“Our two assemblies of elected representatives have succeeded in forging solid bonds of friendship over the years and establishing an exemplary form of co-operation,” said PACE President Anne Brasseur, speaking today to the members of the Congress, meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg. In Ms Brasseur’s view, this complementary work on the ground by PACE and the Congress should continue, on the basis of practical measures.
She pointed out that the Congress could, in particular, provide the Ukrainian authorities with valuable support in connection with the reform of Ukraine's local and regional governance system, which was one of the country’s top priorities. The challenges posed by the economic and financial crisis, particularly the impact of austerity measures on the European social model, were also issues which called for a co-ordinated response from national, regional and local authorities, and the synergies between PACE and the Congress in this area were needed more than ever.
Speaking on the theme of the Congress Session, she added: “Young people are among the most active actors of our society, especially at the local level. Cities and regions which are in the forefront of implementing national policies, should involve young people in the management of local public services, and improve their access to social and economic rights.” “I also hope that we will establish fruitful co-operation in the context of the future Council of Europe Strategy against racism, hatred and intolerance, particularly on the issue of the integration of Roma,” concluded Ms Brasseur.