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Discussing ways of boosting cooperation within CEI Local Dimension at Council of Europe  

...reducing the gap between needs and decisions...

On 26 October, the Bulgarian CEI Presidency - in cooperation with the CEI-Executive Secretariat, and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe - organised an informal event in the context of the Local Dimension, the youngest operational pillar of the CEI, as a follow up to the discussions held during the 1st CEI Local Authorities Congress in Sofia on 8 June 2022.

The gathering - held at the Council of Europe on the margins of the current autumn session of the Congress - saw the participation of several members of the Congress as well as of the Permanent Representatives to the Council of Europe, both from the CEI Member States. The purpose was to start exploring possibilities to establish synergies and future cooperation between the work of the Local Dimension and the Congress.

The Bulgarian Presidency illustrated the 1st CEI Congress of Local Authorities as a valuable example of future structured cooperation between the local authorities of the CEI Member States, while the Secretary General of the Congress Andreas Kiefer focused, in particular, on the potential benefits of establishing stronger links between the CEI countries within the Council of Europe.

DSG Nina Kodelja, welcomed the proposals and presented the CEI’s work linked to this newly established dimension, as in order to fully implement the CEI’s mission, an active involvement of representatives of local and regional authorities was ever more vital. She also stressed the importance of further building synergies and partnerships with the Council of Europe, and especially the Congress, taking into account its role as the voice of European municipalities and regions; and mentioned initial reflections on areas that could jointly be explored, such as the strengthening of the participatory democracy linked to European integration, or the very broad term of building sustainable and inclusive societies, in line with the UN Agenda 2030.

The CEI Local Dimension supports cooperation between local and regional entities in its Member States and their actions in addressing local challenges in sustainable growth. It works together with the Governmental Dimension, the Parliamentary Dimension, and the Economic Dimension.

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