The third day of the 40th Session was marked by the adoption of the monitoring reports on the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Azerbaijan and Bulgaria.

The Congress also adopted a resolution and a recommendation concerning recurring issues regarding the implementation of the Charter. Congress President Leendert Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC/G/PD) highlighted the main persistent problems: the inadequacy of financial resources, the lack of consultation of local government, and the absence of direct applicability of the Charter in domestic legal systems,. “Political discourse increasingly reflects nationalistic attitudes and it divides populations along ethnic and political party lines,” highlighted the co-rapporteur, Stewart Dickson (United Kingdom, ILDG).

Members of the Congress held an exchange of views with Budapest Mayor, Gergely Karácsony, who emphasized the principles of decentralisation and subsidiarity and the importance of cooperation between central governments and local authorities for promoting democratic values and strengthening local government.

The Congress has also considered the report “Culture without borders: Cultural heritage management for local and regional development” and adopted a resolution calling for preserving cultural heritage as a tool of urban regeneration and economic growth, as well as highlighting the key role of local and regional authorities in promoting intercultural dialogue and participatory governance. It called on local and regional authorities to promote cultural diplomacy and heritage management for achieving territorial justice and reaching out to disconnected communities. “Exploring shared history and roots can help bring people with different outlooks together and help diffuse conflicts. It can help us recognise and promote the values that we have in common: democracy, human rights and the rule of law”, stressed the Congress rapporteur Barbara Toce (Italy, SOC/G/PD).