Appointment of the Swiss delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Bern, 12.02.2021 - On 22 January 2021, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis appointed the 12 members of the Swiss delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (hereafter the Congress) for the period 2021–26. The candidatures were proposed by the Conference of Cantonal Governments, the Swiss Union of Cities and the Association of Swiss Communes. Following formal validation by the Congress Bureau on 12 February 2021, the new delegation can now begin its work in preparation for the renewal session from 23 to 25 March.
Created in its present form in 1994, the Congress is the body responsible for strengthening local and regional democracy in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. As a consultative body, it acts as the voice of Europe's regions and municipalities. It is composed of two chambers: the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions.
The Congress's activities include monitoring the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government (ratified by Switzerland on 17 February 2005), observation of local and regional elections and various thematic activities. The Congress's 324 members and 324 substitutes meet in sessions twice a year at the Council of Europe's headquarters in Strasbourg.
Switzerland is represented at the Congress by six members and six substitutes, six of whom are elected cantonal representatives and six are elected representatives of communes and cities. For the new legislative period of 2021–26, in accordance with the official appointment procedure, the Conference of Cantonal Governments, the Swiss Union of Cities and the Association of Swiss Communes were entitled to nominate candidates. The Swiss delegation was then appointed by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Today, 12 February, the Congress Bureau formally validated the composition of the new delegation.
The Swiss delegation for the period 2021–26 is composed of the following representatives:
For the cantons:
- Mr David Eray, Minister, State Councillor of the Canton of Jura, head of delegation (representative)
- Ms Cornelia Komposch, State Councillor of the Canton of Thurgau (representative)
- Mr Paul Winiker, State Councillor of the Canton of Lucerne (representative)
- Ms Jacqueline Fehr, Councillor of State of the Canton of Zurich (substitute)
- Mr Philippe Leuba, State Councillor of the Canton of Vaud (substitute)
- Mr Didier Castella, State Councillor of the Canton of Fribourg (substitute)
For the communes and cities:
- Mrs Franziska Stadelmann-Meyer, Communal President of Muttenz BL (representative)
- Mr Laurent Wehrli, Communal President of Montreux VD and National Councillor (representative)
- Mr Beat Hirs, Communal President of Rorschacherberg SG (representative)
- Mr Erich Fehr, Mayor of the City of Biel-Bienne BE (substitute)
- Ms Christine Chevalley, Communal President of Veytaux VD (substitute)
- Mr Matthias Gysin, Member of the Communal Parliament of Duggingen BL (substitute)
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