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angle-left null 1957 - Steps towards local democracy
Event's background
Democracy and Justice
12 January 1957

Steps towards local democracy

France France

At the very origins of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly it was recognised that the towns, cities and regions of Europe were as important as national governments in building the future. Beginning as a committee of the Assembly, the Conference  became a body in its own right in 1957, bringing together 124 locally elected representatives from thirteen of the then fifteen Council of Europe member states. For the first years of its existence it met every two years and mostly concerned itself with how European integration was affecting local authorities, but over time it started to look at issues of housing and urban renewal and to encourage a sense of European identity, especially through town twinning. It broadened its remit in 1975 to include regional bodies, and in 1994 became today’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.