Committee of the Regions
Created in 1992 by the Treaty of Maastricht and established in 1994, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an advisory body that allows local and regional authorities to make their voices heard in the decision-making process of the European Union. It is composed of 344 representatives from local and regional authorities, appointed by the Council for five years.
The CoR is consulted by the Council, the Parliament and the Commission in areas that affect local or regional interests. Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in May 1999, the Committee of the Regions must be consulted in a large number of areas: economic and social cohesion, employment, social policy, trans-European transport networks, energy and telecommunications, education and youth, vocational training, culture, the environment, public health and transport.
The CoR may also draw up opinions on its own initiative.
The Lisbon Treaty improve s the standing of regions and cities in the European Union's political system and boosts the institutional role of their representative body in Brussels, the Committee of the Regions, throughout the legislative process. In addition to extended consultation requirements during the adoption of EU legislation, the CoR now also has the right to bring legal actions before the European Court of Justice in two instances: To protect its own institutional prerogatives, and to request the annulment of new EU legislation that it considers being in breach of the principle of subsidiarity, in the policy areas where the EU Treaty requires that the CoR be consulted.