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Local and regional Europe in mourning after the assassination of the mayor of Gdansk

15 January 2019

The representatives of European associations of local and regional governments and many mayors expressed their deepest sympathies after the deadly attack which cost Pawel Adamowicz’s life. He was mayor of Gdansk (Poland) since 1998.

Pawel Adamowicz spent his life defending freedom and democracy, and paid for his unfaltering commitment with his life. This horrific crime reminds us just how fragile our values can be in the context of a democracy which has been damaged by extremists, by the enemies of freedom and human rights.

With Pawel Adamowicz’s death, all local and regional Europe is in mourning.”, stated the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) President Stefano Bonaccini, who is also President of the region of Emilia Romagna.

In the name of all of Europe’s local leaders, I wish to extend my condolences to his family, to the citizens of Gdansk, to his friends and to his colleagues from the Association of polish cities and from the European Committee of the Regions where he had a seat since 2011. Nothing can ever justify violence against an elected representative in a democratic society. I call upon all authorities to express their solidarity with the polish people in this day of mourning.”

“We are trully sadened by the news of Mayor Pawel Adamowicz passing. Our warmest regards to the people of Gdansk, may his legacy stand!”, said Emilia Saiz, Secreatry General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

“I’m hurt and angered by the murder of the Mayor of Gdansk and defender of human rights […]. We’ll remember him forever as a symbol of the diverse, democratic and welcoming Europe we want,” stated Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona.

“We just lost a European activist, committed to supporting and defending the freedoms of LGBT people, minorities, migrants and a faithful partner in European projects on social innovation,” tweeted Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.

“In office, [Mr Adamowicz] always acted with compassion and courage. Poland will miss a great Mayor,” announced the City Mayors Foundation which annually awards The World Mayor Prize, an award for which he was shortlisted in 2016 for his action in favour of migrants.

CEMR and its global organisation UCLG, joined the tributes given in Brussels, Strasbourg, Barcelona and Poland and call upon local governments and the European institutions to observe a minute’s silence in their next session.