On 28 January 2011 in Geneva (Switzerland), local and regional Europe will celebrate the founding of the European municipal movement what with the 60th anniversary of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), European Section of UCLG.
The European Section of UCLG is the largest organisation representing local and regional authorities all across Europe. Its members are 53 national associations of towns, municipalities and regions from 39 European countries, which account for some 100 000 local and regional authorities. CEMR was founded in 1951 in the hopes of building a united Europe based on local democracy and autonomy as well as on the participation of citizens.
In the past sixty years, the European Section of UCLG has actively contributed to the numerous steps of the European construction, notably through developing the principal of "autonomous self-government" of local and regional levels. The CEMR also ensured the representation of local authorities before the European Union and actively provided inputs for the development of the European integration process representing the interests of local authorities.
CEMR will kick-off its 60th anniversary year with an event in its founding city, Geneva, to be hosted on 28 January 2011 by the City of Geneva. This first event, organised under the patronage of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Emeritus President of CEMR, former President of France and of the European Convention, will aim at reflecting on the accomplishments of the European local and regional movement, which now covers thirty-nine countries.