight for all member states.
2. This work naturally takes
place within the Council of Europe, which is the only organisation
in Europe today where regional self-government is explicitly treated
as a field of intergovernmental co-operation (through the CDLR),
while ensuring a regular exchange of information with the regions themselves
(through the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council
3. We invite the Committee
of Ministers, when examining the report on regional self-government,
to take note of our interest for this work to be continued and take
the appropriate decisions in this respect.
4. We resolve to keep the issue
of regional self-government and the further work carried out in
this field under review at our next session, in order to give this
important aspect of democratic societies the attention it deserves.”
5 The CDLR is therefore willing to conduct a more indepth discussion
on issues relating to regionalisation in Europe, and to incorporate
the Parliamentary Assembly’s suggestions, if the Committee of Ministers
gives it terms of reference to this effect.