Since 2007, the Congress invites local and regional authorities from all 47 Council of Europe Member States to participate in “the European Local Democracy Week” (ELDW), held annually around the 15 October. “The ELDW is a way to reach out to all European citizens, to involve them at the closest level” stresses Jean-Claude Frécon, Congress President. “By taking part in the events held locally within the framework of the ELDW, citizens share, promote and celebrate our common local democracy values and principles". These include, in particular, those defined in the European Charter of Local Self-Government and its Additional Protocol on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority”. Each year the ELDW is targeted towards a specific topical theme. The theme for 2016 is: “Living together in culturally diverse societies: respect, dialogue, interaction”. Indeed local authorities are in a key position to address the challenges of inclusive modern societies. This year, you will be able to further share your ELDW experience on our social media platforms - Facebook and Twitter - using the hashtag #eldw2016.