The EU's Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives
Brussels, 9 April 2010
CoR votes on political priorities and starts debate on key issues with Commissioners Hahn, Füle and Cioloş
Following the European Commission's adoption of its 2010 work programme, CoR members will meet during the plenary session to select their priorities for the year. Under the new EU set-up established by the Lisbon Treaty, they will be involved in discussions on policies with a strong local impact (such as the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and cohesion policy), as well as contributing to the EU's future guidelines, particularly in the economic and environmental spheres.
CoR members will have the opportunity to discuss several of these issues with the people driving these policies.
CoR sets agenda for two major regional policy debates
The future of cohesion policy and the way forward for Europe's 'macro-regions', such as the Baltic Sea region and the Danube area, will take centre stage at the April plenary session. Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, will join CoR members for these debates and set out his priorities for the 5 years ahead (read an interview with the Commissioner on the CoR website).
On 13 April, a CoR Forum on Europe's 'macro-regions' will be the first opportunity to link the different geographical concepts that try to define EU priority projects for groups of regions or countries. The Baltic Sea Strategy was the first example for this new approach and is already being implemented. Pauliina Haijanen (FI/EPP) scrutinised the strategy and prepared a draft opinion to be adopted on 14 April.
On 15 April, the members of the Committee of the Regions will debate and adopt a draft opinion on the future of cohesion policy, drafted by Michael Schneider (DE/EPP), European affairs state secretary of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt. This will make the Committee of the Regions the first EU body to formulate an official position on the future of EU regional aid after 2013.
Dacian Cioloş, Stefan Füle and Michel Platini to address the CoR Plenary
Wednesday will be the first opportunity for the new European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş, to address the CoR members. This year's review of the EU budget is expected to have a significant impact on funding for farmers, the mainstay of the rural economy in many of Europe's regions, and the CoR is keen to begin the debate as soon as possible. The Committee will set out its position in an own-initiative opinion on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy by René Souchon (FR/PES), president of the Auvergne Regional Council. The opinion is expected to be adopted in June, well ahead of the European Commission's communication on the CAP post-2013, which is due at the end of the year.
On the same day, the Commissioner for Enlargement and the Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle will also address CoR members during the discussion on the opinion on the enlargement strategy for candidate countries and the main challenges for 2009 and 2010, an opinion drawn up by Georgios Papastergiou, Prefect of Pieria (EL/EPP). The draft opinion gives a frank assessment of the progress that each of the candidate countries has made towards accession. What makes it unique, however, is its evaluation of how the candidate countries have involved local and regional authorities in their preparations for accession.
On Wednesday 14 April, the UEFA President Michel Platini will also be the guest of the CoR. He will discuss with members of the assembly the role of football in social integration and its impact on the economic development of the EU's cities and regions. The CoR adopted an opinion on equal opportunities and sport in 2007, but Michel Platini's visit to Brussels coincides with the start of the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty which establishes the legal basis for EU action in the area of sport.
The debates will be available via webstreaming at this address: www.cor.europa.eu
The Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions is the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. The mission of its 344 members from all 27 EU Member States is to involve regional and local authorities and the communities they represent in the EU's decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. It can appeal to the EU Court of Justice if its rights are infringed or it believes that an EU law violates the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.
For more information, please contact:
Athénais Cazalis de Fondouce
Committee of the Regions of the EU
Tel.: +32 2 282 2447
To read previous press releases, click here.