The member States of the Council of Europe, signatory hereto,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;
Reaffirming their commitment to the universal and indivisible nature of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on the dignity of all human beings;
Having regard to Articles 10, 11, 16 and 60 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
Considering that the residence of foreigners on the national territory is now a permanent feature of European societies;
Considering that foreign residents generally have the same duties as citizens at local level;
Aware of the active participation of foreign residents in the life of the local community and the development of its prosperity, and convinced of the need to improve their integration into the local community, especially by enhancing the possibilities for them to participate in local public affairs,
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Convention, the term "foreign residents" means persons who are not nationals of the State and who are lawfully resident on its territory.
Chapter A Freedoms of expression, assembly and association
Each Party undertakes, subject to the provisions of Article 9, to guarantee to foreign residents, on the same terms as to its own nationals:
Each Party shall endeavour to ensure that reasonable efforts are made to involve foreign residents in public inquiries, planning procedures and other processes of consultation on local matters.
Chapter B Consultative bodies to represent foreign residents at local level
Chapter C Right to vote in local authority elections
Each Party may, either unilaterally or by bilateral or multilateral agreement, stipulate that the residence requirements laid down in Article 6 are satisfied by a shorter period of residence.
Each Party shall endeavour to ensure that information is available to foreign residents concerning their rights and obligations in relation to local public life.
Each Party shall inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of any legislative provision or other measure adopted by the competent authorities on its territory which relates to its undertakings under the terms of this Convention.
This Convention shall be open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe. It is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Undertakings subsequently given by Parties to the Convention in accordance with Article 1, paragraph 2, shall be deemed to be an integral part of the ratification, acceptance, approval or accession of the Party so notifying, and shall have the same effect as from the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of the receipt of the notification by the Secretary General.
The provisions of this Convention shall apply to all the categories of local authorities existing within the territory of each Party. However, each Contracting State may, when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specify the categories of territorial authorities to which it intends to confine the scope of this Convention or which it intends to exclude from its scope.
No reservation may be made in respect of the provisions of this Convention, other than that mentioned in Article 1, paragraph 1.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the Council and any State which has acceded to this Convention of:
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.
Done at Strasbourg, this 5th day of February 1992, in English and French, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies to each member State of the Council of Europe and to any State invited to accede to this Convention.