22 April Wednesday

Mayor Imamoğlu Meets with President Anders Knape in a Video Conference

In the global network of cities, cooperation between cities is as important as within-city collaboration.

In this contex, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu discussed the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and consequences for European municipalities in a video conference with Mr. Anders Knape, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) of the Council of Europe yesterday.

Informing Mr. Knape about the latest developments and measures taken in Istanbul, a city which is heavily affected by the spread of coronavirus in Turkey, Mayor Mr. Imamoğlu underlined the importance of sharing experiences and cooperation between municipalities, in order to draw the right conclusions for the future. “The world was not prepared for this crisis and we have to strengthen our cooperation in Europe and worldwide, in order to meet such challenges in the future,” he said.

Referring to administrative decisions taken by the Congress and its political role in the current situation, President Anders Knape underlined that the fight against COVID-19 entailed also many risks for human rights and democracy in cities and regions. “Coping with the economic consequences is certainly the most striking problem but we must not forget other challenges such as the democratic functioning at all levels of government, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms and the safeguarding of the rule of law in Council of Europe member States.

Therefore, as soon as the sanitary situation allows, the Congress will organise again forums of exchange for its members to exchange about good and not so good practices”, Mr. Knape stated. The list of planned Congress activities in autumn and at the beginning of 2021 includes the organisation of statutory committees and plenary sessions with targeted debates about lessons to be learned from this crisis and policy recommendations to be made.

“Turkey is in this respect very high on our agenda and we will continue to support the local authorities as good as we can. Solidarity with those who are most affected by this unprecedented crisis is our primary purpose in the Congress ”, Mr Knape concluded.

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