Avrupa Konseyi Yerel ve Bölgesel Yönetimler Kongresi (Congress Hub Of Partners' Action)
Local and regional authorities are at the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They are providing emergency services in their communities and communicating with citizens on measures to contain the spread of disease. They are co-ordinating their action with other levels of government and other partners across all sectors of society and mitigating the impact of the outbreak on communities. They are reaching out across borders to their counterparts in other territories and other countries to ensure care for those affected, and to secure protection for all.
This crisis not only puts at risk human lives, but also the functioning of our societies and democracies. In a toolkit providing guidance for governments on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 crisis, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has stressed the need to ensure that the measures taken do not undermine our genuine interest in safeguarding Europe’s founding values. While ensuring a more co-ordinated response to the crisis may involve, to the extent permitted by the constitution, bypassing the standard division of competences between local, regional and central authorities in certain specific, limited fields, full rights of local and regional authorities shall be re-established as soon as the situation allows it.
More than ever, we must act collectively throughout Europe, in a spirit of solidarity which must be expressed at all levels: European, national, regional and local , as well as at the level of citizens in their respective communities. We must also unite our efforts to support local and regional authorities which, because of their particular responsibilities and their proximity to citizens, are in the front line in responding to this major crisis.
As a political assembly comprising local and regional elected representatives from 47 Council of Europe member states, the Congress has the capacity to pool our respective experiences in order to find responses that can be implemented on the ground in all European communities.
As many networks and associations of municipalities, cities and regions showcase concrete responses to the COVID-19 situation, the Congress secretariat has decided to establish this knowledge hub, which will be regularly updated.
In responding to the urgent needs of their communities, local and regional authorities themselves are in urgent need of information, means and resources to deal with the crisis. Their associations, associations of cities and regions around the world, act to address those needs – from the Action Plan and an exchange platform by the European Committee of the Regions to the experience-sharing campaign by the Global Parliament of Mayors; from a repository of specific cases in cross-border areas by the Association of European Border Regions to a webinar platform by Eurocities to help access EU funding under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative; from an online market engagement by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability to connect health sector procurers and medical supply providers, to numerous dedicated web sections, hubs and blogs to keep communities connected and informed, maintain dialogue and search for solutions beyond the outbreak.