The president of the Committee of the Regions, Mr Valcárcel Siso, will open the international donor conference for development in Mali – "Together for a new Mali" – on Wednesday 15 May 2013 in the Committee of the Regions premises. Addressing about 100 national delegations attending the conference, he will pledge the Committee's support for the process of decentralisation launched by the Malian government as part of a plan for a fresh start for the African country. He will also underline the expectations and proposals of local and regional authorities regarding their necessary involvement in the EU development programmes, as set out during the 3rd Assises of Decentralised Cooperation held by the CoR and the European Commission on 9-10 April this year.
"On behalf of the Committee of the Regions, I invite all local and regional authorities across Europe to take part in a joint cooperative initiative to support their counterparts in Mali" said Mr Valcárcel in view of the conference. He added that "Malian local authorities will have a key role to play in recovering from the crisis, because they will guarantee efforts to re-establish local public services, revive local investment, calm inter-communal tensions and strengthen grassroots democracy". This is the reason why "local and regional authorities in Europe should support them in this challenge".
The conference will be closed by the three hosting authorities: José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission; François Hollande, president of France; and Dioncounda Traoré, acting president of Mali. There will also be contributions from Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council; Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; and Commissioners Andris Piebalgs and Kristalina Georgieva.
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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