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June 28th 2010

Of Paris, the Council of Europe, local self-government, and just a touch of football

The Council of Europe – the not-the-European-Union organisation of wider Europe (47 countries at last count) – is best known for the work of its Court of Human Rights, and has a general remit to promote democracy and human rights.  It is also in the news just now because its Parliamentary Assembly has voted unanimously against a general banning of the burqa or nijab, and criticized the recent Swiss law against the building of minarets. (By the way, the football bit  is at the end of this post!)

I was back in Paris last week as “independent expert” for a Council of Europe (CoE) working group meeting on how best it can coordinate its work on local and regional democracy. Continue Reading

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