Council of europe activities related to the regional and Local Policies


Created in 1949,Council of europe, based in strasbourg, the council of europe is an international organization which has as main objective the defence, protection and promotion of human rights (in particular the civil and political rights), democracy and the rule of law.

The council of europe has the following bodies: The committee of ministers, parliamentary assembly, The congress of the powers/Local and regional authorities and the General secretariat, which depend, among other directorates-general, the General directorate of democracy, as well as it is the secretariat of the congress committee/Local and regional authorities.

Áreas relating to Territorial Policy in the council of europe:

  • The European Committee on democracy and governance (CDDG).
  • European charter for regional or minority languages.
  • Congress committee/local and regional authorities (CPLR).

The European Committee on democracy and governance (CDDG)

TheThe European Committee on democracy and governance (CDDG)is the intergovernmental forum of the council of europe in which representatives of member states meet to exchange and monitor the situation of democratic governance in europe, and to work together to strengthen democratic institutions, public administration reforms, decentralization, the participation of citizens and public ethics, at all levels of government.

The european committee for democracy and governance (CDDG) places a strong emphasis on local and regional democracy in their work. This is in line with its history, since the committee is based on the legacy of ancient European committee for the Local and Regional democracy (CDLR) and the outcomes of major conferences of ministers.

The secretariat-General of Territorial coordination participates in meetings of the Bureau of the intergovernmental committee of the council of europe in terms of modernisation of democratic institutions, public administration reform, the participation of citizens and democratic governance at all levels, including here the cross-border cooperation, as well as in working groups of experts on the above-mentioned subjects.

The european charter for regional or minority languages

The european charter for regional or minority languages was developed within the council of europe and signed on 5 november 1992. Subsequently, and on the basis of an international treaty, was ratified by Spain, dated 9 april 2001 and entered into force on 1 august 2001.

The Preamble of the charter states that the protection of these languages “ helps to maintain and develop the traditions and cultural wealth of europe ”, and that the right to use one of these languages “ in the private and public life is an imprescriptible ”, in accordance with the international covenant on civil and political rights of united nations, and with the spirit of the council of europe convention for the protection of human Rights and fundamental freedoms.

In the case of spain, has particular significance is the statement on the ratification of the charter and that it is included in the first paragraphs of the instrument of ratification, specifying the scope of application which differentiate between two different levels of protection:

1. The languages recognized as records in the statutes of Autonomy of the autonomous communities of the Basque country, catalonia, Balearic Islands, Galicia, Valencia and Community of navarre.

2. Regional or minority languages that the statutes of autonomy and protected in the areas where traditionally spoken:

Bable or asturian and gallego, in Asturias.

Catalan aragonés and aragon

Gallego, in Castile and león

In accordance with article 15 of the charter, member states that are parties to the same should submit regular reports for internal policy followed by the performance of its duties. The reports that will follow the first shall be provided at intervals of three years ”, as being in our country.

The state administration has developed so far four reports on the follow-up to the charter.

- First report: 2002

- The second report: 2003-2005 covering the period

- Third report submitted in july 2010 and for the period 2006-2008

- Fourth report submitted in july 2014, and for the period 2009-2012

- Fifth report submitted in october 2018 and covering the period 2014-2016

The council of europe issued a series of recommendations to the government of spain concerning the protection of indigenous languages in december 2019. On 1 august 2020 was presented a new follow-up report, partial in nature, to report on the degree of fulfilment of these recommendations.

The congress of local and regional (CPLR)

In 1994, the council of europe established theCongress of local and regional Powers of Europeas a consultative body replacing the former Permanent Conference of local and regional authorities of europe.

The Congress committee/local and regional authorities is an institution of the council of europe responsible for strengthening local and regional democracy in its 47 member states and to evaluate the implementation of the european charter of Local autonomy. In his capacity as the voice of the municipalities and regions, works to strengthen the consultation and political dialogue between national governments and local and regional authorities, through cooperation with the committee of ministers of the council of Europe.

Spain has 24 members: 12 represent the autonomous communities and 12 to local entities. The appointment of these members are appointed in application of criteria for the appointment of the spanish delegation, approved by the General committee of the autonomous communities of the senate in its meeting on 24 march 1994.