The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities held its 31th session on 19-21 October 2016. The main objective of the Congress is to improve self governance at the local and regional level among the member states of the Council of Europe. The Vice President of the City Council of Rovaniemi, Liina Ansala, was elected as the 2nd Vice President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress.
The Congress consists of two Chambers. The Chamber of Local Authorities has its main focus on improving democracy at the local level. This can be achieved by observing the legitimacy of local elections, promoting citizen participation and strengthening intercultural dialogue. The Chamber of Regions has its main focus on developing regional self-governance which promotes economic and social development in the member states. The Congress consists of 324 members and 324 deputy members who represent the local and regional authorities of their respective member states.
The Congress established in 2010 three statutory committees who are in charge of preparing most of the reports presented in the plenary sessions of the Congress and in the meetings of the Chambers. The statutory committees are the Monitoring Committee, the Governance Committee and the Current Affairs Committee.
The youth delegates participated in the plenary sessions of the Congress for the 3rd time. Maija Maunu, a senior high school student from Turku, attended the plenary session as the youth delegate of Finland.
Liisa Ansala, who is the Vice President of the City Council of Rovaniemi and a Deputy Member of Parliament from the Centre Party of Finland, was elected as the 2nd Vice President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress on 20 October 2016. She has been actively involved in the development of the Lapland region in Finland. Helena Pihlajasaari, who is a member in the Regional Council of Central Finland, has served for many years as the Vice President of the Congress.
Further information on the activities of the Congress can be found on the following website. http://www.coe.int/t/Congress/default_en.asp