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SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 06

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER OF THE LANDSCAPE OBSERVATORY - 1

THE OBSERVER

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Towards a network of European regions for the implementation of landscape policies

Riccardo Priore
Council of Europe's official. Responsible for the drafting activities of the European Landscape Convention within the Congress' Directorate, Secretariat General (1994-2000)

In its provisions concerning the division of public responsibilities, the European Landscape Convention makes an explicit reference to the principle of subsidiarity and local self-government. On this basis, Contracting States undertake to involve local and regional authorities in the establishment and the implementation of landscape policies, the landscapes identification and assessment procedures and in the definition of landscape quality objectives.

The entry into force of these provisions at national level prompted a growing number of local and regional authorities to strengthen their institutional commitment with regard to landscape, and this, in most cases, by a gradual but substantial adaptation of their technical, administrative and legal (and/or statutory) framework.

Aware of the importance of this commitment, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities -the Council of Europe's institution at the origin of the Convention- formally encouraged decentralised authorities all over the Continent to set up a co-operation body able to improve the implementation of the Convention at local and regional level1. In reply to this recommendation, on 30th May 2006, at the initiative of the Campania Region (Italy), twenty local and regional authorities have constituted, at the Council of Europe's headquarters in Strasbourg, the European Network of local and regional authorities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ENELC)2.

Officially based in Strasbourg under the Congress' aegis, the ENELC is a non-governmental international organisation composed of sub-national public authorities; the ENELC's general aim is to encourage awareness and implementation of the Convention at local and regional level, thus assisting the Council of Europe committees of experts appointed to follow-up its implementation at intergovernmental level.

The ENELC encourages the deepening and the dissemination of Members' scientific and technical knowledge about the landscape; within the ENELC, the Members have the opportunity to co-operate in a common framework, supported by an international structure, establishing contacts with non-governmental organisations, universities and research centres. Members can be assisted by the ENELC's structures in the processes associated with public decisions on the landscape taken by central authorities in individual States, the European institutions and the competent international organisations. In accordance with its Statutes, the ENELC's organs are the General Assembly, the Executive Board, the Technical Co-ordination Board and the Scientific Committee.

On the occasion of its constitution, for its first six months of existence, the Founder Members elected Mrs Gabriella Cundari, Minister for regional and town planning of the Campania Region, as the first ENELC's President. The next meeting of the General Assembly will be held in Strasbourg before the end of 2006.

For any further information on the ENELC, kindly contact the Government's Administration of the Campania Region (email : a.dilorenzo@regione.campania.it).

Notes:

  1. Resolution 178 (2004)
  2. List of the ENELC's Founder Members : German-speaking Community of Belgium, Abruzzo Region, Andalucia Autonomous Community, Province of Ascoli Piceno, Province of Avellino, Basilicata Region, Calabria Region, Campania Region, Catalunya Autonomous Community, Emilia-Romagna Region, Lennik Municipality, Podlaskie Region, Prahova Region, Molise Region, Piemonte Region, Province of Reggio Emilia, Province of Rieti, Tirol Region, Tuscany Region, Veneto Region.

Riccardo Priore is a Council of Europe's official - responsible for the drafting activities of the European Landscape Convention within the Congress' Directorate, Secretariat General (1994-2000). Lecturer of Landscape Law at the Universities of Turin (Politecnico) and Camerino - Italy. First Director of the European Network of local and regional authorities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ENELC).

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