Celebrating its 100th edition since its creation in 1994 the Committee of the Regions' (CoR) President, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, will welcome the European Parliament's President, Martin Schulz, for a debate on the most pressing issues in EU affairs today. The CoR's plenary session on 11-12 April will be an opportunity to address the EU budget and the economic crisis. In addition, with the European elections looming next year, ways to boost citizens' participation will top the agenda as the two institutions consider how to further improve cooperation.
European industrial policy: what role for cities and regions?
The challenge of European re-industrialisation and the pioneering role played by cities and regions in implementing industrial policy will also be among the highlights of the discussions. Claude Gewerc (FR/PES), President of Picardy Regional Council, will present an opinion on the European Commission's strategy to support a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe.
The CoR will also hold its 3rd Europe 2020 Conference (10 April) assessing the impact of the EU's industrial policy. It will consider how regions and cities can help lift Europe's industries as part of its contribution to fighting the crisis. Speakers will include Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and President Valcárcel, who will also both take part in a press conference (10 April, 15:00), as well as Mercedes Bresso, CoR First Vice-President.
Solidarity and fight against poverty
As Europe continues to struggle with the continuing recession, the plenary will devote attention to the theme of solidarity, looking both within and outside the EU. The effectiveness of EU's intervention to fight global poverty will be considered in a resolution presented by all CoR political groups. Improving EU support for the neediest within EU Member States will also be addressed by Ossi Martikainen (FI/ALDE)'s opinion on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived.
The 100th plenary will be held in the European Parliament (room JAN 2Q2) on 11-12 April in Brussels. The debates will be streamed live at www.cor.europa.eu.
Decentralised Cooperation for Development
A few days before, the CoR will also hold its 3rd Assises of Decentralised Cooperation for Development (9-10 April), an event jointly organised with the European Commission. The event, which will gather several hundred representatives of local and regional authorities from the EU and developing countries, is particularly timely as the European Commission is expected to shortly adopt a communication on the role of local authorities in development cooperation and its post-2015 International Agenda on Development.
The Commissioner for Development Cooperation, Andris Piebalgs, will address the audience during the concluding session, together with President Valcárcel, and First Vice-President Bresso.