“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the time has come to take stock of the progress made and the current challenges, to give a new impetus to decentralisation, in order to bring democracy closer to citizens, improve the well-being of all and strengthen democratic security in member States,” today said Jean-Pierre Grin (Switzerland, ALDE), General Rapporteur on local and regional authorities.
Speaking at the 35th Session of the Congress in Strasbourg, Mr Grin added that parliaments should be key actors in decentralisation processes, stressing the importance of clear and fair rules, applying to everyone, democratic debate and decision-making – through parliaments.
“It is also essential to improve the regional system to resolve tensions and address the marginalisation suffered by large regions within the European institutions,” Mr Grin said.
Believing that territorial solidarity was “a matter of democratic security”, Mr. Grin emphasized that it was impossible to ensure the prosperity of certain regions to the detriment of others. “People are moving - not only between countries, but also between communities and regions – to escape poverty, insecurity or armed conflict. It is in our common interest to share our wealth,” he said. “Concerted action by the Congress and the Parliamentary Assembly on this subject is needed,” Mr Grin concluded.