CEMR Conference on Citizenship

The Conference on Citizenship – “Citizen in my city – Citizen in Europe” organized by CEMR in Rome on the 15-16th of December brought together around 300 mayors, leaders and representatives of civil society organization to exchange on the topic of active citizenship.


The workshop “Citizens equality: from the signature of the European Charter for equality to its implementation” was dedicated to the Charter and how to strengthen the work on gender equality at local level in Europe.


Ewa SAMUELSSON, Chair of CEMR’s Standing Committee for Equality and Former Deputy Mayor of Stockholm underlined the important role of CEMR in promoting equality and the value of the European Charter as a common tool to support the work at local level.  Ewa Samuelsson also emphasized the importance of collecting data to identify gender disparities with the words “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”. In this regard, the indicators to monitor the implementation of the European Charter will be an important instrument offering a common tool for local and regional authorities to evaluate their work in the field of equality.


Ibone BENGOETXEA, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao and President of the Association of Basque Municipalities (EUDEL) presented various activities carried out by EUDEL to support the work on equality, such as the launch of the Virginia Woolf school to empower local women politicians, establishing a network of small cities to support their work on gender equality and provide several trainings for local authorities on gender issues.


Alexandre Van Der Linden, Executive assistant working at the office of Mohamed Ouriaghli, Deputy Mayor of Brussels presented the work done by the City of Brussels on the elaboration of an action plan based on the European Charter. In the drafting process the City Administration had been working in close collaboration with an “Equality Unit” composed of representatives from civil society working in the field of equality to anchor the work and ensure close collaborations with associations active on the field.


Please click on the following link to read an interview with the City of Brussels on their work with the Charter.


Emilia SAIZ from United Cities and Local Governments presented UCLGs work on gender equality on the international agenda, focusing on women’s participation at the political level, issues related to security and violence against women and the importance of adapting services for both women and men.


Patrizia DINI, Secretary General of AICCRE Tuscany made concluding remarks stating the challenges faced by any local and regional authorities as a result of the economic crisis and emphasized the importance of changing focus not only on money but also on the life of citizens. She called upon the importance of strengthening common efforts at European level and highlighted the importance of the European Charter.


On the eve of 16th of December Ewa SAMUELSSON was honored with a CEMR medal for her work as Chair of the CEMR Standing Committee for Equality and especially for the contribution from the Swedish Governments through the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) to establish the Observatory of the European Charter for Equality.


The Secretariat of the Observatory would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2015!