Relations with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities bringing the local and regional representatives of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe together came into being in 1994. It is commonly referred as The Congress.
The number of seats each country is allocated is equal to the number of its seats in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and “Cyprus” is represented with 3 seats (and 3 substitutes).
While the PACE never allowed the seats of the Turkish Cypriots to be occupied by the representatives of the Greek Cypriot community, all the seats in the Congress allocated for “Cyprus” have been occupied by the representatives of the Greek Cypriot community since its establishment in 1994. At present, “Cyprus” is represented in the Congress by 6 Greek Cypriots.
The first concrete action amending this state of affair was taken in 2004 with the adaptation by the Congress of the Resolution 170. Paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Resolution 170, which are relevant to Cyprus, are as follows:
10. Takes note of Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1376 (2004) on Cyprus, adopted on 29 April 2004, in which the Assembly expresses its profound disappointment at the failure of the efforts of the international community to put an end to the division of the island, considers it unfair, as a result, for the Turkish Cypriot community “to continue to be denied representation in the European political debate…, and therefore decides to associate more closely elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly and its committees…, and integrated to the Cypriot delegation”;
11. Decides to follow a similar policy to that of the Parliamentary Assembly and to involve Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the work of the Congress and its committees, integrated to the Cypriot delegation and in line with the practice of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and furthermore asks both communities to co-operate with a view to reviewing before the Plenary Session in 2005, the procedure for appointing the Cypriot delegation and the composition of the delegation so as to make provision for one seat for a full member and one seat for a substitute from the elected representatives of the local authorities in the Turkish Cypriot community;
During the last ten years since 2004, Resolution 170 has not been implemented, the review as demanded by the two Representatives of the two communities did not take place and “Cyprus” has been exclusively represented by the representatives of the Greek Cypriot community. A similar wording has been used in all the resolutions of the Congress, which ensued Resolution 170 and the relevant Paragraph of the latest Resolution in this regard, namely Resolution 340, is as follows:
2. The Congress further reiterates:
a. the desire expressed in Resolution 170 (2004) on the verification of credentials of new members and new appointment procedures for elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community to be included in the Cypriot delegation, and decides, in the meantime, to continue to invite two representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community to take part in sessions and Statutory Forum meetings, in accordance with the practice already established, as well as possibly attending meetings of the Congress’s committees for specific items;
With the Resolution 340, the Congress expressed its discontent with the failure of the implementation of Resolution 170 and decided to invite, until the implementation of Resolution 170, two elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community to the Congress Sessions, Statutory Forum meetings and as well as to the Committees’ meetings for specific items. Two Turkish Cypriot mayors represent the TRNC at the Sessions and meetings, upon the invitations they are extended within the ambit of the aforementioned Paragraph of the Resolutions adopted after Resolution 170.
Our Mayors who have represented our Country in Congress since 2004:
Mr. Mehmet Zafer
Mr. Kutlay Erk
Mr. Hüseyin Beyar
Mr. Oktay Kayalp
Mr. Yücel Atakara