The EU's Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives
Brussels, 28 January 2013
Economic growth focus of CoR plenary
Economic and monetary union, cohesion, regional state aid, youth guarantee and EU citizenship main topics of debate
The smart and timely deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and the full support of the Youth Guarantee scheme will be among the core political messages of the next Committee of the Regions' plenary (CoR) on 31 January and 1 February. A resolution on the cohesion legislative package will be presented for adoption by Marek Woźniak (PL/EPP), Marshal of the Wielkopolska region, which will firmly reiterate the CoR's call to ensure adequate funding is made available for cohesion policy from 2014-2020. It will also review the plans to reform EU regional policy setting out further improvements to the proposals.
On 31 January, the plenary will be preceded by a meeting between the presidents of the political groups of the European Parliament and of the CoR. The discussions will focus on the ongoing negotiations on the EU budget 2014-2020 and the next steps to be taken to further intensify the cooperation between the two institutions.
Lucinda Creighton, TD, Ireland's Minister for European Affairs, will also address the plenary to present Ireland's priorities during its 6 month EU Presidency which includes job creation and tackling the crisis.
Joaquín Almunia, Vice-president of the European Commission responsible for competition, will address the CoR plenary session on 1 February. It is foreseen that his intervention will be focused on the modernisation of EU State aid rules and, in particular, the revision of current regional state aid guidelines. The vital role of regional state aid to support employment and growth will also be among the highlights of the plenary discussions, with Jean-Paul Denanot (FR/PES), President of the Limousin region, presenting an opinion on the reform of regional state aid guidelines for 2014-2020.
In the context of the European Year for Citizens 2013 and in view of the 2014 European elections, the CoR, together with the European Parliament, is committed to promoting EU citizenship and supporting more widespread exercise of European electoral rights, an issue that will be discussed with the opinion presented by György Gémesi (HU/EPP), Mayor of Gödöllő. Enhancing interest in European elections and strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the EU also imply the creation of European-level legal status for European political parties and their affiliated foundations. The CoR contribution to the European Commission's blueprint on the matter will be debated on the basis of the opinion of István Sértő-Radics (HU/ALDE), Mayor of Uszka.
Europe's oceans and seas have been identified as a growth area which, if managed carefully, can help drive forward the EU's growth plan – Europe 2020 – creating jobs whilst combating climate change. In this regard Adam Banaszak (PL/EA), member of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie regional assembly, will present an opinion on "Blue Growth" and Arnold Hatch (UK/NI), Craigavon Borough Council, an opinion on "Marine Knowledge 2020", ensuring that Europe's cities and regions make a valued contribution to the debate. The critical role of renewable energy will also be discussed as Witold Stępień (PL/EPP) presents his opinion "Renewable Energy: A major player in the European market" for adoption.
The plenary session will be held in the European Parliament (room JAN 2Q2) on 31 January – 1 February in Brussels.
The debates will be streamed live at www.cor.europa.eu on Thursday 31 January from 3 pm and Friday 1 February from 9 am.
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 infringes the subsidiarity principle or fails to respect regional or local powers.
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