Brussels, 13 December 2010
Eastern partnership: CoR gears up to support the structural reforms needed in the partner countries
The political framework of the Eastern Partnership initiative has provided local and regional authorities with legitimacy and an active role. That is why the president of the Committee of the Regions announced to the foreign ministers of the participating countries, meeting in Brussels this Monday 13 December, the launching of the Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of the Eastern Partnership and the European Union. The conference will be held under the Hungarian presidency, before the summit of the Partnership’s heads of state and government, so that it can send them its recommendations concerning the local and regional dimension of the initiative.
"This year we have carried out a detailed analysis of the situation of local and regional authorities and of the respect shown for the principles of local democracy in each of the countries of the Eastern Partnership. Strengthening local authorities and clarifying their funding is both one of the most urgent reforms and one of the most difficult to carry out," stressed Mercedes Bresso, referring to the opinions adopted by the Committee of the Regions in recent weeks on Moldavia, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus. "In parallel with these efforts, the Committee of the Regions has taken part in several missions to observe elections, which took us to Moldavia, Georgia and Ukraine. Such first hand experience enriches the opinions adopted by our institution" added the CoR president.
"This work will serve as a basis for work at the first joint meeting of local and regional authorities from the Eastern Partnership and the European Union ", announced Mercedes Bresso. "We want to share the CoR’s expertise in the field of territorial and cross-frontier cooperation, and make the Eastern Partnership a reality on the ground in Europe and in the countries concerned. This permanent political platform must make it possible for us to create links and explore cooperation projects, so as to flesh out the dialogue engaged at state level," she explained.
For Mercedes Bresso is convinced that "mobility, twinning and intercultural dialogue must be an integral part of the Eastern Partnership." And to round things off: "at the CoR, we know that the tensions and lack of comprehension that clash at the centre may be calmed down by concrete projects on the ground."
To read the press release or opinions in full, follow the links:
Click to know more about the missions to observe the elections:
Note for publishers
The CoR has been involved with the Eastern Partnership since its launch in May 2009 by the Czech presidency of the EU. The European Commission and the Council of Ministers invited the CoR to take an active part in setting up the Eastern Partnership by establishing regular cooperation with local authorities in the six countries concerned (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine). The CoR is a member of two thematic platforms working on subjects linked to democracy and good governance (platform 1) and contacts between the populations of the partner countries (platform 4).
Consult the CoR website: www.cor.europa.eu
The Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions is the assembly of the representatives of the local and regional authorities of the European Union. The mission of its 344 members from the 27 EU Member States is to involve local and regional authorities and the populations they represent in the EU’s decision-making process and inform them about EU policies. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are obliged to consult the Committee in political fields concerning regions and towns. The Committee of the Regions may also bring a case before the European Court of Justice if its rights are violated or if it feels that an EU legal text violates the principle of subsidiarity or does not respect the powers of local and regional authorities.
For more information, please contact:
Athénaïs Cazalis de Fondouce
Tel. +32 22822447
To read our previous press releases, please click here.