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Revised Strategic Guidelines approved by the Congress Bureau

The new version provides a clear vision for the Alliance, obligations of its participants and remedies against harmful conduct of participants

CoE; meeting of the Congress Bureau

At its most recent meeting, that took place on 21 March 2016,  one day before the start of the 30th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the Congress Bureau adopted a revised version of the Strategic Guidelines for the Alliance. The document serves as a programmatic outline of the work of the Alliance, emphasising its role as platform for exchange between participating local and regional authorities.

The guidelines also clarify the obligations of the Alliance participants. They are obliged to uphold the human rights standards and good governance standards of the Council of Europe. Also, they have to refrain from hate speech against Roma and Travellers, end school segregation and refrain from forced evictions that lead to the loss of shelter of Roma and Traveller families.

The new guidelines also open the possibility to exclude participants from the Alliance in case their policies and conduct harm the credibility of the Alliance or the Council of Europe. An exclusion is foreseen as a measure of last resort and after a thorough investigation and consultation with the concerned participant.

Overview of some new elements of the new Strategic Guidelines:

  • A new name: “European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers”, which is in line with the new Thematic Action Plan on the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers (2016-2019).
  • Clarification that the term “cities and regions” encompasses all levels of government below the national level, participation in the Alliance is therefore open to different kinds of entities and sub-entities of local and regional administration.
  • Obligations of participants are clearly listed:
    • Protecting human rights,
    • Promoting good governance,
    • Refraining from hate speech,
    • Abolishing school segregation,
    • Refraining from forced evictions without prior offering alternative accommodation.
  • Introduction of an exclusion mechanism that allows the Congress Secretariat and the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Roma issues to exclude participants from the Alliance.

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